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ESPN+ Announces Deal With Conference USA

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While ESPN+ is still yet to reach an agreement with any major college sports conferences, it has reached a deal with one of the largest mid-major leagues. ESPN has reached a multi-year deal with Conference USA to stream a combined 175 games across their digital platforms. That number includes at least 125 football and men’s and women’s basketball games. More than 100 of those contests will be on ESPN+ with the remainder slotted for ESPN 3.

Conference USA’s media rights have been spread across multiple outlets over the last few seasons with ESPN, FS1, CBS Sports Network, and beIN Sports all having a piece of the conference’s TV rights. Digitally, Conference USA games have shown up on both ESPN3 and Stadium.

The partnership will be very evident come football season. 45 Conference USA football games will be seen on ESPN digital platforms.

Date Time  (ET) Game Network
Sat, Aug. 25 7 p.m. Prairie View A&M at Rice ESPN+
Thu, Aug. 30 8 p.m. Savannah State at UAB ESPN+
Sat, Sept. 1 6 p.m. Fordham at Charlotte ESPN+
7 p.m. Jackson State at Southern Miss ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Northern Arizona at UTEP ESPN3
Sat, Sept. 8 6 p.m. Appalachian State at Charlotte ESPN+
6:30 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Marshall ESPN+
7 p.m. UT Martin at Middle Tennessee ESPN+
7 p.m. Southern at Louisiana Tech ESPN+
7 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Southern Miss ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Incarnate Word at North Texas ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Maine at Western Kentucky ESPN+
Sat, Sept. 15 6 p.m. Old Dominion at Charlotte ESPN3
Sat, Sept. 22 7 p.m. Texas State at UT-San Antonio ESPN+
7 p.m. Rice at Southern Miss ESPN+
7:30 p.m. New Mexico State at UTEP ESPN3
Sat, Sept. 29 TBA Charlotte at UAB ESPN3
7 p.m. UTEP at UT-San Antonio ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Florida International ESPN+
Sat, Oct. 6 7 p.m. UT-San Antonio at Rice ESPN3
Sat, Oct. 13 1 p.m. UAB at Rice ESPN+
2 p.m. Southern Miss at North Texas ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Western Kentucky at Charlotte ESPN+
7 p.m. Louisiana Tech at UT-San Antonio ESPN+
Sat, Oct. 20 3 p.m. Charlotte at Middle Tennessee ESPN3
3:30 p.m. UTEP at Louisiana Tech ESPN+
7 p.m. UT-San Antonio at Southern Miss ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Rice at Florida International ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Old Dominion at Western Kentucky ESPN+
Sat, Oct. 27 2 p.m. Southern Miss at Charlotte ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion ESPN+
4 p.m. Rice at North Texas ESPN+
7:30 p.m. UAB at UTEP ESPN+
Sat, Nov. 3 3:30 p.m. UTEP at Rice ESPN3
Sat, Nov. 10 2 p.m. North Texas at Old Dominion ESPN3
2:30 p.m. Charlotte at Marshall ESPN+
3 p.m. Middle Tennessee at UTEP ESPN+
7 p.m. Rice at Louisiana Tech ESPN+
7 p.m. Florida International at UT-San Antonio ESPN+
Sat, Nov. 17 2 p.m. Florida International at Charlotte ESPN3
2 p.m. VMI at Old Dominion ESPN+
Sat, Nov. 24 1 p.m. Old Dominion at Rice ESPN+
3 p.m. Southern Miss at UTEP ESPN+
3 p.m. UAB at Middle Tennessee ESPN3
7:00 p.m. North Texas at UT-San Antonio ESPN+

Noticeably absent from the current schedule is Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic.

In a statement for ESPN’s press release, Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said:

ESPN has continually positioned itself on the forefront of digital distribution and emerging platforms, which makes them an ideal fit for us.

The deal also gives ESPN+ the rights to Conference USA’s post season tournaments for men’s and women’s soccer as well as baseball, softball, and volleyball.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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