National Lacrosse League Signs Historic Multiyear Agreement with ESPN

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National Lacrosse League Signs Historic Multiyear Agreement with ESPN

Multiplatform relationship gives ESPN Exclusive U.S. Domestic and Global Rights Outside of Canada for the First Time

The National Lacrosse League, the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the most extensive United States media rights agreement in its history, giving ESPN and ESPN+ exclusive rights in the U.S. and the rest of the world outside Canada for live NLL games. All NLL games will be carried on an ESPN network or platform. ESPN linear networks – with a minimum of 10 live games annually – and ESPN+ will combine to carry up to 139 games exclusively each year. It will be the largest number of live televised games in the history of the league.

“We are so proud, honored and excited to work with ESPN and ESPN+ in this unprecedented landmark announcement for the NLL.  Never before in the 35-year history of the league have fans, sponsors, teams and players had this type of access and exposure across the United States,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz“While we, our sport and the industry continue to focus on digital native fans, we will also have the benefit of expanded reach through live distribution on ESPN linear networks.  We’ve been steadily building on our media strategy and towards this kind of distribution over the last few years and are excited about the momentum an announcement like this generates heading into NLL Faceoff Weekend, December 3-4.”

“We’re thrilled to reach this new multi-year rights agreement with the National Lacrosse League, adding to our already extensive commitment to the sport of lacrosse on ESPN platforms. The NLL features elite players competing in an exciting and fast-paced game that we look forward to showcasing across ESPN and ESPN+ in the years ahead,” said Dan Margulis, Senior Director, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN.

The broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 season on ESPN’s linear networks will be announced in the coming weeks. The regular season begins with the Vancouver Warriors at San Diego Seals on Friday, December 3; and six games on Saturday December 4, including the debut of the expansion Panther City (TX) Lacrosse Club at the Philadelphia Wings and the 2019 NLL Championship Finals rematch between the Calgary Roughnecks and Buffalo Bandits in Buffalo.

The agreement with ESPN follows an earlier announcement for TSN in Canada for both linear television and live streaming coverage of NLL games, the first broadcast deal for the NLL in Canada since 2016.

For the most up-to-date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com.

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas NLL, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information visit NLL.com.

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc. is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment brand featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN launched on September 7, 1979, and is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20 percent interest.

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 ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com 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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Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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