January 26, 2006

Atlantic 10 college hoops rights to CSTV, ESPN

By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The Atlantic 10 Conference
reached rights agreements with both CSTV and ESPN, deals that
would give both companies men's and women's college basketball.
Terms of the split deal weren't announced.

CSTV, which recently was acquired by CBS Corp., will have
several hundred men's and women's basketball games from the
Atlantic 10 Conference on either the channel or via broadband
beginning in fall 2006. The CSTV agreement also includes the
rest of the conference's sports as well.

ESPN's pact gives it 16 men's and women's basketball games
a year through the 2009-10 season, including eight men's and
one's women's game on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC plus six men's
and one women's game on ESPNU, the company's college-sports
channel. ESPN also will carry the conference championship. ESPN
already has Atlantic 10 rights and in its smaller package will
have the ability to select the games it wants before the season

Both ESPN and CSTV have negotiated wide-ranging new-media
rights with Atlantic 10, including broadband, video-on-demand,
wireless and satellite radio. CSTV president and chief
executive Brian Bedol said Wednesday that the broad package of
rights is the network's approach.

"We are focused on providing the fan with comprehensive
access on a 24-hour-a-day basis, wherever they are, whenever
they want it," Bedol said. "We believe the mix of broadband,
wireless and linear television provides the most value."

The Atlantic 10 deal gives CSTV an even larger package of
rights than it had before. It has major deals with Conference
USA through 2011 and the Mountain West, which will begin in
August and run through 2011. It has other deals for broadband
coverage as well.

The Atlantic 10 Conference includes the University of
Dayton, Duquesne University, George Washington University, the
University of Massachusetts and Temple University.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter