The historic deal grants free-streaming digital platform HBCU GO cable, linear, streaming, broadcast, VOD and pay-per-view rights to SWAC sporting events.
Allen Media Group, owned by Byron Allen, announced that its free-streaming digital platform, HBCU GO, the leading media provider for the nation’s 105 historically Black colleges and universities, is entering into a multi-year partnership with the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Allen Media Group also owns theGrio.
This first-ever partnership grants HBCU GO cable, linear, streaming, broadcast, VOD and pay-per-
view rights to premier NCAA Division I HBCU conference sporting events. Some games and events will also air on Allen Media’s free-streaming digital platforms theGrio, Local Now and Sports.TV.
Jackson State wide receiver Warren Newman (10) is pursued by Prairie View A&M long snapper Desmond Calloway (51) during December’s Southwestern Athletic Conference championship football game in Jackson, Miss. As of this fall, SWAC sporting events will be broadcast on HBCU GO. (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/AP)
The partnership will begin with the fall 2022-23 season, and HBCU GO will distribute programming for the SWAC across all sports in the league, including football, basketball and volleyball — even Olympic sports. The partnership will include live coverage of over 2,000 SWAC games and events, according to a press release.
“Some of the world’s greatest athletes have come from and continue to play and coach for these excellent Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Allen. “These HBCUs will continue to deliver historic events, such as sports icon and coach Deion Sanders signing the number-one overall prospect in the class of 2022 — five-star cornerback Travis Hunter — making this a truly amazing league.”
Sanders, the former NFL and MLB star, will soon have three children playing at Jackson State, including his daughter, Shelomi, who, as reported by theGrio, recently committed to play basketball at the university. There, she’ll join brothers Shedeur and Shilo, who led the football team to a SWAC championship in December.
Jackson, Mississippi, native Mo Williams, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, was named head coach of Jackson State University men’s basketball team last week. Williams, who won an NBA championship as a Cleveland Cavalier in 2016, served as the head basketball coach at Alabama State University for two seasons.
“We’re extremely excited to partner with the Allen Media Group and HBCU GO,” said
SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “This partnership will be a game-changer for our league along with the 12 member institutions that we serve. The ability to showcase our sports programs across such a wide variety of multimedia and digital platforms will undoubtedly take SWAC sports programming to the next level while providing our fans and supporters with unprecedented access to SWAC events in all the sports that our league currently offers.”
The SWAC features championship competition for men in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track and field, plus tennis. Women’s competition includes basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, track and field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.
The SWAC East division comprises Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, Jackson State, and Mississippi Valley State. The SWAC West division schools are Alcorn State, Grambling State, Prairie View A&M, Southern, Texas Southern, and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
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