ESPN continues its stranglehold in college sports. Late last week, the Worldwide Leader announced a 10-year extension of its media rights agreement agreement with the Missouri Valley Conference. This agreement now runs through the 2023-24 season.

The new contract immediately establishes a dedicated online channel of MVC sports which is branded “The Valley on ESPN3.” The Valley joins other conferences including the ACC, America East, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Big West, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, and the Sun Belt which all have online channels on ESPN3.

In addition, ESPN will work with the conference’s 10 member schools to develop in-house production facilities which will increase the number of MVC events on ESPN3. Once the capabilities are put into place at all MVC institutions, it means that in the last six years of the contract, there will be a minimum of 820 sporting events including at least 70 basketball games that will be available online.

ESPN keeps the rights to the men’s conference basketball tournament semifinals and championship game as well as the women’s conference championship. And ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNews have the rights to various basketball games and Olympic sports events.

ESPN and the Missouri Valley have been media partners dating back to 1986. It also keeps another conference locked with the Worldwide Leader for another decade.

[Wichita State Athletics]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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