row2k Features
40-Sport NCAA-ESPN Deal Will Not Include Rowing
January 30, 2024
Ed Hewitt,

The NCAA and ESPN have entered into an eight-year, $920M deal for broadcasting rights for 40 NCAA championships (21 women's and 19 men's events), including expanded coverage of D2 and D3 championships.

The list of sports includes many so-called 'Olympic' sports - with rowing conspicuously missing from the list of sports.

Basketball is the clear moneymaker in the deal, especially the men's D1 basketball tournament, for which ESPN has the international rights - the deal also includes the women's D1 bball tournament. In a release, the NCAA stated that the value of the deal will create opportunities for NCAA members to "explore revenue distribution units for the women's basketball tournament."

Large disparities in the facilities for women's vs. men's basketball were exposed during the 2021 basketball tournament season, with the women's weight room stocked with a few dumbbells and a small pile of yoga mats, while the men had a state of the art facility.

The release emphasizes potential benefits for women's sports in several respects, including increased visibility, and the revenue distribution for women's basketball noted above.

The current NCAA-ESPN deal is worth about $40M per year, while the new deal will bring closer to $115 million per year, an increase of nearly triple, according to the Associated Press.

ESPN, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, owns eight different US television networks, including the 'big three' ABC network, which itself has a guarantee to air the Football Championship Subdivision national championship football game; ESPN also has streaming platforms. Broadcast outlets for the 40 sports will be spread across television, cable, and streaming platforms, and some may air only on subscription or pay-per-view platforms such as ESPN+.

The full list of championships follows.

  • Men's Championships - soccer, football (FCS, DII & DIII), cross country, water polo, indoor track & field, swimming & diving, wrestling, ice hockey, gymnastics, fencing, volleyball, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, tennis, baseball and basketball (including DII semifinals & DIII semifinals and championship).
  • Women's Championships - soccer, field hockey, volleyball (including DII & DIII), cross country, indoor track & field, swimming & diving, basketball (including DII & DIII), ice hockey, bowling, gymnastics, fencing, beach volleyball, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, tennis, softball and water polo.
  • Also: men's National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and Women's Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT); NCAA DI Men's Basketball Championship (international rights).

If you enjoy and rely on row2k, we need your help to be able to keep doing all this. Though row2k sometimes looks like a big, outside-funded operation, it mainly runs on enthusiasm and grit. Help us keep it coming, thank you! Learn more.


Log in to comment
There are no Comments yet

Rowing Features
Rowing Headlines
Get our Newsletter!

Support row2k!

Tremendous thanks to our
row2k supporters!

Get Social with row2k!
Like row2k on Facebook Follow row2k on Twitter Follow row2k on Instagram Follow row2k on Youtube Connect with row2k on LinkedIn

Get the row2k app!

row2k rowing store!

Get our Newsletter!
Enter your email address to receive our weekly newsletter.

Support row2k!

Advertiser Index
Advertise on row2k