Conference USA has reached a multi-year media rights agreement with CBS and ESPN, the conference announced Thursday.
“This is a major step forward for Conference USA in terms of our multimedia rights as it relates to streamlined exposure, accessibility for our fans and greater financial resources for our members,” Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said of the deal that begins with the 2023-24 season. “Building on our strong relationships with CBS and ESPN enabled us to provide increased exposure and consistent broadcast homes for our membership and fans as we continue to see the landscape of Conference USA and college athletics evolve.”
The league also announced that all October football games would be played as mid-week matchups and would be carried over CBS Sports Network or the ESPN family of networks.
“ESPN is thrilled to continue its association with Conference USA and improve its selections to offer better and more games than ever before,” said Nick Dawson, Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN. “Our combination of industry leading linear networks and digital platforms will feature hundreds of events across multiple sports each year, providing C-USA, its member institutions, student-athletes and fans unmatched simplicity and access to their favorite C-USA teams and games.”
The ESPN deal also includes carriage on ESPN+ or ESPN3 of all games not aired on linear platforms. The deal affords CBS Sports Network with tier one status for 18 annual C-USA football games for the contract’s duration. CBS Sports Network will continue to carry the football championship.
Damien Sordelett of the Lynchburg News & Advance indicates in his story a report from Brett McMurphy of The Action Network that league schools will receive at least $800,000 per year. The deal is also slated to run five years, per that report.
No additional terms of the deal were announced. The full slate of games and their assigned carriers will be announced later.