Commissioner Tom Yeager declined to disclose terms of the agreement beyond acknowledging “it is a significant enhancement of our position from where we’ve been.”
The agreement also includes 39 regionally televised men’s and women’s basketball games on the Comcast SportsNet regional networks and additional digital coverage on NBCSports.com. Comcast, the parent company of the CSN regional networks, completed its purchase of NBC Universal earlier this year.
The most curious impact of the deal could be if there are any changes to the CAA tournament. The Richmond-based event is played the Friday through Monday before most power conference tournaments, and Yeager said no decisions have been made on the event’s format.
NBC Sports Network (which reaches 75 million homes) will carry the semifinals and the final of the tournament.
“Monday night has been established by an ESPN window,” Yeager said. “It’ll give us an opportunity to talk about, all things considered, is that for the best interest for us, not just for television but also fan attendance for the tournament.”
Yeager said the agreement, the first between a college conference and the recently renamed NBC Sports Network, was completed over the past six months. The agreement covers all CAA home games, though Yeager said there was an exception for ESPN’s Bracket Buster event.
The deal comes less a year after Virginia Commonwealth reached the Final Four, providing added exposure for a conference that already had sent George Mason to the national semifinals in 2006 and had a rights agreement coming up for negotiations. Could that be fortuitous timing?
“It sure doesn’t hurt,” Yeager said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The young drop coverage to avoid higher premiums
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Looking at pop culture, politics and social issues.
Political commentary and literary criticism in an era of eroding liberty
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc