MVC and ESPN strike 10-year deal

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall watches during practice for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Louisville, Friday, April 5, 2013, in Atlanta. Wichita State plays Louisville in a semifinal game on Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

ESPN and the Missouri Valley Conference have announced a 10-year extension to their current media rights agreement that will provide increased coverage of conference events across ESPN platforms through the 2023-24 academic year.

“The 10-year extension of the ESPN-MVC media rights agreement clearly signals a new era for our Conference,” says Commissioner Doug Elgin. ”Over the term of this new agreement, our member institutions will literally be producing thousands of live events that will be carried on ESPN3.

“The co-branded network that we are announcing today – The Valley on ESPN3 – is recognition that the MVC continues to be relevant in an increasingly competitive Division I environment. The exponential increase in exposure will bring significant benefits to men’s and women’s basketball, and to every Conference-sponsored sport.”

As part of the deal – which continues a business relationship that began in 1986 – ESPN, the Missouri Valley Conference and its 10 member institutions will work jointly to develop in-house production capabilities at each campus that will provide significant national coverage for multiple sports on ESPN3 and hands-on educational opportunities for students. As a result, ESPN3 will showcase a minimum of 820 events a year (a minimum of 70 men’s basketball) in the final six years of the agreement.

Elgin continues: “A key aspect of this new campus-based production model will be the involvement of students in academic programs – broadcast media and journalism majors – providing hands-on experience that will translate to opportunities for our graduates to gain entry into television media.

“I’m proud of the commitment that our Presidents Council and athletics directors are making to our student-athletes and teams, and to the campus community, in general. The opportunity to promote our academic programs, and to showcase individuals throughout our campus communities will also be greatly enhanced. We are extremely grateful that the Missouri Valley’s relationship with ESPN will be stronger than ever.”

ESPN also retains the rights to the Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals and championship and Women’s Basketball Tournament championship each year. The agreement will continue to feature multiple men’s basketball and Olympic sports game telecasts across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS each year.

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