New AUDL Media Deal Worth Six Figures

A big, new media deal for the AUDL.

The American Ultimate Disc League today announced a new media partnership with Stadium, a fledgling online sports network broadcasting games on their website, live on Twitter, and on over-the-air digital subchannels in dozens of markets around the United States.

The two year arrangement will include the AUDL’s now-standard showcase game of the week produced by Fulcrum Media, aired live on all of Stadium’s distribution networks.

An AUDL source told Ultiworld that the deal — including a potential third year option — is in the six-figures, though the specific numbers are dependent upon the cost of production. It is believed to be the biggest outside media investment in ultimate’s history.

“We are always looking for new ways to combine unique, fresh content with our extensive distribution reach,” said Stadium CEO Jason Coyle in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with the AUDL to offer another exciting sport to our content lineup and provide a previously underserved fan base with new ways to watch their favorite teams.”

The Stadium-broadcasted games will include regular season games, playoff matchups, the semifinals and final at Championship Weekend, and a Eurostars showcase game as a part of the AUDL’s new partnership with the EuroStars Tour.

Games will be available to Canadian and international audiences via Stadium’s live Twitter broadcasts.

“Stadium is a new and exciting multi-platform network that focuses on current, cutting edge sports that appeal to a wide fan base,” said AUDL Commissioner Steve Gordon in a statement. “Their rapidly growing reach through broadcast television and extensive streaming capabilities will provide AUDL games to a broad audience nationally, and for the first time, expanded live coverage internationally via Twitter. This is a very exciting time for ultimate and the AUDL.”

Stadium, which launched in August 2017, primarily focuses on college sports, particularly football, basketball, and lacrosse. The network also features studio shows covering college and professional sports. The online network is owned by Silver Chalice, Sinclair Broadcast Group, MLB Advanced Media, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, and Time, Inc.

This is the AUDL’s third media partner in three years. After broadcasting games on ESPN3 in 2016, the league turned to a small cable channel, Eleven Sports Network, for television distribution last year. The new multi-year agreement with Stadium will offer the AUDL over-the-air television distribution for the first time while also making games widely available online.

“This is a monumental moment in the history of the AUDL,” said AUDL Marketing Manager Tim DeByl. “This is the first time that a media company is spending significant dollars on ultimate, and in particular the AUDL. We think of Stadium as a long term partner that will help us grow the league in a significant way.”

No game schedule has been announced as the league is still finalizing details for the 2018 season. The Championship Weekend is set for Madison, WI, on August 11-12.

An earlier version of this article called Stadium’s investment a rights deal, but that was misleading. It is a production deal. The article has been updated.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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