AP Sports received the first scoop earlier this afternoon that the Sun Belt Conference has signed an 8-year deal with ESPN. Part of the Sun Belt’s release included an interview with Commissioner Karl Benson.
In a teleconference this afternoon, Benson, Georgia State President Mark Becker, and ESPN executive Nick Dawson fielded questions about the new agreement.
Benson states that this deal will give the conference a “TV and multimedia partner” that will allow each school to gain “greater national attention”. This deal allows the Sun Belt to be “on par with peers” and will provide a “meaningful revenue stream” to each school according to Benson. Dawson states that this deal is “innovative by nature” and that the upcoming ESPN+ streaming service will be a “destination for Sun Belt fans”.
What You Need To Know
- This deal runs through the 2027-2028 school year and will allow ESPN to air all Sun Belt sports.
- The new Sun Belt Championship game will be played on Saturdays and is guaranteed to be aired on national television.
- All Sun Belt home football games will remain available on an ESPN platform.
- Sun Belt will now have at least 10 games per year aired on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. This will begin in 2020.
- Digital productions will get more coverage and each school will need to upgrade studios on campus.
- ESPN+ will be launched this spring and will cost $4.99 per month.