In a prepared statement, ESPN told SportsBusiness Journal: "Conference USA never fulfilled their contractual obligation relating to ESPN’s future rights. We are exploring possible solutions to resolve this situation but remain prepared to take any necessary steps to protect our rights."
Conference USA spokeswoman Courtney Morrison-Archer disagreed, responding in an e-mail: "We have great respect for ESPN and have appreciated our partnership. We disagree with the assertion that ESPN was disadvantaged and are disappointed that they feel as if they were. On the contrary, ESPN had every opportunity to step up and address our concerns. Following a long and protracted discussion, the conference board of directors voted to move in a different direction. Conference USA reached an agreement with Fox on terms clearly more favorable than those offered by ESPN, and we believe the conference fully complied with its contractual obligations to ESPN."