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Athletes Unlimited Lands Multi-Year Deal With ESPN


Today, Athletes Unlimited and ESPN announced a new multi-year broadcast deal for professional softball and lacrosse. Over 160 live games will air exclusively on ESPN properties over the next two years.

According to the announcement, 90 events will be televised on linear networks over the two years of the deal. 56 events will air on ESPNU

and 34 will be split across ESPN and ESPN2. That leaves 70 made available to stream on ESPN+.

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ESPN will also hold international rights for these competitions to air on TSN (Canada), ESPN Latin America, and other platforms.

“We are proud to collaborate with ESPN to solidify Athletes Unlimited Softball and Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse as two of the major pro sports leagues in the U.S,” Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited, said. “This deal establishes our presence as a major force in the pro sports landscape in the U.S., while serving as yet another reminder of ESPN’s commitment to women’s sports.”

“ESPN is excited to expand its relationship with Athletes Unlimited and be part of their innovative approach to women’s professional sports. We are looking forward to showcasing these world class softball and lacrosse athletes as part of our longstanding commitment to women’s sports,” ESPN President, Programming & Original Content Burke Magnus said.

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To that end, the deal includes a four-part series Going Pro: Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse that will air on ESPN+. The series will follow four AU lacrosse rookies players Britt Brown, Mira Shane, Ella Simkins, and Izzy McMahon and document the “challenges and lessons learned” during their first professional season.

Ari Chambers of HighlightHER previously partnered with Athletes Unlimited Softball, Volleyball, and Basketball for original content with a focus on Black women athletes.

The second season of AU Lacrosse will take place this summer. The dates and single-site location have yet to be announced.

The third Athletes Unlimited Softball will return to the Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Ill. from July 29 to August 28. AU Softball will also host a two-week competition – AUX Softball – from June 13-25, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Title IX on June 23.



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