Jan. 11, 2005
NEW YORK, January 11, 2005 - CSTV: College Sports Television (www.cstv.com), the first 24-hour college sports network, and Conference USA (www.conferenceusa.com) have entered into a long-term media partnership that will give CSTV media and exclusive marketing rights for all 19 men's and women's Conference USA sports, including football and men's and women's basketball. The multi-media partnership commences in August 2005, when CSTV will begin televising Conference USA football games as part of its first Division I-A football package.
The CSTV-Conference USA agreement includes all conference-related media and marketing rights, including television, national over-the-air and satellite radio, video-on-demand, Internet, broadband, wireless and exclusive corporate sponsorship and licensing rights. The CSTV partnership with Conference USA was designed to coincide with the conference's expansion to 12 member schools. With the addition of CSTV as the primary media partner, Conference USA has also realigned its former exclusive relationship with ESPN, which was less than halfway through its original contract.
The six-year deal will enable more Conference USA fans to have more access to more conference games and more sports across more platforms than ever before, resulting in unparalleled exposure for the conference, its 12 member institutions and its student-athletes, alumni and fans. CSTV will have the ability to provide coverage for nearly 2,000 Conference USA athletic events through all of its distribution outlets, including national and regional cable, regional over-the-air broadcast, CSTV Online, and with soon- to-be-named conventional and satellite radio partners. Geographic limitations and travel schedules will no longer prevent Conference USA alumni, fans, and student-athletes and their families from following their favorite teams and sports.
"This Conference USA partnership is a testament to CSTV's ability, through our various media platforms, to connect more college sports fans with more college sports in more ways than ever before," said Brian Bedol, president and CEO, CSTV. "With Conference USA embarking on an exciting new era with a robust 12-member lineup, we are eager to work with the conference and its member schools in using the latest interactive technology to create new ways for alumni and fans to follow more teams, more games and more student-athletes. Taking advantage of the numerous opportunities technology affords us is imperative as we continue building the leading digital sports media company."
"CSTV has a dynamic vision and an excellent management team," said Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "The potential of this partnership is staggering. CSTV will be a major player in this industry, there is no doubt about that."
The new partnership provides CSTV with exclusive rights to regular season football and regular season and post-season men's and women's basketball, as well as exclusive rights for all other regular season, post-season and conference championships to Conference USA sports: baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field for men, and cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball for women.
CSTV's CSTV Online business unit produces the www.CollegeSports.com Web site and its network of more than 170 official athletic sites for colleges, conferences and athletic associations. The agreement will provide the rights for CSTV Online to produce the official site of Conference USA, www.conferenceusa.com, with exclusive rights to all video and audio streaming of all sports. CSTV Online currently produces the official athletic sites for current C-USA members Houston, Memphis, Tulane and UAB, as well as future members Tulsa and UCF.
National Over-the-Air and Satellite Radio
As the Conference USA technology and property rights holder, CSTV also has exclusive national over-the-air radio and worldwide satellite rights for all Conference USA sporting events, including football and basketball, enabling Conference USA alumni and fans to follow their favorite teams live on the radio anywhere in the United States.
Conference USA's member lineup in August 2005 will include East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF and UTEP. C-USA is represented in major markets such as Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Orlando, Birmingham, New Orleans, Memphis, Tulsa, El Paso, Charleston-Huntington, W.Va., Hattiesburg, Miss. and Greenville, N.C.
CSTV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, has agreements with distributors that serve more than 65 million households nationwide. It has deals with the top six distributors - Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner, Charter, Cox and Adelphia, among others. CSTV is expected to be available on cable in all Conference USA markets when the partnership commences this August. The network currently is available on cable in Conference USA markets Houston, Orlando, Birmingham, New Orleans, Memphis, Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. and Greenville, N.C. CSTV will announce additional affiliate launches over the next six months, providing complete coverage to Conference USA's member institution markets.
CSTV is a multi-media company that consists of the first-ever 24-hour college sports television network, College Sports TV; the leading college sports online network, CollegeSports.com; and the first ever 24-hour college sports radio network, SIRIUS College Sports Radio. Through its numerous platforms, CSTV provides more live college sports games, events, news, information, analysis and broadband content, and reaches more college sports fans, than any other company.
College Sports TV, voted the #1 emerging cable network in a Beta research study whose results were announced earlier this year, televises regular season and championship event coverage from over 35 men's and women's sports across every major collegiate athletic conference as well as many NCAA and NAIA Championships. College Sports TV currently has agreements with the top six national distributors - Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox and Adelphia, among others.
CollegeSports.com, the most-trafficked college sports Web site, and its network of more than 170 official athletic sites are the number one online source for college sports broadband content, news, information, scores and analysis. SIRIUS College Sports Radio will broadcast a comprehensive package of college football and basketball games from teams in the Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac 10, and SEC conferences, as well as from Notre Dame.
CSTV was co-founded by President and CEO Brian Bedol, Chairman Steve Greenberg and Executive Vice President Chris Bevilacqua. Bedol and Greenberg co-founded Classic Sports Network, which they sold to ESPN. It is now ESPN Classic. Bevilacqua is a former senior executive with Nike Inc., where he headed the company's successful foray into the college market.