NEW YORK--ABC Sports has reached an agreement for a five-year contract extension with the Pac-10 Conference to broadcast Pac-10 games through 2011, and the deal also will provide Pac-10 football games on ESPN, the first time the network will carry the Conference’s football action since 1994.
The announcement was made by George Bodenheimer, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, and by Tom Hansen, Commissioner of the Pac-10.
“I am thrilled that we were able to reach this agreement, which will keep the tradition of Pac-10 football on ABC Sports and will enable ESPN to both televise Pac-10 games and provide multi-media opportunities for fans that follow Pac-10 football,” said Bodenheimer. “This new agreement will be mutually beneficial for the Pac-10, ABC Sports and ESPN.”
“The Pac-10 is delighted that its 18-year partnership with ABC Sports for regular-season football television will continue through the 2011 season, at which time it will reach 25 years,” said Hansen.
“ABC has always presented the Conference and its coaches and players in a first-class manner, which has been a cornerstone of our partnership," Hansen said.”
ABC Sports’ 18-year relationship with the Pac-10 has been a cornerstone to the network’s coverage of college football, including coverage of the Rose Bowl, which ABC Sports has broadcast since 1989. Last season Pac-10 games were two of the top five highest-rated football games on ABC Sports’ football schedule. The Notre Dame-USC game was the top-rated telecast (6.3 household rating) and the USC-UCLA was the fifth-highest-rated (4.9).
The multi-media agreement will also deliver Pac-10 football content across ESPN’s other platforms, such as ESPNU (game re-airs), ESPN Classic (game re-airs), ESPN Mobile, ESPN Interactive, ESPN 360 (formerly ESPN Broadband), ESPN.com, ESPN Pay-Per-View, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and more.
Arizona's "crossover" game at Utah -- basically a game involving teams from two leagues with separate television contracts -- will be broadcast live on ESPN on Friday, Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. MST. Although the broadcast was set up prior to the announcement of the Pac-10's re-affiliation with ABC and partner ESPN, it will be one of the first Pac-10 games shown under the new arrangement.
Arizona has had a number of games on the ESPN family of networks, including seven appearances in the last seven seasons. Its contest at Utah will be a second shown by the network. The 2000 team opened its season in Salt Lake City with a game on ESPN2. One of Arizona's noted victories -- a 23-20 win over Nebraska in the 1998 Holiday Bowl -- also was one of those games.