Fight On: USC Signs Multiyear National Radio Deal With ESPN For Home Games
The Univ. of Southern California is the “second university to cut a national radio deal around its football program, as ESPN picked up the rights” to the school’s home football games, according to John Ourand in this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the multiyear deal is “worth mid-six figures total” and marks the “first time that ESPN has become a national radio partner for a college football team.” Notre Dame is the “only other school” with a national radio deal, with IMG College. ESPN execs “hinted that they will try to cut similar deals with individual schools and college conferences.” The net will “sell the games to local stations, giving first priority to ESPN affiliates.” If the affiliates “decide not to take it, they will try to sell it to non-ESPN radio stations in the market.” Per the deal, ESPN “will produce as many as three telecasts.” ESPN has “not decided” who will staff the national broadcasts, but Pete Arbogast and Paul McDonald “have done USC games locally in Los Angeles and are expected to stay.” Ourand notes as part of the deal, USC will “use some of the radio inventory in its corporate packages” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/16 issue).