North Carolina A&T and Hampton University are HBCUs in the Coastal Athletic Association that took losses to former CIAA and MEAC rivals at home on Saturday. While they came on the losing end of the scoreboard, both games had something else in common.
Both the North Carolina A&T-North Central and Hampton-Norfolk State games were broadcast on linear television across the nation by PRC Communications under its Black College Sports Broadcasting Network banner. The games were broadcast in linear television markets in places like Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston, TX.
As members of the Coastal Athletic Association, both North Carolina A&T and Hampton are allowed to negotiate linear television rights, but only within 150 miles due to the conference’s streaming deal with FloSports. According to North Carolina A&T Associate Athletics Director/Communications Brian Holloway, PRC Communications owner Pierre Cromartie purchased the rights to four games to take advantage of the brand of the two schools.
“He explained to them the uniqueness of HBCU,” Holloway said in an interview with Blue Death Valley. “The bands the uniqueness of A&T football, our brand — and the fact that our brand extends beyond the South. There are a lot of people in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas — everywhere. That when you see the A&T interlock, you know exactly what that is.”
The deal with the CAA schools will include a pair of football games for each school. North Carolina A&T’s homecoming game on Nov. 4 will be its second game hosted. The October 28th matchup between the two schools at Hampton will also be broadcast, according to the BCSBN website. Holloway says three basketball games are a part of the deal as well. Those contests will be determined when the CAA basketball schedule comes out.
“He really wants to highlight HBCU athletics, HBCU lifestyle,” Holloway said of Cromartie. “And the one thing that we started to discuss during this process is just the unique brand that A&T brings to the table. There’s not a brand quite like the HBCU brand.”
While Holloway didn’t talk revenue, he was sure to mention the fact that the broadcasts will come at no costs to A&T. Hampton officials confirm the same is true for them. Both schools are required to produce their own broadcasts with Flo Sports just as ESPN streams are produced by the schools.
“There’s no cost in production costs. No costs whatsoever,” Holloway said. “It’s a zero-dollar cost for A&T. They bring their crew in. They hook up. They pay for the announcers, they pay for it all. It’s no cost to A&T — it’s pretty much free advertising.”
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