Conference USA, ESPN settle lawsuit over contract




NEW YORK (AP) — Conference USA’s football championship games will now air on ESPN, not Fox, through 2015 after the league and network settled litigation.

ESPN sued the conference in March, accusing it of violating their contract when it signed a new deal with Fox. Conference USA announced in January it had reached a five-year contract with Fox’s networks to broadcast its football championship game and other sports events.

ESPN and Conference USA had signed a five-year deal in 2005, which included a provision giving ESPN exclusive rights to try to re-negotiate the package in 2010. The suit filed in federal court in New York claimed Conference USA did not satisfy the terms that would have allowed it to negotiate with other networks.

The two sides announced Tuesday that ESPN would televise the title game in 2011-15. The statement says: “The parties look forward to continuing their relationship going forward.”