Florida A&M athletics recently announced that the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has agreed to a multi-year streaming deal with ESPN.
“FAMU Athletics would like to announce a brand-new partnership that will encompass all streaming for all sports,” athletics tweeted. “In collaboration with the MEAC, our partner (ESPN) will allow all home FAMU football games to be available across the globe.”
According to MEAC media relations, a total of 35 MEAC football contests will be available on ESPN3 and ESPN+ this season in addition to 10 televised contests on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. This includes all six of FAMU’s home football games and a few away games. FAMU basketball, softball, baseball and track are also going to get streamed on ESPN+ with select games being broadcast on ESPN3, according to FAMU athletics.
Despite the length and value of the agreement not being worked out yet, the deal went immediately into effect the day after it was announced. The Rattlers are two games into their season so far, and both games were available on either ESPN3 or ESPN+.
“I am elated to utilize ESPN3 and ESPN+ in continuing to grow the MEAC’s relationship with ESPN,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas told the Times and Democrat. “Both ESPN3 and ESPN+ are innovative digital platforms upon which we can better serve our member institutions and our fans, while also expanding our reach both from a conference perspective and at the institutional level. This is an exciting time for college sports, with the expansion of digital content, and I am pleased that the MEAC is on the forefront with ESPN3 and ESPN+.”
Vaughn Wilson, director of Rattler productions, says that FAMU athletics is also excited about the partnership with ESPN because it gives FAMU a chance to “extend our brand on a platform everybody is familiar with.”
Because it is a conference deal, FAMU will be paid a licensing fee and is able to sell some of the commercial inventory. This means that they will be paid for the FAMU games being streamed on ESPN and will be able to sell merchandise regarding the event.
The next game to be streamed will be the Rattlers’ home game against Jackson State on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 at 5pm.