CBS Sports Network extends Navy rights deal

The CBS Sports division of US network CBS has extended a rights deal with the Navy for 10 years, through to the end of the 2027-28 season.

Under the deal, pay-television broadcaster and OTT platform CBS Sports Network will show live coverage of the majority of the Navy’s American football games, including the Navy v Air Force fixture.

CBS Sports Network will also show selected Navy home baseball, basketball and lacrosse contests.

The deal was brokered between CBS Sports, the Naval Academy Athletic Association and the American Athletic Conference.

The agreement falls outside the AAC’s exclusive rights deal with sports broadcaster ESPN that will expire in 2020.

The Navy’s athletic director, Chet Gladchuk, said that being able to negotiate a separate rights deal – which would allow the Navy’s games to continue on Saturday afternoons, as is tradition for the academy – was a prerequisite to Navy becoming a member of the conference. ESPN shows AAC fixtures on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

“When you go with other networks they have the authority to dictate start times and that is something we’re not interested in,” he told the Capital Gazette.

As part of the broader agreement, the Navy’s home game against Notre Dame that is held every two years will become part of the AAC’s broadcast rights package from 2020. Additionally, from 2020, the primary rights-holder for the AAC’s American football will have first choice of showing one Navy home game per year, other than the clash with the Air Force.

Gladchuk said: “There was some give-and-take by all sides and it should work out to everyone’s benefits on all fronts.”

The Navy’s previous deal with CBS Sports was due to expire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

The AAC plans to start negotiations over a contract extension with ESPN later this year.