Conference USA Announces New Multimedia Rights Partnerships
Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced a new innovative, multi-year,multimedia rights partnership with CBS Sports, making them the primary rightsholder for C-USA football and men’s basketball, televising the conference’s best games, including the championship game in each sport on CBS Sports Network.
MacLeod also announced that Stadium has expanded on last year’s partnership and will receive a strong selection of C-USA football and men’s basketball games.
“While exploring our options for future exposure, continuing our tremendous relationship with CBS Sports was a priority given our history,” says MacLeod.
“We recognized this was an ideal opportunity to build on our existing partnerships with CBS and Stadium to stay on the forefront of broadcasting through both digital distribution and traditional means. We will continue pioneering fresh and innovative ways to deliver our diverse audience a multitude of viewing options on emerging platforms.”
Beginning with the 2018-19 season, CBS Sports Network will broadcast nine football games plus the C-USA Football Championship and eight men’s basketball games per year, as well as the C-USA men’s basketball championships semifinals and men’s and women’s basketball championship games.
CBS Sports also has reached an innovative deal with Facebook to sublicense and produce select C-USA football and basketball games that will broadcast exclusively on Facebook. The agreement allows for three football games and six basketball games per year to air on Facebook. The games will be a CBS Sports production, with CBS Sports announcers, graphics and branding.
“We are excited to extend our relationship with Conference USA for another five years and welcome Facebook as our new partner,” says Dan Weinberg, executive vice president, programming, CBS Sports.
“This unique deal allows CBS Sports Network to become the primary home of Conference USA, televising the conference’s top games, including the championship games for both sports. And in doing so, we are bringing on a new partner in Facebook, sub-licensing select games and extending the CBS Sports brand to a new platform.”
Building on last year’s successes, Stadium will broadcast 15 football games and 17 men’s basketball games for the 2018-19 season. The deal includes the men’s quarterfinal rounds in the league’s annual basketball championship. The multi-platform sports network will broadcast seven of the 15 football games and 10 of the 21 men’s basketball games exclusively on Facebook. It will also continue to produce C-USA events for all of its digital and broadcast distribution partners including WatchStadium.com, the Stadium apps, and over-the-air broadcast and cable retransmission, in select markets.
“We are thrilled to deepen and extend our relationship with Conference USA, its great member institutions and fan bases, and with our partners at Facebook,” said Stadium CEO, Jason Coyle.
“We are excited to work with the Conference to ensure that its games are produced and distributed at the cutting edge of sports media.”
Stadium launched its 24/7, all-platform sports network in August 2017 and began its groundbreaking live streaming partnership with Facebook in 2017-18. The first Stadium game on Facebook Watch took place on Sep. 2, 2017 when Miami played at Marshall. Stadium will continue to deliver uniquely coordinated production assets and social elements for its Facebook Watch broadcasts, making the viewing experience as interactive and personal as possible.
The games produced by CBS Sports and Stadium for Facebook will be available to fans in the U.S. on Facebook Watch. Fans globally will be able to access these games via CBS Sports and Stadium’s respective show pages.
“No matter if it’s at a tailgate or on Facebook, college sports bring people together,” says Rob Shaw, Facebook Sports Media and League Partnerships Lead.
“So we’re thrilled to partner with CBS Sports and Stadium to distribute exclusive, live Conference USA games to a global audience on our platform. We look forward to collaborating with these great broadcast partners to deliver interactive and social productions on Facebook Watch. This will enable fans to experience the excitement of C-USA football and basketball in unique and engaging ways next season.”