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MAC-branded WatchESPN channel launched by ESPN

Record-Courier staff report Published: February 28, 2014 4:00 AM

The Mid-American Conference is among a total of 15 branded destinations which will deliver live access to men's and women's college basketball events from across ESPN networks in time for Championship Week

On Thursday, ESPN launched over a dozen college conference channels on WatchESPN, aggregating conference-related programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPNEWS. A total of 15 branded destinations can now be streamed on televisions through WatchESPN via Apple TV and Roku, delivering live men's and women's college basketball events from across ESPN networks in time for Championship Week, as well as replays of college football games.

Conference channels at launch include: ACC, America East, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Big West, HBCUs (Mid-Eastern Athletic, Southwestern Athletic and Central Intercollegiate Athletic), Horizon, Mid-American, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southern, Sun Belt and Southland.

"With the rapid adoption of connected devices and the rising popularity of WatchESPN, we are able to offer college conferences the opportunity to have their own branded destinations for live events and on-demand video on a nationwide level," said Damon Phillips, Vice President of WatchESPN and ESPN3. "ESPN provides scale and discoverability to deliver these channels in a way that would not have been possible without WatchESPN.

"These new conference channels on WatchESPN will showcase the breadth and depth of our college sports coverage," said Rosalyn Durant, Vice President of College Sports Programming for ESPN. "But most importantly, they will allow us to better serve the fans."

Later this year, the channels on WatchESPN will include live college football, Olympic event and non-event (news, highlights, analysis and feature) programming, plus on-demand video clips from ESPN.com. They will also be accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices via WatchESPN at a later date.

ESPN is slated to deliver a total of more than 2,000 live men's and women's college basketball games through Championship Week in the 2013-14 season across its networks -- all of which are accessible on WatchESPN. Specifically, ESPN3 -- ESPN's live multi-screen sports network -- will deliver 570 exclusive men's and women's college basketball games this season, up 50 percent compared to the previous year.

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