ESPN Extends Horizon League Hoops Deal Through 2013

ESPN has signed a multi-year agreement with the Horizon League that will deliver league basketball on the ESPN family of networks through 2013. The new pact includes distribution rights for Horizon League programming across multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPNU.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN Pay-Per-View, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and more.

Fans can expect a minimum of 60 Horizon League events, including men’s basketball regular-season games and selected rounds of the League’s men’s and women’s basketball championships. ESPNU will feature at least seven regular-season basketball games as well as the men’s basketball championship semifinals and the women’s basketball championship game each year of the contract.

“We are excited to extend our exclusive agreement with the Horizon League and to add more coverage to our schedule,” says Burke Magnus, senior vice president of college sports programming for ESPN. “With this agreement, college sports fans will continue to see the quality and depth of the Horizon League in more ways than ever before.”

“We are extremely pleased to extend our agreement with ESPN, which has been a long-time partner with the Horizon League,” says Horizon League Commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone. “This extension recognizes the growth of our League and also takes advantage of new and emerging technologies while taking into account the fluid distribution-marketplace of today’s media world.”

In addition to ESPN’s platforms, the League’s television distribution currently includes the new eight-game Horizon League Network Game of the Week men’s basketball syndicated series, free video streaming of more than 400 live events (including more than 250 basketball games) on HorizonLeagueNetwork.tv, and more than 70 locally televised games.

Comprised of 10 public and private institutions of higher learning, the Horizon League is an NCAA Division I athletics conference that sponsors 19 intercollegiate championships and is headquartered in Indianapolis.  The League and its member institutions aspire to teach young people, through athletic competition, the value of learning, service to others and personal responsibility.

Member institutions of the Horizon League are Butler University (Indianapolis), Cleveland State University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Valparaiso (Ind.) University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and Youngstown (Ohio) State University.

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