Horizon League and America Channel Announce Sports Broadcast Agreement

Horizon League and America Channel Announce Sports Broadcast Agreement

May 18, 2007

The Horizon League and America Channel announced that they have entered into a comprehensive video sports broadcast and content cooperation agreement. The new partnership includes extensive television coverage of Horizon League basketball and other sports, and cooperation on multi-platform initiatives.

All Horizon League member institutions will be represented in America Channel's broadcasts. The Horizon League member institutions are: Butler University, Cleveland State University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Valparaiso University (set to join July 1, 2007), the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State University and Youngstown State University. Coverage includes extensive men's basketball; as well as women's basketball, the League men's and women's soccer tournaments, the League volleyball tournament, the League softball tournament, and the League baseball tournament.

The Horizon League already produces extensive game coverage for its broadband offering, Horizon League Network (HLN, located at www.horizonleague.org), and the new partnership includes joint development of sports and lifestyle content for multi-platform distribution.

"This new partnership presents unique synergies in sports broadcasts, lifestyle content development, and multi-platform distribution," said Jon LeCrone, Commissioner of the Horizon League. "America Channel provides us with new and differentiated ways to connect with consumers. We look forward to working together on this unique initiative, to deliver exciting Horizon League sports and lifestyle content throughout the region."

America Channel has now partnered with 18 NCAA Division I Conferences, representing 164 Universities, to broadcast extensive football, basketball and other sports as well as numerous conference tournaments. The transaction represents a milestone for America Channel, as it has now partnered with Conferences representing in excess of 50% of all NCAA Division I schools, all of which will appear on America Channel this coming season. America Channel will broadcast well over 400 basketball games per year. In addition, 31 of the teams that participated in this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament will have a total of 96 regular season appearances on America Channel next season.

"Horizon League's member institutions have loyal followings in some of the Midwest's largest markets, including Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Dayton and Youngstown," stated Doron Gorshein, CEO of America Channel. "We look forward to delivering exciting Horizon League basketball and other sports to communities throughout the region, as the Horizon League will be a featured partner on our Midwest regional service. In addition, the Horizon League Network is among the most advanced of broadband sports offerings, and we look forward to working with the Horizon League on joint initiatives in both sports and lifestyle content for multi-platform distribution."

America Channel also previously announced its SportsLife initiative, pursuant to which the America Channel and its Conference partners, their Student Athletic Advisory Committees (SAACs) and Universities, will cooperate to create video content about the aspirations, achievements, challenges, adventures, community service, and lifestyles of students and student athletes.

About the Horizon League In its 28th year, the Horizon League features ten public and private institutions that have impressive academic reputations and a storied tradition of broad-based athletic programs. The Horizon League's primary focus is on adding value to the educational experience through its four platforms of athletic performance, academic achievement, community outreach, and personal responsibility and accountability. It is the League's belief that athletics is a powerful and visible resource tool that can be used to enhance student-athletes' collegiate experience. The Horizon League's goals are to enhance the holistic university experience for the student-athlete, to create an affiliation of institutions with similar athletic goals, and to adhere to the principals of integrity, diversity, excellence and growth.

The Horizon League sponsors competition in 19 sports - nine for men (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and tennis) and 10 for women (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis and volleyball). In all sports, all teams participate in their respective postseason League championships regardless of regular-season performance, allowing all student-athletes an opportunity to qualify for NCAA championships. The League receives automatic bids to NCAA championships in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball.

About America Channel America Channel® is a new sports and lifestyle television programming network. Its SportsLife initiative combines broadcast of over 600 NCAA Division I sports games, with real-life stories about the aspirations, achievements, challenges and adventures of students and student athletes.