The UK faced a blackout of TNT Sports content after the sports channel’s deal with ESPN had ended during the summer. There are speculations about whether or not ESPN is looking for a replacement to fill the void left by ESPN Player. In the US, NBC has extended its broadcast deal with Notre Dame until 2029.
Sky Sports has acquired the broadcast rights for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football and basketball in the UK. The deal with ESPN, which holds the international rights for NCAA, will allow Sky Sports to air up to three college football matches every week, as well as all the bowl championship games. The agreement, which also includes the rights to ESPN’s College Gameday pre-game show, will be in effect until the end of the 2024/25 season.
The absence of NCAA football and basketball from British screens over the summer was due to TNT Sports’ decision not to renew its agreement with ESPN, which also included magazine programming such as ‘Pardon the Interruption’. ESPN Player, the direct-to-consumer streaming platform managed by the US sports broadcaster, has also been shut down. The exception to the blackout includes games involving Notre Dame, which is not affiliated with a conference and sells its media rights to broadcasters around the world.
In the US, NBC has extended its broadcast deal with Notre Dame until 2029. The terms of the new contract have not been disclosed, but it does include provisions for exclusive matches to be aired on NBC’s Peacock streaming service. NBC Sports president Rick Cordella expressed excitement about the continued relationship between Notre Dame and NBC, stating that “they are thrilled to keep that tradition within the NBC Sports family as the exclusive home of Fighting Irish home games through the end of the decade”. He added that the enhanced rights will allow NBC to present Notre Dame Football on NBC as well as across Peacock and additional platforms.