April 1, 2003
CSTV: College Sports Television, the first television network devoted exclusively to college sports, and the University of Notre Dame have reached a multi-year, multi-sport agreement by which College Sports Television will become “the year-round home of Notre Dame athletics.”
Starting this fall, CSTV will air a Notre Dame programming block every Sunday night featuring live and classic Fighting Irish events, as well as other programming. As part of the agreement, CSTV will also have the right to produce original programming surrounding Notre Dame athletics, and will also have access to coaches shows, studio programs and archived events.
CSTV will have the rights to televise the following Notre Dame sports: baseball, women’s basketball, men’s/women’s cross country, men’s/women’s fencing, men’s/women’s golf, men’s hockey, men’s/women’s lacrosse, men’s/women’s soccer, softball, men’s/women’s swimming and diving, men’s/women’s tennis, men’s/women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball.
The network will also have rights to cover Notre Dame’s famous “Bookstore Basketball” and “Bengal Bouts” student basketball and boxing tournaments, respectively, as well as its Intramural Tackle Football Leagues.
The deal will result in unprecedented coverage of Notre Dame athletics to the school’s 100,000 alumni divided into 230 alumni clubs located in all 50 states and nearly 20 foreign countries.
“Notre Dame not only possesses one of the finest college athletic programs today, but also boasts a storied tradition in athletics that is second to none,” said Brian Bedol, co-founder, president and CEO, College Sports Television. “The Fighting Irish excel in a broad variety of men’s and women’s sports, which makes for compelling programming and fits perfectly into our mission of covering the ‘best of the best’ in college sports.”
“College Sports Television provides Notre Dame with an unique national promotional platform for our teams and student-athletes,” said Kevin White, Athletic Director, Notre Dame. “We are eager to introduce fans to the stories and traditions – both past and current — that have made the Notre Dame athletic experience so unique.”
“Notre Dame, more so than any other school, enjoys a truly national following, and we are proud to offer its expansive alumni and fan base the opportunity to follow all its teams on a regular basis,” said Chris Bevilacqua, co-founder and executive vice president, CSTV. “Fans will have unprecedented access to the school which produced legends such as Knute Rockne, the Four Horsemen and George Gipp, as well as modern-day heroes such as Adrian Dantley, Joe Montana, Joe Theismann and Ruth Riley, the 2001 women’s basketball national player of the year.”
Notre Dame teams have won 25 national championships, including 11 in football, six in fencing, two each in men’s basketball and men’s tennis, and one each in women’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf and women’s soccer. During the 2000-1 and 2001-02 school years, the Notre Dame athletic department finished 11th and 13th, respectively, in the Sears Directors’ Cup competition.
More than 800 Notre Dame athletes have received All-American honors, with a school-record 40 recognized during the 2001-02 school year. Among those, Ryan Shay won 10 different All-America honors in men’s track and cross country, Carrie Nixon also won 18 different Big East individual and relay titles, and Steve Stanley helped the baseball team to its first College World Series appearance in 45 years.
College Sports Television has long-term programming and marketing agreements with 27 Division I athletic conferences, including the Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, Ivy League, Sun Belt and Atlantic 10. The network will televise live regular season and championship events across a broad spectrum of men’s and women’s college sports, including football, basketball, baseball, soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse. Dedicated to offering the widest variety of college athletics, College Sports Television will provide the most in-depth sports coverage of 1,200 universities and colleges across all of the major conferences at every level of college sports.
College Sports Television was co-founded by President/CEO Brian Bedol, Chairman Stephen Greenberg and Executive Vice President Chris Bevilacqua. Bedol and Greenberg co-founded Classic Sports Network, which they sold to ESPN and which is now ESPN Classic. Bevilacqua is a former senior executive with Nike Inc., where he headed the company’s successful foray into the college market.