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SBD/June 26, 2013/Media
KU Inks Seven-Year Media Rights Deal With ESPN; ESPN3 To Air 70 Events Nationally
Published June 26, 2013
DOES DEAL SIGNAL REALIGNMENT'S RENEWAL? SI.com's Andy Staples wrote KU's deal with ESPN and the "next few like it should give us a much better idea about the next step for college sports at large." Staples predicts there will "be another wave of realignment," and the ACC's agreement to a Grant of Rights for the remainder of its media rights deal with ESPN "merely pressed the pause button." The recent "wave of realignment was defined by cable subscriber fees and new markets." Staples: "What will define the next one? We're about to find out." If deals like KU's "are a hit" and ESPN execs "decide the future will be piped through a router and not a cable box, then they have the infrastructure in place to become their own distributor" (SI.com, 6/25). Meanwhile, CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd writes under the header, "Kansas Quietly Monetizes The Last Valuable Piece Of College Sports TV." Dodd: "This KU deal is similar to the Longhorn Network except, in this case, there is no mewling about availability, distribution or clearance. it can be argued at this moment those six Kansas men's basketball games and one football game are the most valuable pieces of college programming available until the Big Ten's current contract runs out in 2016" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/26).