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Sun Belt to expand live event distribution with ESPN3

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Sun Belt to expand live event distribution with ESPN3

    NEW ORLEANS — On Wednesday, the Sun Belt Conference and ESPN announced a content expansion within their agreement that will result in the exclusive distribution of up to an additional 50 Sun Belt events on ESPN3 — ESPN's live multi-screen sports network.
    “ESPN continues to live up to its billing as the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ with the advances that it has made in digital content,” Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson said. “ESPN3 and WatchESPN have revolutionized how viewers consume sports — we are excited to be part of that and eager to display the Sun Belt to the 92 million homes that ESPN3 reaches.”
     Fans will begin seeing the product of the expanded agreement this fall when a number of Sun Belt football games will be exclusively produced and distributed on ESPN3. The fall sports season will also feature the conference’s Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, and Volleyball championships on the network. A number of men’s and women’s regular-season basketball games will be available along with every contest from the 2015 Sun Belt Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournaments. Baseball will be featured heavily in the spring with a run of regular season games and up to seven matchups from the conference tournament being made available. Several games from the 2015 Softball tournament will also be carried.
     “We regularly work with our league partners on ways to expand the distribution of content across our various platforms,” Director of ESPN programming Brent Colborne said. “The incremental events added from the expansion with the Sun Belt is a great complement to our current long-term agreement with the conference.”
     The deal that has been struck will also be instrumental in the future of airing more live events as the conference and ESPN will work jointly to develop a school production-based model.  This will result in Sun Belt members being able to deliver high-quality productions that can be featured on ESPN3 throughout the year.
     “One of the more unique aspects of this alliance is that the Sun Belt is going to work with ESPN to make sure our institutions are capable of producing their own content that meets ESPN3’s production standards,” Benson remarked.  “This has the potential to make a tremendous impact on the total number of Sun Belt contests — in all sports — that will be available on ESPN3.”

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