The SIAC and ESPN announced Thursday that they have reached a multi-year rights agreement that will feature SIAC football and basketball games through 2027.
Beginning in the fall of 2021, ESPN will feature at least 22 football games across ESPNU and ESPN+, including the SIAC Football Championship.
In addition, ESPN will have the exclusive rights to all men’s and women’s Basketball Championship preliminary rounds on ESPN+, and the SIAC men’s and women’s basketball championship games on ESPN networks.
SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore remarked: “We are very proud to both continue and broaden our media relationship with ESPN to provide the SIAC with the best and most meaningful opportunity to showcase our member institutions and student-athletes on both ESPN networks and streaming platforms. We also appreciate ESPN’s commitment to our league, which will enable us to generate exciting live game content and produce compelling complementary programming for our fans.”
“We are extremely excited about this new relationship with ESPN,” said Dr. Paul Jones of Fort Valley State & Chair of Presidents’ Council. “This landmark Division II agreement will provide tremendous exposure for our student athletes, while showcasing an exciting brand of athletics in The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.”
Collegiate Sports Management Group Chief Operating Officer Ray Katz, who led the CSMG team that advised the SIAC, stated: “We are privileged to represent the SIAC and support these superb institutions. By working with ESPN – the industry leader in sports television and streaming – the SIAC can showcase competitive games and talented student-athletes while securing crucial exposure for the conference and its constituents.”
“We are delighted to expand ESPN’s relationship with the SIAC for the next several years,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. “One of the top NCAA Division II conferences in the country, we look forward to being the home for many of the SIAC’s biggest football and basketball matchups as we further spotlight their talented student-athletes and member institutions and continue our commitment to supporting HBCU athletics.”
ESPN is already set to showcase the SIAC during Week 1 of the 2021 college football season with the inaugural Red Tails Classic, a college football event launched by ESPN Events to showcase Historically Black College and Universities. The inaugural game will feature Tuskegee University and Fort Valley State University on Sunday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. ET, on ESPNU.