January 10, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Amanda Christovich of Front Office Sports talks NCAA deal and related hot topics

Amanda Christovich joins Gigi Speer to discuss all things NCAA, in light of ESPN's new blockbuster deal

On the latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, Amanda Christovich of Front Office Sports sits down with Gigi Speer of The Next to discuss all things NCAA. They dive into the details of the blockbuster ESPN deal and touch on other hot-button issues the deal brings to light, like gender inequality and labor.

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Amanda opens the conversation by providing a recap of the ESPN deal and the years of strategizing and decision-making that went into its production. “The No. 1 question that everyone was asking,” Amanda says, was “Should [we] unbundle the division one women’s basketball tournament from the rest of the NCAA sports?”

And, as readers and listeners know – ultimately, no unbundling took place. Per Amanda, NCAA commissioner Charlie Baker decided that keeping women’s basketball inside the package was “what was going to be the best for the entire NCAA,” because it would “give them visibility for a bunch of different sports, including women’s sports, that wouldn’t get visibility if they weren’t part of this package.”


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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.


Baker’s comments segued Amanda and Gigi into a conversation about the gender disparities that this deal may bring to the NCAA. Gigi brings up the crucial point that, while the NCAA “has to follow the guidelines of Title 9,” ESPN doesn’t – implying that the network may get away with the treatment of NCAA women’s programs. Amanda seconds this concern, and highlights crucial components of the deal, like units (AKA compensation) and timing that will impact sponsors’ involvement, especially for women’s programs. “They basically have to buy the men,” Amanda explains, “and then they will be eligible for everything else.”


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Watch today’s episode on YouTube and listen to Locked On Women’s Basketball every day to learn more about women’s basketball history, the game and its players, and much more!

Written by The Next

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