ESPN Inks Rights Deal with Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association
ESPN and the Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association (CIAA) have signed a multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement, enhancing ESPN’s college sports portfolio and coverage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with the addition of the conference’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. ESPNU will carry both CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Games, while all 22 games of both tournaments will be available on an ESPN platform through at least 2024.
The new agreement marks the first time both men’s and women’s tournaments will have expanded coverage on ESPN platforms. An ESPN platform last carried the men’s tournament in 2017 and women’s event in 2012.
The 2022 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will take place February 22-26 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md. The men’s tournament is celebrating its 76th year, while it will be the 47th edition of the women’s tournament.
“We are excited to carry the men’s and women’s CIAA basketball tournament on ESPN platforms adding to our expansive conference tournament coverage and commitment to HBCU sports,” says Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. “The CIAA tournament is more than just a basketball event, it is an incredible cultural gathering with past, present and future hall of famers and legendary coaches. We are so honored to be able to tell its story.”
“Teaming up with ESPN to showcase the rich legacy of the CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments across their digital platforms is right where we want to be in terms of exposure of our championship,” says CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “This relationship properly aligns with our strategic plan to enhance the visibility and experience of our student-athletes, coaches, member institutions, and the CIAA community, including our fans and alumni. I am excited to renew our relationship with ESPN.”