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Facebook granted rights as Conference USA signs partnerships

US college sports organisation Conference USA has extended its rights partnerships with the CBS Sports division of the CBS network and multi-platform sports network Stadium in agreements that will also bring live games to social media platform Facebook.

A multi-year contract, that will reportedly run for five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, will make CBS Sports the primary rightsholder for C-USA American football and men’s basketball, televising the conference’s best games, including the championship game in each sport on CBS Sports Network.

Beginning with the 2018-19 season, CBS Sports Network will broadcast nine football games plus the C-USA Football Championship and eight men’s basketball games per year, as well as the C-USA men’s basketball championships semifinals and men’s and women’s basketball championship games.

CBS Sports has also reached a deal with Facebook to sublicense and produce select C-USA football and basketball games that will broadcast exclusively on Facebook. The agreement allows for three football games and six basketball games per year to air on Facebook. The games will be a CBS Sports production, with CBS Sports announcers, graphics and branding.

Building on last year’s venture, Stadium will broadcast 15 football games and 17 men’s basketball games for the 2018-19 season. The deal includes the men’s quarterfinal rounds in the league’s annual basketball championship.

The multi-platform sports network will broadcast seven of the 15 football games and 10 of the 21 men’s basketball games exclusively on Facebook. It will also continue to produce C-USA events for all of its digital and broadcast distribution partners including WatchStadium.com, the Stadium apps, and over-the-air broadcast and cable retransmission, in select markets.

The games produced by CBS Sports and Stadium for Facebook will be available to fans in the US on Facebook Watch. Fans globally will be able to access these games via CBS Sports and Stadium’s respective show pages.

Conference USA commissioner Judy MacLeod said: “While exploring our options for future exposure, continuing our tremendous relationship with CBS Sports was a priority given our history. We recognised this was an ideal opportunity to build on our existing partnerships with CBS and Stadium to stay on the forefront of broadcasting through both digital distribution and traditional means.

“We will continue pioneering fresh and innovative ways to deliver our diverse audience a multitude of viewing options on emerging platforms.”