NCAA, ESPN agree to new deal

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has agreed to a deal with ESPN to broadcast the championships in many of its sports through the 2023-24 school year.

The contract announced Thursday gives the company international rights to the men's basketball tournament. It continues the network's U.S. coverage of the women's basketball tourney and the College World Series for baseball and softball.

ESPN's multimedia platforms will air the championships for seven more sports to increase the total to 24 -- adding women's gymnastics, men's and women's fencing, Division I women's lacrosse, Division I men's and women's outdoor track and women's bowling. There will be more than 600 hours of live programming annually.

ESPN will air more contests in the early rounds of the Football Championship Series postseason and Division I women's volleyball, softball and baseball tournaments. The deal, which takes effect immediately, includes expanded coverage of the preseason and postseason NIT.

"Thousands of inspiring and compelling student-athletes make it to the championship level every year, and we at the NCAA are excited to be able to share their stories with a broader audience than ever," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. "Across all sports and divisions, our primary goal is to support student-athlete success both on the field and in the classroom, and this new agreement provides us a greater ability to do so."

The two sides had signed an 11-year contract in 2001.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.