ESPN nets women’s hoops

New deal expands coverage to 63 games

ESPN has clamped an 11-year lock on the NCAA women’s basketball tournament in a rights deal worth about $200 million.

The existing contract for $19 million over seven years expires at the end of the 2001-02 season. But the new deal, which runs from 2003 to 2014, expands the number of women’s basketball games ESPN and ESPN2 will cover from about 30 a year to the full complement of 63 a year.

ESPN and ESPN 2 will be able to squeeze all of those games into its schedule because the networks will do simultaneous regional feeds of 48 games during the first two rounds of the tournament. All of the games will be available to subscribers who pay extra for “ESPN Full Court,” the package of out-of-market games delivered by satellite TV and digital cable.

Stuffed into the ESPN deal are 20 other college championships, including the men’s and women’s college baseball World Series, soccer, ice hockey and indoor track and field.

ESPN also will have more access to the open practices of the Final Four teams involved in the NCAA Men’s Championships to do special reports on the games, which CBS will telecast.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading