ESPN, NCAA Agree To 8-Year, $920M Deal For WBB Tourney, 39 Other Championships

Tampa, Florida / USA - April 6, 2019: History of Women's Basketball Banner at the Women's Final Four Tourney Town at the Tampa Convention Center During the Women's Final Four


The NCAA and ESPN have agreed to a blockbuster deal that will give the Worldwide Leader in Sports the exclusive rights to 40 championships, including Women’s March Madness.

ESPN will dish out $920 million during their 8-year agreement with an average annual value of $115 million, “an increase of more than 300 percent per year on what the previous 14-year deal with ESPN,” according to the Associate Press.

“We had lots of conversations with lots of third parties and lots of interested parties, but we stayed with ESPN as long as they continued to make progress on the deal,” NCAA President Charlie Baker said.

“I do believe this was the best deal that was available.”

With the deal, ESPN will get the exclusive rights to 21 women’s and 19 men’s sports, with tennis, track and field, men’s gymnastics, the women’s Division II and III volleyball and basketball championships, and the men’s DII and DIII basketball championships as new additions.

A majority of the deal is tied to the women’s NCAA Tournament, with Baker saying an estimated 57 percent of the value of the deal is tied to Women’s March Madness.

Last year, women’s college basketball exploded in popularity thanks to athletes like LSU’s Angel Reese and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. The national title game featuring Reese and Clark drew a whopping 10 million viewers, and their rivalry continues to generate debate and discussion on social media as the new season rolls on.

The other events will also air on ESPN, ABC, ESPN-affiliated cable networks, and ESPN+.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

The Campaign For A College Basketball Video Game Begins
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