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Atlantic 10 Conference strengthens ESPN ties with streaming deal

US college sports organisation the Atlantic 10 Conference has expanded its partnership with ESPN by striking a new multi-year rights deal focusing on the sports broadcaster’s subscription streaming service, ESPN+.

Starting in the 2018-19 season, ESPN and the A-10’s new deal will make at least 330 men’s and women’s basketball games available on ESPN+ annually, which add to the 16 games already available on ESPN’s linear networks through an existing rights deal.

ESPN+ will also now exclusively stream two opening round games from the men’s basketball championship and four quarterfinals from the women’s championship. ESPN’s linear network will continue to air the A-10 Championship final of the women’s tournament.

In total, more than 500 games will be provided each year as a multitude of the conference’s sports will see a drastic increase in regular season exposure on ESPN+, including the vast majority of conference-controlled men’s and women’s soccer and baseball games.

ESPN+ will also carry semifinals and finals from conference championships in field hockey, volleyball and softball.

“The A-10 and ESPN have had a long-term linear television agreement that has been a win-win for both parties,” Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade said.

“This additional agreement gives the Atlantic 10 and its membership unprecedented visibility on some of the best streaming technology in sports, and it gives ESPN+ a wealth of high-level collegiate sports content.”