The Colonial Athletic Association and NBC Sports Group announced a five-year deal on Monday that includes an increase in the number of nationally televised football and men’s basketball games.
CAA commissioner Tom Yeager declined to provide financial details, other than to say it’s a significantly enhanced position. The partnership begins in 2012-13.
The NBC Sports Network will nationally televise 12-18 men’s basketball games, including both semifinals and the championship game of the conference tournament for the first time. It will also nationally televise at least five football games in what Yeager said is a first for an FCS conference. Comcast regional sports networks will televise 39 additional men’s and women’s basketball games, including the quarterfinals of the men’s basketball tournament and the semifinals and finals of the women’s tournament.
Yeager said the number of the televised games will remain roughly the same, but more games will be broadcast nationally under the new deal as compared to existing contracts. He said storyline and regional interests will determine which games are broadcast nationally.
The contract could result in the men’s basketball tournament moving to the second week of March, when many other tournaments are held. The CAA traditionally is held the first week of March. Yeager said TV and operation schedules will factor into that decision, which will be discussed after the conference’s athletic directors in June.
The CAA, which includes Georgia State, has sent two teams to the Final Four in men’s basketball in recent years. It is considered one of the strongest football conferences in the NCAA, sending a team to the national championship game in five of the past six years.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu