Conference USA has had to pursue some unconventional options since Fox decided not to renew their share of its TV deal, including a deal with beIN Sports as their fourth TV partner (alongside ESPN, CBS Sports Network, and the American Sports Network). Now, they’re kicking things up on the streaming side, signing a new streaming deal with Campus Insiders and an expanded deal with ESPN3.
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Conference USA and Campus Insiders have entered into a partnership to produce and stream live content from the league, including six football games this season. Campus Insiders will showcase a number of live-stream events from other C-USA sports, numerous interviews, on-demand video content, as well as feature stories and highlight packages throughout the year.
“Our partnership with Campus Insiders helps us give our fans something beyond the traditional viewing experience with live events streamed online and through its channels on various streaming media players,” Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said. “Together, we feel we can provide that behind-the-scenes perspective in our live content and through original features.”
“We are proud to welcome Conference USA to our growing roster of conference partners” said Brooks Boyer, CEO of Silver Chalice, the parent company of Campus Insiders. “Conference USA shares our vision to reach its fans on the most relevant digital platforms with television quality programming and the ability to engage directly with our audience for a unique, interactive experience.”
All Conference USA programming is available throughout the Campus Insiders Network, which includes www.campusinsiders.com, mobile apps and connected TV apps (including AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Xbox) as well as strategic partners including Twitter, Sling TV, and Verizon’s go90 platforms. Specific game schedules and places to watch Conference USA games will be listed on the Campus Insiders website.
And here’s the release they sent Friday about their partnership with ESPN3 (streaming-only content available through WatchESPN):
Conference USA and ESPN3 will provide fans with a large number of live events from the league across a number of sports. Included will be regular-season competition, as well as exclusive live content from Media Days and various championships.
“Offering fans our content through ESPN’s streaming channels, as well as our own will definitely provide more exposure to our great programs,” Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said. “If our fans can’t be in our stadiums and arenas, we are excited to give them more opportunities to see their favorite teams compete regardless of where they may be when the events take place.”
Ten Conference USA regular-season football games will kick off the ESPN3 coverage, beginning on Saturday, Oct. 15. Additionally, ESPN3 will stream 10 men’s basketball and 10 women’s basketball games this winter and 10 baseball and 10 softball regular-season contests in the spring of 2017.
Fox’s decision to pull out of Conference USA TV discussions certainly created some issues for the league, but it’s smart that they’re extensively exploring streaming in addition to traditional TV broadcasts. Streaming’s becoming more and more important across sports, and it’s becoming not all that different from TV, especially for those who have connected devices such as Roku, XBox and Apple TV or other setups that let you watch streaming games on TV.
We’ll see how these moves work out for Conference USA, but working with streaming partners as well as conventional broadcasters seems like a logical fit for them.
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