SBD/January 5, 2011/Media

C-USA, FSN Reach TV Deal That Nearly Doubles Annual Rights Fee

FSN has reached a multiyear TV deal with Conference USA that sources say will nearly double the conference's annual rights fee to around $7M per year. C-USA's current six-year, $22M deal with ESPN expires this spring. FSN picks up the conference’s rights starting with the '11 football season. FSN execs confirmed the deal, saying that they are committed to telecast at least 20 college football games -- twice the number that is currently on TV -- 10 regular season men's basketball games, five women's basketball games and some Olympic sports. FSN also picked up the rights for the conference's football championship game, as well as men's and women's basketball championship games. A key aspect of the deal for the conference is a provision that allows select C-USA events to migrate to Fox' broadcast channel and FX. Another key part of the deal for the conference is a provision that does away with Tuesday and Wednesday night games. FSN said most games will be on Saturdays; a handful will be Thursdays. The conference has schools from East Carolina to SMU -- a territory that is covered by nine FSN channels: FS South, SportSouth, FS Carolinas, FS Tennessee, FS Southwest, FS Houston, FS Oklahoma, FS Florida and Sun Sports. CBS College Sports in July renewed its rights deal with C-USA.
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