NEW ORLEANS–The Sun Belt Conference and ESPN have announced a content expansion within their agreement that will result in exclusive distribution of as many as 50 additional Sun Belt events on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen sports network.
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“ESPN continues to live up to its billing as the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ with the advances that it has made in digital content,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. “ESPN3 and WatchESPN have revolutionized how viewers consume sports. We are excited to be part of that and eager to display the Sun Belt to the 92 million homes that ESPN3 reaches.”
Fans will begin seeing the product of the expanded agreement this fall when a number of Sun Belt football games will be exclusively produced and distributed on ESPN3.
Georgia State’s football games against New Mexico State (Sept. 6) and Air Force (Sept. 13) have already been announced for ESPN3 production. The first Football Bowl Subdivision game in the nation, Georgia State’s opener against Abilene Christian on Aug. 27, will also be seen on ESPNU.
The fall sports season will feature the conference’s women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball championships on the network. A number of men’s and women’s regular-season basketball games will be available along with every contest from the 2015 Sun Belt Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. Baseball will be featured heavily in the spring with regular-season games and up to seven matchups from the conference championship being made available. Several games from the 2015 Softball Championship will also be carried on ESPN3.
“We regularly work with our league partners on ways to expand the distribution of content across our various platforms,” said Brent Colborne, director of ESPN programming. “The incremental events added from the expansion with the Sun Belt is a great complement to our current long-term agreement with the conference.”
The deal will also be instrumental in the future of airing more live events as the conference and ESPN will work jointly to develop a school production-based model. This will result in Sun Belt members being able to deliver high quality productions that can be featured on ESPN3 throughout the year.
“One of the more unique aspects of this alliance is that the Sun Belt is going to work with ESPN to make sure our institutions are capable of producing their own content that meets ESPN3’s production standards,” Benson said. “This has the potential to make a tremendous impact on the total number of Sun Belt contests, in all sports, that will be available on ESPN3.”