Disney’s ESPN Inks $115M Annual Deal with NCAA, Tripling Prior Agreement


  • A new agreement between ESPN and NCAA sees the annual average value triple to $115 million, making it a significant advance from the preceding 14-year contract.
  • “March Madness”, a crucial aspect of the deal, is among the most prevalent annual sporting events in North America with a substantial audience and advertising revenue.
  • Disney, which owns ESPN, seeks to enhance the viewer base for its sports network through this deal, which covers 21 women’s and 19 men’s events and includes tennis and men’s gymnastics.
  • As ESPN holds rights to NBA and Monday Night Football, this agreement assists in developing a direct-to-consumer NBA offering.
  • ESPN’s long-standing tie-up with the NCAA dates back to 1979.

NCAA and ESPN Multi-Million Dollar Agreement

The NCAA announced a new agreement with ESPN that significantly increases the latter’s investment in collegiate sports. The annual average value of the deal is a staggering $115 million, marking a huge upturn compared to what was paid annually in the prior 14-year contract.

The Crucial March Madness Event

“March Madness”, a critical component of the agreement, brings together millions of spectators and generates substantial advertising revenue. The event holds a distinguished place among the annual sports occasions in North America.

Disney’s Stand on the Agreement

ESPN’s parent company Disney, opted to remain silent on the monetary specifics of the deal. However, it encompasses 21 events for women, 19 for men, and introduces coverage of tennis and men’s gymnastics.

Impact on Disney’s Sports Network

This agreement plays a pivotal role in helping Disney expand its sports network audience. ESPN also harbors the rights to the National Basketball Association and Monday Night Football and is currently working on something similar for direct-to-consumer access.

Disney has expressed an interest in scouting partners for a possible joint venture or stake acquisition in the sports network. This network also bagged the broadcasting rights for TGL, a prime-time golf league initiated by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in October.

Statement from NCAA President

NCAA President Charlie Baker expressed that considerable effort has been invested during the last year to ensure this broadcast agreement benefits all NCAA championships, especially the women’s championships. Given the agreement’s increased value, the association intends to evaluate revenue distribution units for the women’s basketball tournament, disclosed the NCAA.

Historical Relationship between NCAA and ESPN

The partnership between NCAA and ESPN has a rich history, with its inception dating back to 1979, concurrently with ESPN’s original network launch.

The Forex Impact

Considering the magnitude of the deal, it might make an impact on trading and assets associated with Disney and the sports broadcast industry or related brands in the forex markets due to the significant financial involvement.

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