The Southland Conference has announced a new multi-year, multi-platform extension and expansion of the league’s media rights agreement with ESPN and ESPN+, the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. More than 1,500 Southland events in both men’s and women’s sports will air on ESPN+ through the 2024-25 academic year. In addition, the annual Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Championship game will continue to air on ESPN or ESPN2.
“We are very excited to announce that our long-standing relationship with ESPN, more than 30 years now, will continue well into the future,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “In recent years, our broadcast offerings at the Conference and institutional level have grown exponentially, and we greatly appreciate ESPN continuing to see the value in televising and promoting our institutions and student-athletes.”
“Having worked with the Southland Conference for more than three decades, we are delighted to expand our relationship to showcase even more of the member schools and student-athletes in the years ahead across ESPN and ESPN+ through this new agreement,” added Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.
The Southland Conference relationship with ESPN goes back to the 1988 Men’s Basketball Tournament. As part of this new agreement, select Southland Conference events have already started airing on ESPN+. The 2020-21 schedule will continue with more fall events, the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, and the spring semester sports, including the football schedule which was postponed for most Southland programs. ESPN+ will also offer expanded coverage of other Conference championship events as part of the new agreement.
About the Southland Conference
Founded in 1963, the Southland Conference sponsors 19 Division I sports, including FCS football, and serves more than 4,500 student-athletes at its 13 member institutions in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. The membership of the Southland encompasses nearly 140,000 current students and an alumni base of 800,000. The collective group of athletic programs serves a local population base of nearly 14 million people, and the league boasts six television markets in the Top 100 of the U.S., including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans and Little Rock. The Southland Conference is located in Frisco, Texas, one of America’s fastest-growing cities and recently named by Money Magazine as the No. 1 Place to Live in the U.S. Sports organizations affiliated with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer are also headquartered in Frisco. The Southland annually serves as the host conference for the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game.
ESPN+ is the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service from Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown quickly to 8.5 million subscribers in less than two years, offering fans thousands of live events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, as well as premium editorial content.
Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $5.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) through the ESPN App, (on mobile and connected devices), ESPN.com or ESPNplus.com. It is also available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+ — all for just $12.99/month.