Ivy League Enhances Exposure, Fan Experience with Long-Term ESPN Agreement

Ivy League Enhances Exposure, Fan Experience with Long-Term ESPN Agreement

The Ivy League and ESPN have agreed to a long-term relationship to showcase Ivy League events through a variety of ESPN platforms, including at least 24 events annually on ESPN's linear networks and more than 1,100 annually on ESPN+.

  • ESPN and Ivy League Reach 10-Year Agreement; More than 1,100 Conference Events Available on ESPN+ Each Year

    • Every Conference Football, Men's and Women's Basketball Game Presented Each Season; Hundreds of Games from Additional Sports to be Featured; At Least 12 Conference Postseason Events

    • At Least 24 Regular Season and Postseason Events Annually on an ESPN Linear Network, Including Select Football, Basketball and Olympic Sports
       
  • Innovative Direct-to-Consumer Platform Brings the Ivy League Network to ESPN+

ESPN and the Ivy League have reached a comprehensive, 10-year deal for ESPN to become the exclusive national media rights partner for the conference, carrying more than 1,100 events annually from more than 30 sports on ESPN media platforms. The majority of those will be exclusively available on ESPN+, the new direct-to-consumer sports streaming service launching April 12 from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and International division in partnership with ESPN. The Ivy League will also have at least 24 events air on ESPN's linear networks each year, including historic rivalries such as The Game: Harvard-Yale football, and new traditions like the men's and women's basketball conference tournaments.

"We are excited to announce this groundbreaking and comprehensive long-term partnership with ESPN, which will dramatically increase our exposure and reach across the League's broad-based sports offering," Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. "This agreement preserves the Ivy League's place at the forefront of innovation and connects the League with a partner that is driving the convergence of linear and digital sports programming." 

"With this new agreement, we continue to provide fans with the most diverse content through all our networks and platforms, while also deepening our commitment to college sports," said ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling Burke Magnus. "We are significantly enhancing our existing relationship with The Ivy League, providing the conference, its institutions, and fans the most comprehensive coverage of the league to date across ESPN's networks and platforms, while also adding specific benefits that are made possible with the launch of ESPN+."

"The Ivy League is thrilled to form an alliance with ESPN, recognized as the nation's leader in sports programing," said Jack Hayes, Brown Director of Athletics. "The Ivy League Network has come a long way in five short years, with tremendous growth in technology, audience and production quality. With ESPN, our visibility, enhanced exposure and commitment to expansion for all 33 Ivy League sports is about to take a quantum leap."

Starting in the 2018-19 season, fans of the conference and its eight member institutions will receive increased Ivy League content and coverage from ESPN, including exclusive live events, amplified access to highlights and special league content in an increasingly customizable and personalized fashion.

The expanded live content and enhanced fan experience through ESPN+ will also provide a greater value to Ivy League fans, as they will receive more games and content at a cost less than the current Ivy League Network. For just $4.99 a month, subscribers will get the Ivy League Network (1,100+ games and surrounding programming), MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, additional college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films (including the award-winning 30 for 30 documentary series) and more.

Magnus added, "Even before launching, ESPN+ is already establishing itself as the leading home for direct-to-consumer sports streaming, bringing together existing streaming services and new ESPN content and coverage in a single, affordable product that gives fans anywhere, anytime access to more sports, more games and more original content."

ESPN+ will be an integrated part of a completely redesigned and reimagined ESPN App that will be the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans. With a richer, increasingly more personalized experience, the new ESPN App will curate all of ESPN's incredible content into an experience unique to each fan's individual tastes. ESPN+ will also be available through ESPN.com.

In addition to the League's enhanced national partnership with ESPN, the Ivy League and its member schools will continue broadcasting several events, across multiple sports, through their regional network partners. Brown will continue its strong relationship with NESN, NESNplus, MyRITV and other regional partners as it moves forward with linear television production. All games televised on regional networks will be available locally and nationally on ESPN+.

New Agreement Enhances Exposure for The Ivy League
Starting in the fall of 2018, among the more than 1,100 Ivy League events to be carried on ESPN's platforms each year will be every conference-controlled football, men's basketball and women's basketball game. The agreement also provides increased exposure for the conference's entire broad-based sports offering, including at least 12 conference postseason events each year. Details include:

 

Football: Every Ivy League conference-controlled game, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. Six games, including the historic Harvard-Yale game, will air on an ESPN linear network each year.  
 

Men's Basketball: Every Ivy League conference-controlled regular season game available, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. Six regular season games will air on ESPN linear networks each year. The conference tournament semifinals and championship game will also air on an ESPN linear network each year.

 

Women's Basketball: Every Ivy League conference-controlled game, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. The conference tournament championship game will air on an ESPN linear network each year.

 

Men's and Women's Ice Hockey: Every Ivy League conference-controlled regular season game held at an Ivy League institution arena will be available, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+.

 

Men's and Women's Lacrosse: Every Ivy League conference-controlled game, with the majority exclusively on ESPN+. The men's conference tournament semifinals and championship game will air on an ESPN linear network each year, with the women's conference tournament semifinals and championship game appearing on ESPN+.

 

Conference Postseason Events: At least eight additional conference postseason events will be available on ESPN+ each year across the conference's broad-based sports offering.

 

Also, highlights from Ivy League football, men's and women's basketball, ice hockey and lacrosse league contests will be available on ESPN platforms.  

New Deal Expands ESPN's Relationship with The Ivy League
ESPN and The Ivy League's affiliation dates back more than 30 years, including an extensive relationship through digital sports rights. For the last three seasons, ESPN3 has streamed more than 85 Ivy League events each year, while ESPN's linear networks have televised the Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments and men's lacrosse tournament since inception. 

About the Ivy League
The Ivy League is the most diverse intercollegiate conference in the country with more than 8,000 student-athletes competing each year. Sponsoring conference championships in 33 men's and women's sports and averaging more than 35 varsity teams at each school, the Ivy League provides more intercollegiate athletic opportunities per school than any other conference in the country. All eight Ivy schools are among the top 20 of NCAA Division I schools in number of sports offered for both men and women and enjoy regular competitive success at the highest championship levels of NCAA Division I athletics.

The League's schools -- Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale -- share a rich history of success and influence in college athletics, dating back to the origins of intercollegiate competition. Ivy League institutions have won 300 team national championships and 525 individual national championships since intercollegiate competition began. The Ivy League conference was formally established in 1954, based on the mutual agreement that intercollegiate athletics competition should be "kept in harmony with the essential educational purposes of the institution." For more information, please visit IvyLeague.com.

About ESPN+
ESPN+ will be the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and International division in partnership with ESPN. It will offer fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN's linear TV or digital networks. This includes hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films (including 30 for 30) and more. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time.

Launching April 12, ESPN+ will be an integrated part of a completely redesigned ESPN App. Already the leading sports app, the new ESPN App will be the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans and is a showcase of the company's culture of innovation. With a richer, increasingly more personalized experience, the new ESPN App will curate all of ESPN's incredible content into an experience unique to each fan's individual tastes. ESPN+ will also be available through ESPN.com.