ESPN and the American Kennel Club (AKC), the governing body of dog sports, have entered into a new, expanded five-year agreement, renewing ESPN’s media rights for televising of AKC-recognized dog sports events.
The agreement, which continues a relationship that began in 2019, maintains ESPN as the AKC’s exclusive dog sports media partner in the United States. AKC events will be distributed across ESPN’s television and digital platforms.
ESPN will distribute a minimum of nine AKC events per year under the renewal, beginning with the AKC Agility National Championship in February of 2023.
Among other AKC events that will be distributed on ESPN platforms under the renewed agreement:
- AKC National Championship (conformation)
- AKC Agility Premier Cup
- AKC Diving Dogs Premier Cup
- AKC Flyball Dog Challenge
- AKC Fastest Dogs USA
ESPN and the AKC first collaborated on “ESPN Dog Day” in August of 2019, a live event held on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Ct., and televised on ESPN.
Before the start of the renewed agreement, AKC programming will have a strong presence on ESPN platforms in December and January, highlighted by the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, the largest dog show in North America.
Highlights of the show, held Dec. 17-18 in Orlando, Fla., will air in a three-hour special on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. ET on ABC. The event features more than 5,000 of the world’s top canine competitors from across the country and around the globe as they vie for Best in Show honors and the title of America’s National Champion.
Upcoming 2022 AKC programming on ESPN platforms (all times Eastern):
|Dec. 9||2 p.m.||AKC Disc Dog Challenge||ESPN2|
|Dec. 11||10 p.m.||AKC Heroes – 2022 Awards for Canine Excellence||ESPN2|
|Dec. 25||2:30 p.m.||AKC Agility Dogs Invitational||ESPN2|
|4:30 p.m.||AKC Disc Dog Challenge||ESPN2|
|Jan. 1, 2023||2 p.m.||AKC National Championship||ABC|
About the American Kennel Club
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization, which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred and mixed breed dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.
AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.
ESPN: [email protected]
AKC: [email protected]
(Photos courtesy American Kennel Club)