The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) has reached a new, multi-year media rights agreement with ESPN, the WAC and ESPN announced on Tuesday.
Under the new agreement, all WAC home football games will be broadcast on ESPN platforms. Although it was not indicated, most of those contests, if not all, will likely be streamed via ESPN3 or ESPN+.
“The WAC and ESPN have a long history together and it’s exciting to continue that relationship into the future,’ said WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd. “ESPN remains the gold standard when it comes to sports and this multi-year agreement will continue to assist in the WAC’s growth nationally.”
“As the WAC expands its fan base into new markets across the country, we’re pleased to continue ESPN’s association with the conference, which started more than three decades ago. With more than 500 annual events included in this new agreement, we look forward to showcasing the WAC’s talented student-athletes and member institutions,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.
The WAC announced in January that they will reinstate football at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level beginning with the 2022 season. Five schools are moving to the WAC from other conferences. Abilene Christian, Lamar, Sam Houston State, and Stephen F. Austin State will move from the Southland Conference, while Southern Utah will enter from the Big Sky Conference.
Two other schools, Dixie State and Tarleton State, will also join the WAC football lineup in 2022. Both schools are current members of the WAC in other sports, but their football programs will both play as Independents during the fall 2021 season.
“Enhancing our relationship with ESPN allows fans around the WAC and the country to see our stellar brand of college sports,” added WAC executive director of broadcasting Eric Danner. “ESPN+ has grown exponentially in the past three years and we are thrilled to now have hundreds of regular season events and WAC championship productions associated with the strongest brand in sports.”