New Rights Agreement for ESPN & NCAA


ESPN has secured a new eight-year agreement with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), covering U.S. and international media rights to 40 NCAA championships.

The new deal, covering men’s and women’s sports, is effective September 1, 2024, and builds upon an alliance that has lasted more than 40 years. More than 2,300 hours of championships will be presented on ESPN’s linear and digital platforms annually, with more than 800 hours of NCAA championships on ESPN linear networks each year.

The pact continues exclusive coverage of sports included in the previous ESPN agreement—all rounds of marquee NCAA Championship events (women’s basketball, softball, volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, FCS football and more)—and adds coverage of the Division I men’s and women’s tennis team championships and the national collegiate men’s gymnastics championship. It also covers the men’s National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT), as well as international rights for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro noted: “The ESPN networks and platforms will exclusively present a record number of championships, including all rounds of several marquee events that, together with the NCAA, we have grown over time. This unprecedented deal also further strengthens The Walt Disney Company’s industry-leading commitment to women’s sports and will help fuel our continued growth, including in the critical streaming space.”

“The NCAA has worked in earnest over the past year to ensure that this new broadcast agreement provides the best possible outcome for all NCAA championships, in particular women’s championships,” said Charlie Baker, NCAA president. “Over the past several years, ESPN has demonstrated increased investment in NCAA championship coverage, and the Association is pleased to continue to provide a platform for student-athletes to shine. Having one, multiplatform home to showcase our championships provides additional growth potential along with a greater experience for the viewer and our student-athletes.”

Endeavor’s IMG and WME Sports served as the media advisor to the NCAA for the media rights negotiations. Hillary Mandel, executive VP and head of Americas for media at IMG, and Karen Brodkin, executive VP and co-head of WME Sports, added: “This groundbreaking new ESPN deal guarantees the NCAA significant increases in rights fees, investment in production and promotion, original content and storytelling, and multiplatform viewership options with a partner that has proven integral to the growth of its championships and women’s sports. Critically, it provides greater exposure for student-athletes across a record number of championships and capitalizes on the growing interest and fandom of women’s sports, which was a key focus throughout our in-depth evaluation and advisory work with the NCAA.”