NBC Sports and Bayou Classic Announce Three-Year Media Rights Extension

NBC Sports and the Bayou Classic have agreed to a three-year media rights extension through 2024, the two parties announced today.

The new agreement — which starts this year with the 49e Annual Bayou Classic as Southern and Grambling State renew their storied football rivalry on Saturday, Nov. 26 on NBC and Peacock — extending a historic partnership that began in 1991.

NBC Sports’ presentation of the Bayou Classic will continue to feature the famous Battle of the Bands tradition between Southern and Grambling State marching bands during the Bayou Classic Halftime Show.

“We are thrilled to continue this 30+ year partnership with the Bayou Classic,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports. “We look forward to amplifying the great legacy of the Bayou Classic and the HBCU mission by bringing this year’s game to NBC and Peacock, and we also look forward to celebrating the 50e anniversary of this historic rivalry in 2023.”

As part of the expansion, Southern and Grambling State will participate in professional development programs through the NBCU Academy – a journalism training and development program designed to prepare students and young professionals for careers in journalism. information technology and media industry. Additionally, NBC Sports will offer select journalism students from Southern and Grambling the opportunity to cover the event for NBCSports.com.

Southern and Grambling State students will also have access to NBC Sports’ Black Employee Network (BEN), which aims to foster and grow a strong Black employee base in NBCUniversal.

“A big thank you to NBC for bringing the Bayou Classic tradition of college football to national television,” said Dennis Shields, President-Chancellor, Southern University System. “What started as a one-year deal in 1991 to bring the Bayou Classic to a global audience, has spanned 32 years and allowed millions of viewers around the world to be a part of this HBCU showcase. In addition to showcasing the talents of our student-athletes, coaches, and marching bands, the new extension agreement’s additional opportunities for SU and GSU communications students to participate in professional development, training, and key Networking opportunities are invaluable.

“It was no small feat to return to New Orleans last year for what turned out to be an exciting game,” said Rick Gallot, President of Grambling State University. “With the debut of Coach Hue Jackson, a driven group of G-Men, a world-renowned Tiger Marching Band, exhilarating cheerleaders and a passionate GramFam, we look forward to sharing the Bayou Classic experience with viewers at across the country.”

“The importance of this partnership extends far beyond the football field,” said Damon Phillips, SVP Strategic Initiatives and Head of Diversity and Inclusion, NBC Sports. “The Bayou Classic has become a mainstay of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and we are excited to continue working with Southern and Grambling State to educate students about careers in journalism and media, while providing opportunities for ‘practical experience.”

The Bayou Classic rivalry is an all-time tie, with Southern and Grambling each winning 24 games since the series began in 1974.

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