New C-USA ESPN deal struck

Lot of info below, but in sum:

Football deal reduced to 10 ESPN/ESPN2 games (from 15). Basketball deal reduced to 6 ESPN/ESPN2/National (from 32 – 28 ESPN/ESPN2 + 4 ABC/CBS)

C-USA Announces New TV Agreements with ESPN and CSTV

League signs six-year deal.

Jan. 11, 2005

Conference USA has entered into long-term agreements with ESPN, Inc. (ESPN) and College Sports Television Networks, Inc. (CSTV), Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today. The new agreements contain six-year initial terms to begin July 1, 2005 and conclude June 30, 2011.

“We are very pleased with these new agreements,” said Banowsky. “The Conference’s financial goals will be met and we will have more events distributed to a broader audience than ever before. This is a great day for Conference USA.”

The agreement with ESPN extends the conference’s current regular season football package to include the broadcast of the conference’s Football Championship Game, starting with the inaugural game in 2005. It also encompasses distribution of men’s basketball and women’s basketball on ESPN/ESPN2 and both tournament championship games. The C-USA content granted to ESPN may also be available through the collection of ESPN entities such as ESPN Mobile (wireless), ESPN Interactive, ESPN Broadband (ESPN 360),, ESPN Pay-Per-View, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and more.

“ESPN continues to be a great partner and their strength provides a showcase of Conference USA’s football and basketball to a massive audience,” said Banowsky.

“With this agreement, fans will continue to enjoy the very best Conference USA action on the ESPN networks including the exciting, new football championship,” said John Wildhack, ESPN senior vice president, programming. “We look forward to advancing our strong association with our friends at the conference level as well as the member schools by using the array of ESPN entities to deliver Conference USA related content to college sports enthusiasts wherever they are.”

The agreement with CSTV is comprehensive in nature and includes significant national and regional exposure for football, men’s and women’s basketball, and all other Conference USA sports. Additionally, the CSTV agreement includes video-on-demand, Internet, broadband, national over-the-air and satellite radio, and wireless distribution as well as corporate marketing rights, and website production through CSTV Online, a subsidiary of CSTV.

“The CSTV component is key,” said Banowsky. “CSTV has a dynamic vision and an excellent management team. The potential of this partnership is staggering. CSTV will be a major player in this industry, there is no doubt about that.”

“CSTV is proud to be a major player in this transformation of Conference USA,” said CSTV President & CEO Brian Bedol. “For us, this partnership continues our building process as the leading digital sports media company, with our sole mission focused on reaching the maximum number of college sports fans across all technology platforms, whenever, however and whatever they want.”

Conference USA is preparing for a transition to a new membership model. Beginning in 2005-06, C-USA will consist of 12 member institutions that all participate in football and men’s and women’s basketball - East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF and UTEP. The league will span nine states and include significant television markets such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans and Orlando.

ABOUT ESPN - ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU (launching March 2005), ESPN Today), ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks and syndication), ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360 (formerly ESPN Broadband), ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.


TERM: Initial term through the 2010-11 basketball season

· 10 Regular Season Football Games on ESPN or ESPN2

· C-USA Football Championship game

· Six Regular Season Men’s Basketball Games on ESPN or ESPN2 and the Men’s Basketball Championship Final

· Three Regular Season Women’s Basketball Games on ESPN or ESPN2 and the Women’s Basketball Championship Final

· Other ESPN Outlets: coverage of Conference USA across ESPN’s other platforms, including ESPN Mobile (wireless), ESPN Interactive, ESPN Broadband (ESPN 360),, ESPN Pay-Per-View, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and more.

ABOUT CSTV - CSTV, which launched April 7, 2003, is a multi-media company that consists of the first-ever 24-hour college sports television network, College Sports TV; the leading college sports online network,; and the first ever 24-hour college sports radio network, SIRIUS College Sports Radio. Through its numerous platforms, CSTV provides more live college sports games, events, news, information, analysis and broadband content, and reaches more college sports fans, than any other company.

CSTV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, has agreements with distributors that serve more than 65 million households nationwide. It has deals with the top six distributors - Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner, Charter, Cox and Adelphia, among others. CSTV is expected to be available on cable in all Conference USA markets when the partnership commences this August. The network currently is available on cable in Conference USA markets Houston, Orlando, Birmingham, New Orleans, Memphis, Charleston-Huntington, W.V.


TERM: Initial term through the 2010-11 spring sports season

· The new partnership provides CSTV with exclusive rights to regular season Conference USA football and regular season and post-season men’s and women’s basketball, as well as exclusive rights for all other regular season, post-season and championship Conference USA sports: baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field for men, and cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball for women.

· Regular Season package of Football Games

· Regular Season package of Men’s Basketball Games

· Regular Season package of Women’s Basketball Games

· Championship Games in Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Women’s Soccer and Men’s Soccer

· Early round coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments

· Coverage of all 19 regular season Olympic sports events, including significant coverage of C-USA women’s sports

· Comprehensive coverage in CSTV’s news, scores and highlights programming as well as coaches shows, original series and documentary style programs

· Educational, distance learning and cultural programming from C-USA Member Institutions

· The agreement includes conference-related media and marketing rights, including television, national over-the-air and satellite radio, video-on-demand, Internet, broadband, wireless and exclusive corporate sponsorship and rights.

· CSTV’s CSTV Online business unit produces the Web site. The agreement will provide the rights for to produce the official site of the Conference USA and the individual member websites with exclusive rights to all video and audio streaming. CSTV Online currently produces the official athletic sites Houston, Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UCF.

Down to 6 from 32 for basketball?

Wow, the drawing power of Memphis. Now they won’t have as many chances to lose on national TV.

how is the a10 tv package?

I can’t wait for that nationally televised Tulane/Rice game on ESPN!

[i]Originally posted by MKNiner[/i]@Jan 11 2005, 10:14 PM [b] Down to 6 from 32 for basketball?

Wow, the drawing power of Memphis. Now they won’t have as many chances to lose on national TV. [/b]

The crying has begun, C-USA Announces New TV Agreements with ESPN and CSTV.

[b] we are now officially mid-major. [/b]


[i]Originally posted by Smoothieking[/i]@Jan 12 2005, 10:23 AM [b]
[b] we are now officially mid-major. [/b]

-fsquid [/b]

beat me to it fsquid…I’m laughing so hard, i’m crying.

Oh sweet mercy, it’s a thing of beauty!

I will say it again,

“Oh how life must absolutely suck when you are a Memphis fan.”

I’m hesistant to bring it up - but to the fans who mouthed off about our move to the A-10 - this could have been us.

I don’t imagine that the A10’s ESPN deal is much better, but they have their own TV deal that will help, and we have CSET.

Obviously I skipped the first post. Too long to read about the train wreck that will be CUSA. But in the immortal words of Nelson, “Ha, Ha!”

FWIW, I decided to check to see how this new deal works out money-wise and depending upon whichever publication you read, it provides C-USA with about $10-11.3 million per year for 6 years. The current deal was $86 million over an 8 year period ($10.75 mm/year). New TV deal no step backward TV Sports

Still not sure how it works out telecast-wise. Yes, ESPN cuts back, but it doesn’t say how many games will be televised by CSTV.

BTW, the A-10 does have its own television network: A-10 TV