ESPN, Southern Conference Reach Multi-year Agreement
ESPN and the Southern Conference have announced a multi-year agreement for increased coverage of conference event content across numerous ESPN platforms through the 2020-21 academic year. As part of the pact, ESPN and the Southern Conference will work jointly to develop in-house production capabilities at each member institution by 2017 that will provide significant national coverage for Southern Conference sports on ESPN3. As a result, ESPN3 will showcase nearly 2,000 live events over the six years. Mercer and Furman produced content during the 2014-15 campaign.
In the final four years of the contract, a minimum of 45 Southern Conference football games and 200 men’s basketball games will appear on ESPN3 each season.
ESPN will continue to televise men’s college basketball games each season across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNEWS including the conference championship on either ESPN or ESPN2.
The Southern Conference, which will enter its 95th season of intercollegiate competition in 2015-16, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), to tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), to developing women’s championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the 3-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer. The Southern Conference is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association.
The conference currently consists of 10 members in six states throughout the Southeast and sponsors 20 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.