Altitude, ESPN Syndication Reach Collegiate Pact

Continuing to bolster its programming lineup, Denver-based Altitude Sports & Entertainment last week reached a deal with ESPN Syndication Sales to distribute a variety of college sports programming.

The upstart regional sports network also secured rights to the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for a number of local events.

The Kroenke Sports Enterprises LLC-owned Altitude, which has yet to finalize distribution deals with major MSOs in the area, holds the cable rights to Denver Nuggets basketball and Colorado Avalanche hockey games.

Altitude, set to launch this September, will televise up to 35 games per year, with at least 15 games per year originating from Division I schools within its telecast territory as part of its multiyear pact with ESPN. The agreement includes events from teams in the northern Colorado and Denver areas, notably the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Additionally, the deal gives Altitude access to ESPN’s library of taped productions and access to other ESPN Syndication programming..

Under the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contract, Altitude has secured the rights to 10 annual events beginning this fall, including conference men’s and women’s basketball championships. Additionally, the agreement gives Altitude and the RMAC an option to produce and televise a monthly conference highlight show.

The two Altitude programming agreements come on the heels of Altitude competitor Fox Sports Rocky Mountain’s contract extension with the Colorado Rockies, effectively keeping the Major League Baseball team’s games from Altitude through at least 2014.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.