ESPN Reaches Multi-Year Agreement with the CIAA for Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments

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ESPN Reaches Multi-Year Agreement with the CIAA for Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments

  • Multi-year Agreement Through at Least 2024
  • Men’s and Women’s Tournament Championship Games to Air on ESPNU
  • All 22 Tournament Games Available on an ESPN Platform

ESPN and the Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association (CIAA) have announced a multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement, enhancing ESPN’s college sports portfolio and coverage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with the addition of the conference’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. ESPNU will carry both CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Games, while all 22 games of both tournaments will be available on an ESPN platform through at least 2024.

The new agreement marks the first time both men’s and women’s tournaments will have expanded coverage on ESPN platforms. An ESPN platform last carried the men’s tournament in 2017 and women’s event in 2012.

The 2022 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will take place February 22-26 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md. The men’s tournament is celebrating its 76th year, while it will be the 47th edition of the women’s tournament.

“We are excited to carry the men’s and women’s CIAA basketball tournament on ESPN platforms adding to our expansive conference tournament coverage and commitment to HBCU sports,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. “The CIAA tournament is more than just a basketball event, it is an incredible cultural gathering with past, present and future hall of famers and legendary coaches. We are so honored to be able to tell its story.”

“Teaming up with ESPN to showcase the rich legacy of the CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments across their digital platforms is right where we want to be in terms of exposure of our championship,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “This relationship properly aligns with our strategic plan to enhance the visibility and experience of our student-athletes, coaches, member institutions, and the CIAA community, including our fans and alumni. I am excited to renew our relationship with ESPN.”

About the CIAA

Founded in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is the first and longest running, African American athletic conference in the U.S. and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 14 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. In 2020, the conference celebrated the special 75th anniversary of its Championship Basketball Tournament – an event that has become a must-see in the African American community. The Basketball Tournament has been honored as a Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, for both 2018 and 2019.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Claflin University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Winston-Salem State University. Chowan University is an associate member in football and women’s bowling. For more information on the CIAA, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

About Van Wagner
Van Wagner, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Van Wagner Group LLC, creates, advises, and sells on behalf of world-class teams, leagues, brands, properties, and colleges. An innovator in the sports and media business, Van Wagner is a global leader in high-impact broadcast visible signage throughout the MLB, NBA, NCAA, and the highest levels of international soccer, sponsorships sales, premium ticketing, college multi-media rights, and in-venue content production at the world’s biggest sporting events.


ESPNU launched March 4, 2005, with the 24-hour college sports television network televising more than 750 live events annually. Action includes a variety of top football and men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as Olympic sports from 26 Division I conferences. ESPNU is the destination for premier collegiate and high school programming, including elite football, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer and gymnastic events. ESPNU, as part of ESPN’s wide-ranging agreement with the NCAA, has extensive coverage of NCAA Championship events.

About ESPN+
ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 14.9 million subscribers.

Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $6.99 a month (or $69.99 per year) at, or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).

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