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Cable Notes: Showtime Extends Strikeforce; ESPN and Univision Also Announce Sports Deals

Mixed Martial Arts Fight - H 2011
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

The three networks announce new and renewed deals for athletics coverage.

Several cable networks announced deals for sports coverage on Thursday.

Showtime has finalized a deal with mixed martial arts promotion, Strikeforce. The network will produce and air up to eight live events under the agreement. Also, beginning on Jan. 7 Showtime will televise undercard fights live on Showtime Extreme, the network’s action adventure channel.

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ESPN has extended its contract with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through 2023-24 for worldwide, multi-media rights to 24 NCAA championships, including exclusive multimedia rights  outside the United States, its territories, and Bermuda for the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship. The agreement also expands coverage across the ESPN networks for each round of the NIT Season Tip-Off and all games from the NIT Postseason Tournament.

Univision has landed deal to expand its coverage to four additional Liga Mexicana teams, Toluca, Pumas de la UNAM, Monterrey and Tigres de la UAN. That raises its home game total team count to 12 out of the total 18 Liga Mexicana teams.