While BYU fans dig through the couch cushions looking for $5 to subscribe to ESPN+ for the Cougars football game against Toledo next week, the West Coast Conference was busy setting up another media outlet for its basketball programs.
The WCC announced on Thursday a new multi-year agreement with CBS Sports Network for broadcast rights to league basketball games.
Good news? Sure. The WCC extended its contract with ESPN, though many of those games are late-night tips. Another network means more options, and that’s always a good thing.
CBS Sports Network is channel 158 on Dish, channel 221 on DirecTV and channel 269 on Xfinity/Comcast. Check with your cable provider for more details.
Here is the news release from the WCC:
SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The West Coast Conference has announced two landmark media rights agreements, extending its long-standing relationship with ESPN and beginning a new television partnership with CBS Sports. The multi-year agreements give the WCC remarkable national exposure, with two national television network partners showcasing WCC men’s basketball games.
“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN and begin a new partnership with CBS Sports,” WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez said. “The agreements with ESPN and CBS give the West Coast Conference unprecedented national exposure. We are grateful for the outstanding support from our national television partners and are very excited to showcase the WCC as a premier men’s basketball conference on these national platforms.
With the agreements, as many as 34 men’s basketball games each season will be televised on either ESPN’s networks or CBS Sports Network.
The WCC and ESPN extend a partnership that began nearly two decades ago, teaming up on a new eight-year agreement to feature men’s basketball games across ESPN’s networks. The new agreement provides for a package of men’s basketball games to be broadcast on ESPN’s networks through the 2026-27 season.
“The West Coast Conference is a valued long-time partner and a premier basketball conference,” said Nick Dawson, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. “We look forward to continue showcasing the conference’s best matchups and teams throughout the season, and for years to come.”
ESPN will broadcast 17 games during the regular season, along with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game of the WCC Men’s Basketball Tournament. ESPN will continue to showcase the WCC Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game and a selection of additional women’s basketball or Olympic sports contests each season during the term. Each broadcast will also be available on the ESPN App, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
The Conference and CBS Sports begin a new, multi-year partnership starting with the 2019-20 season. The deal features a minimum of nine men’s basketball games each season on CBS Sports Network.
“We are thrilled to partner with the West Coast Conference,” said Dan Weinberg, EVP, Programming, CBS Sports. “The West Coast Conference is a great basketball conference with some of the most premier programs in the country. Adding both the quality and depth the conference provides is important for the continued growth of CBS Sports Network and we look forward to our long-term partnership.”
The WCC has enjoyed unprecedented success in men’s basketball over the last decade, sending multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in eight seasons in 2018-19. WCC teams won 100 out-of-conference games and posted the best non-conference winning percentage in conference history last season, highlighted by NCAA Tournament bids for Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.