ESPN has signed what American reports suggest is a US$500 million agreement to broadcast a variety of NCAA college championships until the end of the 2023-24 season.
ESPN has scooped 24 NCAA championships in the United States and internationally, including soccer, volleyball, track and field, swimming, gymnastics, bowling and fencing, as well as the international rights to the prestigious NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The package equates to over 600 hours of coverage annually across a variety of ESPN platforms, including its dedicated college channel ESPNU. The deal represents a significant uplift on ESPN's previous deal with the NCAA, an 11 year US$200 million deal signed in 2011.
“We have enjoyed a great relationship with the NCAA that has spanned the history of ESPN,” said George Bodenheimer, the outgoing president of ESPN. “This is our most comprehensive agreement yet and ensures sports fans will have access to top-level NCAA athletics across ESPN networks and platforms.”
Mark Emmert, the NCAA president, added: “Thousands of inspiring and compelling student-athletes make it to the championship level every year, and we at the NCAA are excited to be able to share their stories with a broader audience than ever.
“Across all sports and divisions, our primary goal is to support student-athlete success both on the field and in the classroom, and this new agreement provides us a greater ability to do so.”
Picture shows players and fans standing during the national anthem before the Butler Bulldogs play the Connecticut Huskies in their men's final NCAA Final Four college basketball game in Houston, Texas.
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