The Northeast Conference (NEC) and ESPN have announced a multi-year, multi-platform extension of their media rights agreement.
The extension, which was negotiated with assistance from LEONA, will carry the league’s longstanding relationship with ESPN through the 2025-26 season.
“The NEC has deep roots with ESPN, and we look forward to broadening our relationship in the years to come,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “We truly appreciate ESPN’s continued support in helping the NEC grow its brand, expand its fanbase and bring national exposure to the conference by showcasing our member institutions and student-athletes. Their innovative approach within the college athletics space will continue to provide the NEC with countless opportunities to tell our story.”
Under the arrangement, ESPN will televise the NEC men’s and women’s basketball championship games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU each year and provide the NEC with two additional regular season basketball appearances on ESPNU annually.
NEC men’s and women’s basketball games will continue to be showcased on ESPN digital platforms throughout the regular season and into the postseason, with a minimum of six NEC Tournament games to be streamed.
ESPN platforms will also serve as the home for a wide array of NEC Championship events, along with select football games.
“ESPN has enjoyed a successful relationship with the Northeast Conference for three and a half decades and we’re pleased that we will have the opportunity to continue to showcase the fine institutions and talented student-athletes throughout the NEC across our platforms,” added Dan Margulis, senior director of programming, ESPN.
The NEC’s relationship with ESPN dates back to 1988, when the NEC men’s basketball title game was added to ESPN Championship Week coverage. The NEC women’s basketball final was added in 2008. ESPN and the NEC entered into a broader, multi-sport relationship in 2013 and expanded the scope of the agreement as part of a five-year extension that commenced during the 2018-19 season.
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 42nd season, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of nine institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to a number of the largest markets in the United States including New York (#1), Boston (#9), Hartford/New Haven (#33) and Providence (#53). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 24 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 15 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U, Stonehill and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, all @NECsports.
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.
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 24.9 million subscribers. Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $9.99 a month (or $99.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices).