July 17, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced Thursday that the conference has reached an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, among the nation’s largest television broadcasting companies, to produce and distribute 100 events each of the next two years.
Within that agreement, Marshall football is slated for two appearances: at home vs. Rhode Island on September 6 (now a 7 p.m. kick) and again at Southern Miss (7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT) on November 8.
The Rhode Island game will air locally on WCHS-TV or WVAH-TV, with the possibility that the Southern Miss game will as well.
“I am thrilled that, as a result of this agreement, WCHS and Fox 11 will be able to offer live Marshall football and basketball games to the Herd fans in our broadcast area,” said Harold Cooper, General Manager of WCHS and WVAH.
Sinclair owns and operates, programs and provides sales services to 162 television stations in 78 markets, reaching approximately 40 percent of U.S. television households. It includes FOX, ABC, CBS, MyTV, CW, NBC, Univision and Azteca affiliates. The agreement encompasses an extensive slate of live, local sporting events, including football, basketball, soccer and other sports with the opening of this year’s college football season. Thirty C-USA football games will be televised on Sinclair stations.
These exclusive games will be broadcast across different regions of the country. Additional content will also be televised, such as the “C-USA Showcase” – the league’s 30-minute weekly program that offers a number of highlights and features about the conference.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to partner with such a great broadcaster,” Banowsky said. “This alliance provides new and differentiated exposure, which will benefit our member institutions, athletic programs, students, alumni, and communities. It certainly complements the existing arrangements we have on the FOX and CBS cable platforms.”
Conference USA will be part of the newly launched American Sports Network (ASN), a collegiate sports initiative that will air on a number of Sinclair’s broadcast television stations. ASN will be led by Sinclair Network Chief Operating Officer Doron Gorshein.
“Broadcasters serve and are closely connected to their communities, of which the colleges and universities are an integral part,” commented Gorshein. “We believe there is significant value and consumer appeal for live sporting events from these important institutions, and we can offer expanded distribution through our broadcast platforms as well as on potential new platforms, deepening our connection to our communities. We’re proud to be working with Conference USA on this initiative, which combines compelling local sports and related content, with enhanced localism, diversity and positive social purpose.”
In addition to Sinclair, Conference USA has national television partnerships with Fox Media Group, CBS Sports Network and ESPN. C-USA institutions are in eight of the Top 45 media markets, and four of the Top 25. Additionally, the C-USA Digital Network offers live streaming of competition, press conferences and special events as well as pre-produced stories and promotional pieces. C-USA home markets will include more than 13.4 million TV households - a 30 percent increase to the 10.1 million homes reached just two years ago.