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News
ESPN, NCAA ink pact
July 6, 2001: 12:01 p.m. ET

Company gets $200M rights extension, focusing on women's basketball
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - ESPN significantly increased its commitment to women's collegiate basketball as the Walt Disney unit entered an 11-year, $200 million rights agreement with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to the women's championship tournament through the 2013-2014 season.

In a statement, ESPN and the NCAA said the Bristol, Conn.-based cable network will devote more than 200 hours of programming to collegiate athletics annually, in addition to running a public-relations campaign touting the importance of college sports, focusing on women's basketball.

The pact is part of an agreement which extends ESPN's current agreement with the NCAA to televise 21 championship events through the 2001-2002 season. The new extension begins with the 2002-2003 season and includes men's lacrosse, ice hockey, baseball, tennis, and gymnastics.

ESPN is available in about 82 million homes, its spinoff ESPN2 is seen in about 77 million homes, and ESPNNews is available in about 22 million homes, according to the report released in Friday's online edition of the Wall Street Journal.  graphic





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