ESPN today announced details of a new multiyear rights agreement with the Western Athletic Conference, which will feature over 500 events on ESPN+ and other digital platforms this year.
The deal also includes linear coverage of the WAC men’s and women’s basketball championship games, along with other events throughout the season.
Via ESPN’s announcement:
“The WAC and ESPN have a long history together and it’s exciting to continue that relationship into the future,’ said WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd. “ESPN remains the gold standard when it comes to sports and this multi-year agreement will continue to assist in the WAC’s growth nationally.”
“As the WAC expands its fan base into new markets across the country, we’re pleased to continue ESPN’s association with the conference, which started more than three decades ago. With more than 500 annual events included in this new agreement, we look forward to showcasing the WAC’s talented student-athletes and member institutions,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.
All home football and men’s and women’s basketball games will reside on ESPN platforms, as well as selected other events. The WAC will also produce and air over 70 championship events on ESPN+ in the upcoming year.
“Enhancing our relationship with ESPN allows fans around the WAC and the country to see our stellar brand of college sports,” added WAC executive director of broadcasting Eric Danner. “ESPN+ has grown exponentially in the past three years and we are thrilled to now have hundreds of regular season events and WAC championship productions associated with the strongest brand in sports.”
The deal ensures ESPN keeps another reservoir of live digital content, much of it happening in the evenings and even later for viewers in the eastern part of the United States. The WAC features a footprint mostly in the Southwest, as you’d expect, and the ability to have live games on ESPN+ for gambling enthusiasts might be a draw in addition to being a good reason for fans of schools like New Mexico State and Stephen F. Austin to keep subscribing to ESPN+.