ESPN and the Ivy League have reached a comprehensive, 10-year deal for ESPN to become the exclusive national media rights holder for the conference, carrying more than 1,100 events annually from more than 30 sports on ESPN media platforms. The majority of those will be exclusively available on ESPN+, the new direct-to-consumer sports streaming service launching April 12 from Disney’s new Direct-to-Consumer and International division in partnership with ESPN. The Ivy League will also have at least 24 events air on ESPN’s linear networks each year, including historic rivalries such as The Game: Harvard-Yale football, and new traditions like the men’s and women’s basketball conference tournaments.
“With this new agreement, we continue to provide fans with the most diverse content through all our networks and platforms, while also deepening our commitment to college sports,” said ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling Burke Magnus. “We are significantly enhancing our existing relationship with The Ivy League, providing the conference, its institutions, and fans the most comprehensive coverage of the league to date across ESPN’s networks and platforms, while also adding specific benefits that are made possible with the launch of ESPN+.”
“We are excited to announce this groundbreaking and comprehensive long-term partnership with ESPN, which will dramatically increase our exposure and reach across the League’s broad-based sports offering,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “This agreement preserves the Ivy League’s place at the forefront of innovation and connects the League with a partner that is driving the convergence of linear and digital sports programming.”
Starting in the 2018-19 season, fans of the conference and its eight member institutions will receive increased Ivy League content and coverage from ESPN, including exclusive live events, amplified access to highlights and special league content in an increasingly customizable and personalized fashion.
As part of their $4.99 a month subscription, fans with ESPN+ will get the Ivy League Network (1,100+ events and surrounding programming), as well as thousands of more live events including additional college sports, MLB, NHL, MLS games, plus boxing, international rugby, cricket, as well as exclusive original content on-demand library/
Magnus added, “Even before launching, ESPN+ is already establishing itself as the leading home for direct-to-consumer sports streaming, bringing together existing streaming services and new ESPN content and coverage in a single, affordable product that gives fans anywhere, anytime access to more sports, more games and more original content.”
Here are the details of the deal:
- Football:Every Ivy League conference-controlled game, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. Six games, including the historic Harvard-Yale game, will air on an ESPN linear network each year.
- Men’s Basketball:Every Ivy League conference-controlled regular season game available, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. Six regular season games will air on ESPN linear networks each year. The conference tournament semifinals and championship game will also air on an ESPN linear network each year.
- Women’s Basketball: Every Ivy League conference-controlled game, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. The conference tournament championship game will air on an ESPN linear network each year.
- Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey: Every Ivy League conference-controlled regular season game held at an Ivy League institution arena will be available, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+.
- Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse: Every Ivy League conference-controlled game, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. The men’s conference tournament semifinals and championship game will air on an ESPN linear network each year, with the women’s conference tournament semifinals and championship game appearing on ESPN+.
- Conference Postseason Events: At least eight additional conference postseason events will be available on ESPN+ each year across the conference’s broad-based sports offering.
- Additional Ivy League Sports: A multitude of events in approximately 30 additional sports will be available to fans, with the majority of games on ESPN+. ESPN’s linear networks and ESPN3 will continue to carry select games each year across a variety of sports
Also, highlights from Ivy League football, men’s and women’s basketball, ice hockey and lacrosse league contests will be available on ESPN platforms.