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ESPN, American Kennel Club Renew Media Rights Relationship for Telecasts of Dog Sport Competitions

Dog at AKC Meet the Breeds

ESPN and the American Kennel Club (AKC), the governing body of dog sports, have entered into a new, expanded five-year agreement, renewing ESPN’s media rights for televising of AKC-recognized dog sports events.

The agreement, which continues a relationship that began in 2019, maintains ESPN as the AKC’s exclusive dog sports media partner in the United States. AKC events will be distributed across ESPN’s television and digital platforms.

ESPN will distribute a minimum of nine AKC events per year under the renewal, beginning with the AKC Agility National Championship in February of 2023.

Among other AKC events that will be distributed on ESPN platforms under the renewed agreement:

  • AKC National Championship (conformation)
  • AKC Agility Premier Cup
  • AKC Diving Dogs Premier Cup
  • AKC Flyball Dog Challenge
  • AKC Fastest Dogs USA

ESPN and the AKC first collaborated on “ESPN Dog Day” in August of 2019, a live event held on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Ct., and televised on ESPN.

Before the start of the renewed agreement, AKC programming will have a strong presence on ESPN platforms in December and January, highlighted by the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, the largest dog show in North America.

Highlights of the show, held Dec. 17-18 in Orlando, Fla., will air in a three-hour special on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. ET on ABC. The event features more than 5,000 of the world’s top canine competitors from across the country and around the globe as they vie for Best in Show honors and the title of America’s National Champion.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for FAN EXPO, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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