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ESPN Files Lawsuit Against Conference USA Over TV Rights
Published March 30, 2011
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"Rights agreements are at the core of our industry," said ESPN Senior VP/College Sports Programming Burke Magnus. "ESPN and Conference USA reached an agreement on a new extension after a prolonged negotiation. The conference then changed their position out of the blue and reneged on that agreement. At best, they violated our right to be given an opportunity to consider a final offer." Conference USA on Jan. 5 announced a $43M media rights deal with Fox.
The basis of ESPN's complaint, as SportsBusiness Journal has previously reported, is that ESPN and C-USA had a meeting as late as Dec. 23 to negotiate final points of their potential deal. On Jan. 4, however, C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky called ESPN execs to say that the conference’s presidents elected to explore other opportunities.
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