Athletes Unlimited (AU), the US network of professional women’s sports leagues, has announced a multi-year renewal with Disney-owned sports broadcaster ESPN.

The deal will see over 50 AU games across all four of its sports – basketball, softball, lacrosse, and volleyball – exclusively shown on ESPN's linear channels in 2024, with over 20 matches available on the ESPN+ streaming service.

Additionally, ESPN will have international rights for the competitions to air on channels including TSN in Canada, and ESPN in Latin America.

Jon Patricof, chief executive and co-founder of Athletes Unlimited, said: “ESPN has been absolutely crucial to the success of Athletes Unlimited, showcasing our amazing world-class athletes on the biggest global stage in sports.

“ESPN’s renewed and expanded commitment to Athletes Unlimited is both a validation of our business model as well as a testament to the growing popularity of these sports at the professional level.

“With all four of our pro women’s sports now featured on ESPN, we look forward to working with their incredible team to take Athletes Unlimited to even greater heights in the coming years to serve fans as well as brands looking to reach fans of women’s sports.”

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Dan Margulis, senior director of programming and acquisitions at ESPN, added: “We’re excited to showcase even more world-class female athletes through this new agreement with Athletes Unlimited as part of ESPN’s longstanding commitment to women’s sports.

“This agreement allows us to continue to showcase the sports we feature on the collegiate level – highlighting these athletes throughout college and into their professional careers. We look forward to presenting our debut season of AU Pro Basketball on ESPN platforms in addition to the popular league competitions that already exist in volleyball, softball and lacrosse.”

The partnership begins with ESPN’s coverage of AU Pro Basketball on February 29 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, Texas.

Athletes Unlimited had last renewed with ESPN in 2022 for its volleyball coverage, having renewed the softball and lacrosse coverage earlier that year.

Earlier this month ESPN finalized a long-term domestic media rights renewal with Dutch soccer’s top-tier Eredivisie until 2030.

The extended deal, announced by Eredivisie Media & Marketing (EMM), the joint venture between the Walt Disney Company, Eredivisie, and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), is worth a total of €750 million ($805.7 million) over the next five years.