Jan. 5, 2011
IRVING (C-USA/SMU) - Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today that the conference has reached a new multi-year agreement for national television rights with Fox Sports Media Group, beginning with the 2011 football season through the 2015-16 athletic year.
FOX Sports Networks (FSN) will provide a variety of marquee C-USA events, including football, men's and women's basketball, and other C-USA sponsored sports. This agreement will provide a significant increase in revenue and, in conjunction with C-USA's extended partnership with CBS College Sports Network, an increase in the number of events distributed and the overall exposure for the conference.
According to terms of the agreement, FSN will showcase a minimum of 20 regular-season football games per season, a minimum of 10 regular-season men's and five women's basketball games, and a variety of Olympic sports events. The C-USA football championship game will also be carried on FSN, FX or the FOX Network. FSN programming is distributed nationally to more than 85 million homes through more than two dozen owned and affiliated regional sports networks.
Provisions of the new agreement also allow Fox to televise select Conference USA events on FOX Sports, which reaches over 115 million households nationwide, and on FX, FOX's flagship general entertainment cable network available in over 98 million homes.
"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."
"We're very excited about this new C-USA TV partnership with Fox," said Steve Orsini, SMU's Director of Athletics. "The networks reach more than 80 million homes nationwide, and with the airing of nearly three times as many events, our level of exposure will increase dramatically, while also providing a substantial revenue increase for the Mustangs' sport programs. These things take all of us in C-USA to the next level."
"Both parties will reap the benefits of this agreement," said FOX Sports Networks President Randy 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. A regional sports network 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 nine 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 2,000 premier 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 collegiate conference partners that includes the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12, ACC and SEC.
"Fox has great regional and national footprints and this will only increase the exposure of Mustang Athletics. It's a credit to the league office, presidents, athletic directors and others who had a big part in this TV deal," said June Jones, SMU Football Coach. "We're continuing to grow as a program and as a league and this is just another step in the right direction."