ESPN+ Adds 6,000+ Live Sporting Events With Sun Belt Conference Deal
ESPN+ is continuing to bolster its impressive array of live sports offerings. After announcing earlier this summer that the streaming service will carry every Canadian football game of the 2022 season, ESPN announced today that is expanding its offerings from the NCAA Sun Belt Conference. The schools include:
- Appalachian State University
- Arkansas State
- Coastal Carolina University
- Georgia Southern University
- Georgia State University
- James Madison University
- University of Louisiana
- University of Louisiana At Monroe
- Marshall University
- Old Dominion University
- University of South Alabama
- Texas State University
- Troy University
The deal expands on the formidable agreement made last year which brought Sun Belt Conference football to both the streaming platform and ESPN’s linear offerings (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU). It runs through the 2030-31 season, and has both sides excited for the potential it brings. “We are thrilled to enhance our relationship with the Sun Belt Conference,” said ESPN’s Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions Nick Dawson. “This continued growth will not only increase our televised offerings but will add thousands of events to ESPN+, ensuring easy access for the conference’s dedicated fans to consume more sports and more games throughout each season.”
According to the Sun Belt Conference, the new terms will bring over 6,000 additional live sporting events to ESPN+. These events will include men and women’s soccer, softball, baseball, and women’s volleyball. To further enhance ESPN+ saturation, the conference has plans to reduce the overlaps of homestand weekends for baseball and softball.
ESPN has been working hard to expand its live sports content on its streaming platform. The newly resurrected XFL will stream exclusively on ESPN+, as well as airing on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and FX. The additions of Canadian football and the expanded Sun Belt content, as well as its expansions of NHL and MLB content last year will surely help ESPN+ add to its already growing subscriber base. The platform added 4.2 million new streamers in Q1 of 2022, bringing its total to 21.3 million subscribers.
It’s a good sign for ESPN that their streaming platform is continuing to grow, as their linear offerings have been suffering of late. 8 million cord cutters left the sports giant last year, representing 10% of ESPN’s cable viewership. It shouldn’t surprise fans to see ESPN attempt to make ambitious moves to add even more live sports content in the future.