New York, NY – January 05, 2011 – Conference USA and Fox Sports Media Group have reached a new multi-year agreement for national television rights to a variety of marquee Conference USA events, including football, basketball, and Olympic sports. The new pact, which takes effect with the 2011 football season, was announced today by Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and FOX Sports Networks President Randy Freer.
According to terms of the agreement, FOX Sports Networks (FSN) will showcase a minimum of 20 regular-season football games per season, a minimum of 10 regular-season men’s basketball games, five women’s basketball games, and a variety of Olympic sports events. The C-USA football championship game will also be carried on FSN, FOX Sports, or FX, the company’s flagship general entertainment cable network available in over 98 million homes. FSN programming is distributed nationally to more than 85 million homes through more than two dozen owned and affiliated regional sports networks.”This is a huge step forward for our Conference and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Fox,” Banowsky said. “Our interests are aligned and we are very excited about the potential of this partnership.”
“Both parties will reap the benefits of this agreement,” said Freer. “Not only can Fox provide extensive national TV exposure for the Conference through a variety of outlets, but we can also serve the Conference’s member schools and local fans through our strong regional presence. An RSN like FOX Sports Houston is a natural fit to distribute Rice and Houston games, while SMU, UTEP, and Tulane are located in FOX Sports Southwest’s footprint. We’ll have tremendous programming opportunities to explore, especially with cross-over match-ups with our other conference rights.”
The conference’s footprint is concentrated in nine states with 12 member schools, including East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF and UTEP. That territory is served by 9 Fox regional sports networks, including FOX Sports South, SportSouth, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Tennessee, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Houston, FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Florida, and Sun Sports.
With the addition of Conference USA, Fox Sports Media Group now boasts the most comprehensive portfolio of college product in the country, with nearly 2000 marquee events showcased through national and regional platforms, including FOX Sports, FSN, the Big Ten Network, and FOX College Sports. Conference USA joins Fox’s impressive roster of other conference partners that includes the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12, ACC, and SEC.
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 20 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox’s interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.
FSN is the nation’s leading provider of local sports. Through its 19 owned-and-operated regional networks, FSN serves as the TV home to more than half of all MLB, NHL, and NBA teams. FSN’s nationwide roster of regional sports networks includes FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Houston, FOX Sports Indiana, FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports North, FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Tennessee, FOX Sports West, FOX Sports Wisconsin, PRIME Ticket, SportSouth, and Sun Sports. FSN produces over 5,000 live local events each year, including more than 3,200 in high definition, making FSN the most prolific producers of HD Sports programming in the country. In addition to its thousands of home team games and a wide variety of locally produced sports programs, FSN televises national collegiate sports events and programs, including football and basketball from the Pac-10, Conference USA, SEC, and ACC, as well as Big 12 football.
ABOUT CONFERENCE USA TELEVISION
Conference USA strives toward maximizing exposure for its member schools and their athletic programs. By partnering with Fox Sports Media Group and extending an existing partnership with CBS College Sports Network, the league has substantially increased its revenue and increased the number of national and regional appearances. Conference USA will also launch the C-USA Digital Network, providing additional web-based streaming of events and feature programming.
Chris Bellitti, 212/556-2477
Lou D’Ermilio, 212/556-2573