NEWPORT NEWS, Va.
Beginning in 2013-14, all 14 conference members will be in the top 65 media markets in the country and the Atlantic 10 media footprint will reach over 33 million television households.
– The Atlantic 10 Conference has secured eight-year partnerships with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Group for its media and television rights. The agreements, which were announced Tuesday, more than double the men’s and women’s basketball national exposure for the A-10 membership and will begin in 2013-14.
The new agreements will give the league unprecedented reach, distribution and marketing, allowing the Atlantic 10 to better serve its fans in its extensive media footprint and to leverage the promotional platforms and marketing assets of these three major national media companies. The A-10 is in seven of the top 25 media markets, including four of the top 10. Beginning in 2013-14, all 14 conference members will be in the top 65 media markets in the country and the Atlantic 10 media footprint will reach over 33 million television households, which is approximately 33 percent of the US television market.
“Our commitment to basketball at the highest level has allowed us to leverage our national exposure in the best way possible for the Atlantic 10,” stated Bernadette V. McGlade, A-10 Commissioner. “Partnering with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network for the next eight years is truly a historic moment for the A-10 and its member institutions.”
“This announcement is another example of where the Atlantic 10 separates itself from the basketball-centric conferences and lands squarely in any discussion about the top basketball leagues in the country,” University of Dayton Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler said. “Roughly 90% of our men’s basketball games have been on television through local, regional and national coverage for several years now. But this new agreement will expand our exposure into many more homes and markets than ever before.”
The agreements provide over 192 total basketball exposures, including 146 men’s basketball appearances. This includes coverage of the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of both the men’s and women’s basketball championships.
There will be 30 potential men’s basketball appearances on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, 54 on CBS Sports Network and 50 on NBC Sports Network. The A-10 also receives additional commitments from NBC Sports Network Regional outlets. ESPN retains the rights to both the men’s and women’s basketball championship games. ESPN has sublicensed the men’s championship to CBS Sports since 2010. CBS Sports Network will carry the semifinals of both basketball championships and NBC Sports Network will produce the quarterfinals of both championships.
The NBC Sports Group agreement, the first between the A-10 and the new network, also includes a six-game package for the upcoming 2012-13 season. Originally listed on the 2012-13 schedule as A-10 TV, it includes one non-conference game and five conference contests spread out among seven different A-10 member institutions. The games will include significant promotion of the partnership between the Atlantic 10 Conference and NBC Sports Network.
The Atlantic 10’s digital rights and sponsorship rights, both of which were incorporated in previous agreements, are not included in the new deals, giving the league flexibility in its active discussions to determine future platforms for its inventory.
The league also will increase its women’s basketball package to 32 regular season appearances across the three partner networks in addition to the seven championship games for a total of 46 television appearances by A-10 women’s basketball teams. This represents a 77 percent increase in women’s basketball television exposure for the A-10. Provisions of the new agreements also provide for national exposure for a variety of Olympic sports events as well.