Conference USA announced a new media rights deals on Wednesday. CBS Sports Network will be the primary rights holder, and Conference USA will expand its partnerships with both CBSSN and Stadium, with more games on Facebook, as well.
Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod stated that “While exploring our options for future exposure, continuing our tremendous relationship with CBS Sports was a priority given our history.” CBSSN will broadcast nine C-USA football games in 2018, up from six in 2017. In addition to those nine, the C-USA Championship Game will be broadcast on CBSSN instead of ESPN as in years past.
Like Stadium, CBSSN will also begin streaming three football games via Facebook per year. These will be produced by CBSSN with CBSSN announcers, but will be available exclusively on Facebook.
As for Stadium, 2018 will see 15 C-USA football games produced by the streaming service. Seven of these games will be exclusive to Facebook.
This is an interesting development, especially as the conference appears to be developing a departure from ESPN. Making someone other than the Worldwide Leader your primary rights holder seems risky, especially in terms of exposure. ESPN is far more widely available than CBSSN and is more recognized by the casual sports fan. Not to mention that streaming ESPN is considerably easier.
On the other hand, ESPN is so saturated with content that a lot of their productions are strictly streaming online via ESPN3. Plus, a lot of G5 games are relegated to weekdays. CBSSN is far less saturated, so several of these games can potentially be left on Saturdays, something the fans who want to attend the game will greatly appreciate. Still, expect at least a couple of these games to be moved to Thursday/Friday.
Be on the lookout for more from Underdog Dynasty about this new deal as details continue to emerge.