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 Thursday 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.