Regular Underdog readers and followers of CUSA will recall that recently the conference took a big hit in terms of TV revenue, as the television bubble burst and content is shifting to online streaming. It was shortly after this news that beIN SPORTS announced their online deal to air and stream CUSA games starting this season.
Well, new details of this deal have been announced and they are far, far beyond merely “dumping games on the internet.”
Each online broadcast will feature a 30-minute pregame show, half-time show, and post-game wrap-up. In-studio talent includes beIN Sports’ Jeremy St. Louis, whose work you may not be familiar with, and former NFL quarterback Donovan F. McNabb, whose work is a little easier to find online. They’ll be joined by former Dolphins wide receiver O.J. McDuffie, and former #1 overall draft pick Ki-Jana Carter.
These people will be talking about CUSA games. That’s it. The 14 teams of Conference USA and nothing else, no wading through coverage of some conference you don’t like to get to the good stuff, this is 4+ hours of CUSA coverage, minimum, every Saturday during the season.
There are a lot of places to stream college games, and Underdog Dynasty occasionally links some of the best options for game day as part of our previews. But with this deal the Miami-based beIN has really set themselves apart, covering a variety of CUSA sports with legitimate on-air talent.
As Underdogs, we’re cautiously optimistic, as new sporting ventures don’t always necessarily live up to the hype (Fox Sports One, anybody?). But for Conference USA, this puts them a step ahead of every Group-of-Five conference, save for the Mountain West, who has their own network.
We’ll cover this more during the season, but for now this is some great news for a conference that’s been sorely needing it. Bring on the season!