Athletes Unlimited and ESPN Renew Media Deal

Athletes Unlimited and ESPN Renew Media Deal

Published: February 22, 2024

Women’s professional league Athletes Unlimited (AU) and ESPN have renewed their media rights partnership in a multiyear contract that brings all four of AU's sports onto ESPN platforms.

This follows an initial agreement in 2022 that saw ESPN air a limited number of AU games.

Under the new deal, the sports media giant has the exclusive right to broadcast six of the 24 AU Pro basketball games each season, with the remaining 18 games being split between the WNBA app and other partners.

It will be the first time that ESPN will stream AU Pro Basketball. ESPN platforms will also broadcast and stream games for the other three AU pro sports: volleyball, softball and lacrosse.

This is the full coverage of the ESPN coverage of four of AU Pro Sports.
This year's full coverage of AU Pro Sports on ESPN (Source: ESPN)

“We’re excited to showcase even more world-class female athletes through this new agreement with Athletes Unlimited as part of ESPN’s longstanding commitment to women’s sports,” Dan Margulis, senior director of programming & acquisitions at ESPN, said in a press release.

The new multiyear agreement comes as AU continues to gain traction, even being included as one of last year’s “Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company.

The network of professional women’s leagues was launched in 2020 with a focus on individual athlete empowerment and a points system that rewards both individual and team performance.

ESPN and Athletes Unlimited renew their partnership in a multiyear deal covering all four AU professional sports.
The partnership aims to promote women in professional sports (Source: ESPN).

“ESPN has been absolutely crucial to the success of Athletes Unlimited, showcasing our amazing world-class athletes on the biggest global stage in sports," AU CEO Jon Patricof stated.

“ESPN’s renewed and expanded commitment to Athletes Unlimited is both a validation of our business model as well as a testament to the growing popularity of these sports at the professional level,” he added.

This renewed partnership is a significant development for the young women’s league, providing it with a major platform to reach new fans and continue to grow its sports.

For ESPN, the deal gives them access to a unique and innovative league that is attracting attention from fans and athletes alike.

The new deal will officially take effect on February 29, when AU Pro Basketball kicks off its new season in Fair Park Coliseum, Dallas.

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