Last week, the Atlantic 10 announced a new eight-year TV package deal for its men's and women's basketball programs with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and the NBC Sports Group. The agreement, as per the A-10 press release, will "provide over 192 total basketball exposures, including 146 men's basketball appearances. This includes coverage of the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of both the men's and women's basketball championships."
ESPN retains the rights to both the men's and women's championship games. CBS Sports Network will carry the semifinals while NBC Sports Network will produce the quarterfinals.
The agreement begins in the 2013-14 season and extends through 2021-22.
While the number of women's games is still small (32 regular season games, 46 total) compared with the men's exposure, the A-10 release did note that, "[t]his represents a 77 percent increase in women's basketball television exposure for the A-10."
For ESPN blogger Eamonn Brennan, the TV package along, along with conference realignment and moving the conference tournament to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is a sign the A-10 is on the rise. Brennan wrote:
"When you combine this TV deal -- which, again, doubles the number of nationally televised Atlantic 10 games available to fans in a wide range of markets -- with the additions the conference made in realignment this year (household-name programs like Butler and VCU), the end result is a league that feels stronger than it ever has before."
In an unrelated matter, the St. Bonaventure basketball programs released their slogan for the 2012-13 season, a task for which they solicited input from the public. The winner? "No sleep 'til Brooklyn." Now we'll have the Beastie Boys in our head. All. Season. Long.
--- Amy Moritz