By James Crook

espn-logoJune 26 - World university sport governing body FISU have secured a deal with sports network ESPN which will see Kazan 2013 become the first Universiade to be broadcast live in the United States.

ESPN will provide more than 40 hours of coverage throughout next month's Summer Universiade in Tatarstan on ESPNU, whilst an additional 250 hours will be shown live on ESPN3 throughout the Games, which is due to run from July 6 to July 17.

With the potential of reaching 85 million households online through, along with the WatchESPN app for smartphones and tablets and through Xbox Live and Apple TV, the deal represents a huge step in the progress of university sports.

"Our agreement to deliver FISU events is a testament to our commitment of serving sports fans with quality programming, both domestically and from around the world," said Todd Myers, director of programming and acquisitions for ESPN.

"We look forward to carrying these events to a US audience."

121284553The USA impressed in the pool at the last Summer Universiade, claiming 12 of their 17 gold medals in aquatics, including a win in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay

The coverage will focus mainly on basketball, water polo, swimming, athletics, beach volleyball and volleyball.

The United States finished fifth in the overall medal table at the last Summer Universiade, held in Shenzhen two years ago, taking 17 gold, 22 silver and 11 bronze, with 12 of those gold medals coming in the pool.

FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien hopes that the deal will prove fruitful for the popularity of university sports in the US.

"I am extremely pleased that ESPN will bring the FISU flagship event to the homes of our American student athletes, their family and friends and the sport-loving American audience," he said.

"Like FISU, which strives for excellence on campus and on the sports field, ESPN brings excellence with its quality coverage and story-telling, by relating the sport stories that matter most to US audiences.

"I am confident that with the help of ESPN, the International University Sport Movement will continue to grow in popularity on the American continent."

With Eurosport also providing live coverage from the Games to Europe, Kazan 2013 looks set to be the most-covered in Universiade history.  

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