ESPN will provide college-sports events and news programming to upstart
Louisiana-based regional sports network Cox Sports Television as part of a
programming agreement announced Wednesday.
Set to launch Oct. 28 with a package of 65 New Orleans Hornets National
Basketball Association games, Cox Sports will have access to 125 events from
ESPN's college-programming-distribution arm, ESPN Regional Television,
representatives from both parties said.
The agreement includes ESPN Regional Television's college-football and
college-basketball games from area schools such as Tulane University, University
of New Orleans, Louisiana Tech, University of Louisiana Lafayette and University
of Louisiana Monroe, as well as games from the Sun Belt Conference, Conference
USA, the Western Athletic Conference, the Big 10 Conference, the Big East
Conference and the Mountain West Conference.
Cox Sports will also showcase ESPN Regional Television's coverage of women's
basketball and college baseball within the Sun Belt.
ESPN Regional Television distributes college-sports programming to other
regional sports networks, including Victory Sports, New England Sports Network,
Comcast Sports Southeast, Action Sports Cable Network and Metro Sports.
'This is a wonderful announcement for all sports fans in Louisiana and the
Gulf Coast,' Cox Sports head Rod Mickler said in a prepared statement. 'With
ESPN programming added to our exclusive coverage of the NBA's New Orleans
Hornets, Cox Sports Television is moving quickly to deliver a compelling sports
network with a strong local and regional flavor when it launches in late
In another programming announcement, Cox Sports will also develop year-round
programming for the National Football League's New Orleans Saints, including
various magazine and game-wrap-around shows.
The network will launch in front of 600,000 homes -- mostly Cox
Communications Inc. cable subscribers -- out of a potential universe of 1.7
million subscribers in the Louisiana, southern Mississippi, western Alabama and
Florida panhandle areas.
Mickler said the network is in negotiations with several MSOs, but it has yet
to reach affiliation agreements.