ESPN Will Air C-USA Championship Game For Next Five Years As Part Of Lawsuit Settlement
ESPN and Conference USA have settled their lawsuit, with ESPN picking up the rights to C-USA's championship game. Under terms of the agreement, ESPN will gain the rights to C-USA's football championship game from '11-15. "ESPN and Conference USA are pleased to announce that they have settled their litigation," the two sides said in a prepared statement. "As a result, ESPN has acquired exclusive distribution rights to the Conference USA Football Championship Game for the 2011-2015 football seasons. The 2011 football championship game will air on ESPN2 at noon eastern time on December 3, 2011. The parties look forward to continuing their relationship going forward. There will be no additional comments regarding this matter from either party at this time." Fox had held the rights to that game, thanks to its deal with C-USA in January. FSN will have a minimum of 20 C-USA football games per year, which will appear on both FSN and FX. "Fox was not a party to the suit, but as we would do with any partner when asked to help, we were open to the conversation," said Fox Sports Media Group co-President & co-COO Randy Freer. "We applaud C-USA and ESPN for resolving their differences and look forward to a great college football season." ESPN in March filed suit in Manhattan federal court alleging that the conference did not fulfill its contractual obligations to the network when it sold its TV rights to Fox in January. ESPN's suit alleged that it had previously reached an agreement in principle with C-USA. ESPN also said that C-USA ran afoul of contract terms when it was not given a final offer to consider.