CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – The Big South Conference and ESPN have reached a seven-year extension to its media rights deal that will see close to 1,000 conference events carried on ESPN networks -- including a minimum 900 events each year on ESPN+, the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer & International segment and ESPN which launched in April. The agreement runs through 2024-25, 34 years since the longstanding relationship began in 1991.
The comprehensive new deal makes ESPN+ the exclusive streaming home of Big South Network productions and features exclusive regular-season and Big South Championship broadcasts, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball and lacrosse, baseball, and softball.
"This is a great day for the Big South," stated Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander. "For 27 years ESPN has carried compelling Big South content, and for 27 years the Big South has been a willing partner for the company's latest innovation -- whether it was ESPNU, ESPN3, or now ESPN+. We have benefited tremendously from ESPN's leadership in the media landscape, and are thrilled to provide seven more years of comprehensive exposure for Big South student-athletes and member institutions!"
Under the arrangement, which includes the last year of the current agreement, the Big South men's basketball championship game will continue to air on either ESPN or ESPN2, while ESPNU will televise six events per season. Additional linear opportunities are included, and the Big South will maintain its exposure on ESPN3.
"We are thrilled to become the exclusive rights holder for the conference, carrying nearly 1,000 games each year on our platforms, including numerous conference championship games," said ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling Burke Magnus. "The Big South also adds to the exclusive content fans can find on ESPN+, which now includes more than 15 college conferences."
The Big South Conference is the latest addition to the comprehensive ESPN+ lineup, which include hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, thousands of college events, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, international rugby, cricket, original shows and series, the full library of 30 for 30 films, and more. ESPN has previously announced deals with Conference USA, Atlantic 10, The Ivy League and Sun Belt, with hundreds of games from each conference available on the platform each year. It offers fans live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN's linear TV or digital networks. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year).
WHAT'S THE BIG SOUTH?
Founded in 1983, the Big South Conference has been an exemplary leader in college athletics, dedicated to developing student-athletes through the pursuit of excellence in the classroom, community and field of play. The league's growing presence as an NCAA Division I athletic conference is made evident by its multitude of athletic accomplishments, innovative marketing and media partnerships, increased television packages and most importantly, its commitment to fostering the academic, personal, social, athletic and leadership development of its student-athletes. Comprised of Campbell University, Charleston Southern University, Gardner-Webb University, Hampton University, High Point University, Longwood University, Presbyterian College, Radford University, UNC Asheville, USC Upstate and Winthrop University, plus football members Kennesaw State University, Monmouth University and the University of North Alabama, Big South member institutions share a common geographic region and similar academic values and purposes. The conference's remarkable history of achievement is characterized by the league's 19 championship sports and the profound academic and life successes of its nearly 4,200 student-athletes. The Big South Conference: Where Winners Are Made.
ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and International division in partnership with ESPN. It offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN's linear TV or digital networks. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year). ESPN+ is an integrated part of the completely redesigned ESPN App. Already the leading sports app, the new ESPN App is the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans and is a showcase of the company's culture of innovation. With a richer, increasingly more personalized experience, the new ESPN App curates all of ESPN's incredible content into an experience unique to each fan's individual tastes. ESPN+ is also available through ESPN.com.