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espn makes deal with MEAC and SWAC Posted on 02-18-2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 14, 2005 ESPNU REACHES EXTENSIVE AGREEMENT WITH MEAC AND SWAC THROUGH 2011-12 Pact Includes Football, Men's and Women's Basketball, Baseball, Softball and More on ESPNU Launching "03-04-05"; Live Football and Men's Basketball on ESPN Classic ESPNU, a multimedia college sports initiative including a 24-hour television network launching "03-04-05", has reached a seven-year agreement (through 2011-12) with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), two prominent HBCU (Historically Black College/University) leagues, for coverage of multiple sports, including cable exclusives for football and men's basketball. As part of the agreement, ESPN Classic will provide a live telecast of at least one football and one men's basketball game a year from each conference. It was announced by Burke Magnus, vice president and general manager, ESPNU, Dennis Thomas, MEAC commissioner, and Robert Vowels, SWAC commissioner. As part of the agreement: . Regular-season: ESPNU will acquire exclusive cable rights for MEAC and SWAC football and men's basketball. ESPNU will televise a minimum of seven football contests, primarily on Thursday nights, and eight men's basketball games a year from each conference. . Multiple sports: ESPNU will provide extensive action from numerous MEAC and SWAC sports including women's basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, track & field and more. . Conference Championships: ESPNU or ESPN Classic will offer coverage of the SWAC football conference championship. Also, ESPNU will televise matchups from each conference's men's and women's basketball tournaments. ESPN2 will continue to cover the MEAC and SWAC men's basketball conference championships, while ESPNU will televise the women's. . ESPN Classic: ESPN Classic will offer live telecasts of at least one MEAC and SWAC football and men's basketball contest a year. "These agreements illustrate the wide-ranging collection of quality ESPNU offerings that will serve college sports fans everywhere," Magnus said. "We look forward to providing tremendous national exposure of these two historic conferences and their member institutions. Sports fans across the country can tune to ESPNU, ESPN Classic and ESPN2 to learn more about the fascinating stories about the great rivalries, athletes and traditions of these teams." Thomas said, "This is truly a groundbreaking moment for the MEAC. To have a partnership with a world-known brand like ESPN is significant. I must commend ESPN's leadership for not only seeing a value in our product but having the financial courage to make a commitment to our conference. There are some encouraging benefits outside of the obvious television exposure which will give our universities and athletic programs world-wide exposure. This deal will provide our coaches and student-athletes an opportunity to be seen by the world. I would not be surprised if some of our coaches would move on to other opportunities collegiate and professionally by virtue of people seeing their product. We look forward to the MEAC growing with the ESPNU brand." Vowels added, "We are excited about the opportunity to partner with ESPN, the world leader in multimedia sports entertainment. ESPN has made a tremendous commitment to diversity and inclusion and that fits within our scope. The partnership will enable millions of viewers to learn about the history of the 10 historically black institutions that are members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. More importantly, the partnership provides a national and international platform to build the SWAC brand, heighten the awareness, showcase each campus and provide pertinent information about the academic and athletic programs at each institution." The new pact also includes distribution rights for MEAC and SWAC programming across numerous ESPN platforms, including ESPN Mobile (wireless), ESPN Interactive, ESPN 360 (formerly ESPN Broadband), ESPN.com, ESPN Pay-Per-View, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and more. ESPNU In addition to the TV network, ESPNU content and components will be featured across ESPN's family of services, such as ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Mobile (wireless), ESPN Radio, ESPN Interactive, ESPN Broadband, merchandising and more. On the 24-hour ESPNU TV network, event programming will be the cornerstone, highlighted by approximately 300 live events (regular season and NCAA Championships) in the network's first year. Action will include a variety of top Division I football and men's and women's basketball mixed with baseball, softball, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, wrestling and more. ESPNU will also offer comprehensive studio programming, replays of ABC Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television games, plus specials and more. Cross-promotion for ESPNU, supporting television and other media, will extend across all entities. ESPN REGIONAL TELEVISION ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., will handle the primary production responsibilities for the ESPNU television network out of its Charlotte, N.C. headquarters. ERT is the nation's largest syndicator of college sports programming with more than 740 events produced each year, accounting for more than 2,000 live and/or original hours. - 30 - Contacts: Josh Krulewitz at 860-766-2319; josh.krulewitz@espn.com or Michael Humes at 860-766-2233; michael.c.humes@espn.com Michelle Jinks Director of Media Relations Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 102 N. Elm Street, Suite 401 Greensboro, NC 27401 336-275-9961 office
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replied on 02-19-2005 02:52PM [Reply]
Awww HELL YEA!!!
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