FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 14th, 2023
ATLANTIC 10 ANNOUNCES MEDIA RIGHTS AGREEMENT WITH CBS SPORTS, ESPN, AND NBC SPORTS
Linear Television and Streaming Offerings Expand, Increasing Overall Rights Fee and Production Support
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Atlantic 10 Conference has secured new five-year agreements with long-time partners CBS Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports for enhanced media and television rights. The agreements, which were announced Thursday, significantly increase men’s and women’s basketball national exposure, brand marketing, production investment and rights fee revenue for the A-10 membership beginning with the 2024-25 season.
The new agreements represent a 40 percent increase in rights fee revenue, considerable expansion for the league’s robust linear television coverage, and increases the number of basketball championship games by 30 percent over previous agreements. Endeavor’s WME Sports and IMG advised the A-10 on the new deals.
“This media rights agreement is a critical part of maintaining the league’s national position, branding and relevance in men’s and women’s basketball. Our Institutions, student-athletes, coaches, and fans will benefit as the A-10 coverage will continue to be comprehensive,” stated Bernadette V. McGlade, Atlantic 10 Commissioner. “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with CBS Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports and to expand these outstanding partnerships. I thank each media company and their leadership as well as Endeavor’s WME Sports and IMG teams for the commitment to the Atlantic 10 Conference.”
The CBS Television Network and Paramount+ will continue to present the Men’s Basketball Championship final as part of its NCAA Selection Sunday coverage, while ESPN retains the Women’s Basketball Championship final. CBS Sports Network will continue to carry both the men’s and women’s semifinals.
“As partners of the Atlantic 10 for more than two decades, we’re thrilled to extend our long-standing relationship with the conference,” said Dan Weinberg, EVP Programming, CBS Sports. “We look forward to remaining the primary home of A-10 postseason basketball, including the men’s championship final and the men’s and women’s semifinals, as well as offering an expanded slate of regular-season men’s and women’s basketball games across our platforms.”
ESPN Networks will continue to televise the top A-10 regular season selections in both men’s and women’s basketball. The league also enhanced its streaming rights agreement with ESPN+. Coupled with the linear expansion, and additional television markets established in recent years, the A-10 now has exceptional distribution to serve its fans in a national media footprint. All basketball games not broadcast by a linear partner will be streamed on ESPN+, as will a significant number of Olympic Sports contests. Over the past two years, A-10 institutions have produced over 1,000 events each year on ESPN+, the leading sports streaming service.
“ESPN has had a collaborative and productive relationship with the Atlantic 10 Conference for more than 25 years, and we are very pleased to continue working together through this media rights extension,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions. “We look forward to showcasing even more top rivalries and exceptional student-athletes in the years ahead across a variety of A-10 sports on our networks and ESPN+.”
The Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship will have all fourteen (14) games broadcast on linear television. NBC Sports will add three opening round games to its linear coverage capping off full Championship national TV coverage. The A-10 Women’s Championship quarterfinals, four additional games, will now be carried by NBC Sports lifting the national broadcasts for women to seven (7) championship games. The NBC Sports games will be televised on USA Network. Tournament coverage is in addition to 28 regular season games televised by NBC Sports.
“NBC Sports is thrilled to continue our partnership with the Atlantic-10 Conference for the next five seasons,” said Matthew Grassie, Director of Programming & Rights Management at NBC Sports. “Adding more men’s tournament games and our first set of women’s tournament games on our platforms will only help to increase the exposure of the A-10 to college basketball fans.”
Atlantic 10 institutions reside in states that comprise 39.9 million television households, 33 percent of the total national market. A-10 institutions are located in seven of the top 30 media markets, including New York (1), Chicago (3), Philadelphia (4), Washington (8), Charlotte (21), St. Louis (24) and Pittsburgh (26). All 15 institutions are within or adjacent to the top 60 media markets.
Within the lifetime of this contract, the A-10 will celebrate its 50th Anniversary as a Division I conference during the 2025-26 academic year. All three media partners are committed to engage in this season of celebration.
“This is a strong and exciting outcome for the A-10,” said Dr. Eric Spina, President at the University of Dayton and Chair of the A-10 Presidents Council. “The A-10 is a proud basketball conference with competitive, dynamic games throughout the season. We appreciate and value our broadcast partners, and it is clear they value the A-10.”
- Five-year agreement
- 2024-25 athletic season through 2028-29 athletic season
- Not Disclosed
- Provides a significant increase in the Conference’s television rights fees
- LINEAR: ESPN Networks, CBS/Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network, USA Network
- STREAMING: ESPN+ (except for national linear games), select games on Peacock/NBC Sports.com
- ADDITIONAL: Select regional/local linear coverage for non-national games
Basketball Regular Season Programming – Linear Coverage
- 98 men’s and women’s basketball games
- 28 regular season men’s games and eight regular season women’s games, plus ancillary studio coverage and original programming on CBS Sports Network
- ESPN Networks will air 11 men’s and two women’s regular season basketball games
- NBC Sports will televise 25 regular season men’s games and three regular season women’s games
Basketball Championship Programming – Linear Coverage
- All 14 Men’s Basketball Championship games
- First & Second Rounds, Quarterfinals – USA Network/NBC Sports
- Semifinals – CBS Sports Network
- Final – CBS and Paramount+
- Women’s Basketball quarterfinals, semifinals and final (7 games)
- Quarterfinals – USA Network/NBC Sports
- Semifinals – CBS Sports Network
- Final – ESPN Networks
- Linear games will stream through the partner carrying that game
- All other basketball games, not chosen for national linear coverage on ESPN+, with select games on Peacock/NBCSports.com
- Women’s Basketball Championship First & Second round on ESPN+
- Minimum of approximately 650 Olympic Sports Events on ESPN+
About the Atlantic 10 Conference
The Atlantic 10 Conference was founded in 1975 and consists of 15 diverse members across nine states and Washington, D.C. The mission of the Atlantic 10 is to provide an enhanced student-athlete experience through 22 nationally competitive championship sports. The basketball-centric conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for its student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The membership consists of Davidson College, the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, Loyola University Chicago, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, visit www.atlantic10.com.
About ESPN and ESPN+
ESPN, the world’s leading multiplatform sports entertainment brand, features eight U.S. television networks, the leading sports app, direct-to-consumer ESPN+, leading social and digital platforms, ESPN.com, ESPN Audio, endeavors on every continent around the world, and more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by Hearst.
ESPN+ is the No. 1 sports streaming platform, serving fans in the U.S. with exclusive access to more than 27,000 live sports events each year, an unmatched library of on-demand replays and acclaimed original content, and premium written articles by the top reporters and analysts from ESPN.com. Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $10.99 a month (or $109.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or in the ESPN App on mobile and connected devices. For more visit the ESPN+ Press Kit.
About CBS Sports
CBS Sports, a year-round leader in cross-platform sports coverage, broadcasts a portfolio of events on the CBS Television Network, including THE NFL ON CBS; college football, including the BIG TEN ON CBS; college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship; golf, including The Masters®, PGA Championship and PGA TOUR; soccer, including the UEFA Champions League and NWSL; and CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR. In addition, the division includes CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports which televises live sports programming throughout the year, including college football and basketball games, soccer matches from UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Serie A, Concacaf and NWSL, as well as a full slate of original programming and studio coverage. CBS Sports also delivers an extensive lineup of global soccer coverage on Paramount+, including every UEFA club competition match, all Serie A matches as well as Concacaf national team competitions. CBS Sports’ multi-platform offerings include CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports apps for mobile and connected TV devices; the 24/7 streaming sports news network CBS SPORTS HQ; the free 24-hour soccer streaming network CBS SPORTS GOLAZO NETWORK; 247Sports; MaxPreps; CBS Sports fantasy games; and SportsLine.
About NBC Sports
NBC Sports connects people to the moments that matter most and serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. As the sports division of NBCUniversal, NBC Sports presents premier content across linear platforms NBC, USA Network, Golf Channel, as well numerous digital sites, including Peacock. NBC Sports possesses an unparalleled collection of media rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the NFL, Big Ten Conference, NASCAR, INDYCAR, PGA TOUR, Notre Dame, The R&A, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, MLB, Tour de France, Roland-Garros, and many more. It also consists of NBC Sports Next, a subdivision of NBC Sports and home to all NBCUniversal digital applications in sports and technology within its three groups: Youth & Recreational Sports, Golf, and Betting & Gaming.
WME is a leading entertainment agency representing the world’s greatest artists, content creators and talent across books, digital media, fashion, film, food, music, sports, television and theater. Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, WME is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.
IMG is a global sports, events and representation company. It is a leader in rights management, multi-channel content production and distribution, consultancy and fan engagement; owns, produces and commercially represents hundreds of live events and experiences; and manages licensing programs for the world’s best-known brands and trademarks. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.