Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Big 12, ESPN announce new deal making select KU games only available online


Kansas fans will have to watch more games via online streaming moving forward.

The Big 12 conference announced Wednesday morning that it has expanded its existing rights agreement with ESPN, which runs through the 2024-25 season. The agreement means that ABC or ESPN will now exclusively televise the Big 12 Football Championship every year through 2024.

In addition, the agreement will bring hundreds of Big 12 events, including exclusive football and basketball games, to ESPN+. At least one regular-season football game each season from each participating school, as well as any spring football games, will be broadcasted through ESPN+. All regular season and exhibition men’s basketball games not distributed on ESPN’s linear networks will be made available this way as well.

Women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, softball and baseball will also be a part of the lineup through ESPN+.

“While this decision means a change in how our local and regional fans watch a few early-season games, it will allow Jayhawks around the world the convenience of watching games when they want and with the same excellent quality we are all used to on the ESPN Networks,” Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said in the Big 12 release. “We also know more and more Jayhawk fans look to digital platforms to watch their favorite programming; now they will be able watch their favorite team via the industry’s leading digital sports platform.”

Eight of the conference’s 10 schools will produce and deliver multiple sports under the new Big 12-branded platform on ESPN+, with schools joining on a rolling basis. Starting in 2019, there will be games from Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State, in addition to the select Big 12 Conference championship events.

In 2020-21, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia and Texas Tech will join the lineup. Due to existing long-term rights agreements, Texas (the Longhorn Network) and Oklahoma will not produce and deliver programming included on ESPN+ at this time, but will be featured as road teams in games listed under the new Big 12-branded offering on the service.

“Our institutions are thrilled with the exposure all 10 athletics programs will receive through this Big 12-branded offering,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in the conference release. “Our goal was to be forward thinking in the use of technology to create a conference-branded platform and believe this partnership ideally positions the Big 12 now and into the foreseeable future.”


Michael Maris 7 months, 1 week ago

I guess Fox Sports (for all of the Big XII sports) didn't want to play?

Buck Bukaty 7 months, 1 week ago

My understanding is that games will no longer play on 38-The-Spot. Pay or do without.

Bryce Landon 7 months, 1 week ago

Fine with me. When KU basketball season starts up again, I'll pony up the $5 for ESPN+ and the $25 for again.

Dale Rogers 7 months, 1 week ago

I know this is not good for locals but we are on the west coast so this means more televised games for us. With espn+ we can subscribe just a month at a time. So, for months with our games on espn+ we'll shell out the 5 bucks. Then cancel for the months not having games we're interested in. We've been doing it this way for the past year and now there will be more games on espn+. If we were still local in NE KS we'd not be happy, but...

Brad Watson 7 months, 1 week ago

I think too many games are televised...I don't need to see the cupcakes...the important games will still be on.....I won't miss not seeing the Emporia St..and Washburn a life people..I love my Hawks...but I am not less of a fan if I don't care about meaningless scrimmage games.

Joe Black 7 months, 1 week ago

Unless you want a glimpse of the new guys! It is arrogant to act to belittle the folks that like to watch all the games whether they are meaningless to you or not.

Kit Duncan 7 months, 1 week ago

You forget Louisiana, Wofford, South Dakota, and E. Michigan at Kansas were all on ESPN+. Were those unimportant games and not worth watching, also?

Brad Watson 7 months, 1 week ago

I find the radio to be a great change of pace....not all the time ..but once in a while.....i enjoy the visualization.

Brent Shipley 7 months, 1 week ago

You do realize that is how the rest of the country views us. We are the cupcake until we prove otherwise.

Matt Stone 7 months, 1 week ago

With all the players leaving who is left to watch? Really hoping the Nike scandal starts blowing up to take some heat off us. Think we went from a final 4 possibility to hoping we can win even win our conference within a CPL weeks. Kinda depressing.

Adam Bengtson 7 months, 1 week ago

ABC can do all they want, I will not purchase ESPN+, it’s just garbage. People keep wondering why KU games are becoming harder to watch on ESPN. The production is just awful. Subscribers numbers don’t lie. The network is failing.

Bee Bee 7 months, 1 week ago

I can watch every Duke game but not my team that is 40 miles away in the same state. Amazing.

Bryce Landon 7 months, 1 week ago

I didn't see anything in this release about Jayhawk games being blacked out in the state of Kansas like they were in the Zenger era. Do you know something I don't?

Steve Hillyer 7 months, 1 week ago

This contract seems worse for ku, not only taking a pay cut but removing games from tv and only allowing streaming for KS and western Mo fans, these games as well as the other sports have been broadcast on ESPN+ already and ESPN3 before that. I don’t understand why KU wound agree to this, looks like WVU is also taking a cut.

Steve Quatrocky 7 months, 1 week ago

All the end of season platitudes about appreciating the fanbase aside, this shows the program doesnt give a hoot about the fans, just the almighty dollar, anything that limits availability is NOT supporting the fan base.

Dwayne Mudd 7 months, 1 week ago

Currently I have Time Warner Cable solely to watch KU games. All the other programing they have I do not have any interest in. Can anyone give any direction on the cheapest way to be able to have Wi-Fi and be able to watch the KU games. I so badly want to dump TWC.

Brent Shipley 7 months, 1 week ago

SlingTV, ESPN+, So many options to ditch cable.

Roger Ortega 7 months, 1 week ago

I literally just "cut the cord" to cable on Thursday. I already subscribe to ESPN+ and just got DirecTV Now which is like Sling. Literally cut my cable bill in half. I was nervous bc I didn't want to miss any games so I waited til after BBall season. That said, it's been a seamless transition. I did have them upgrade my internet though. I live in NJ and I have not missed one single game. I don't think I've missed any exhibition games either. When they play on CBS I'll just pay the $5.00 a month for CBS and then cancel as I don't watch much there.

Will Babbit 7 months, 1 week ago

For internet it all depends on where you live exactly. YoutubeTV is by far the most cost effective cable package to watch them all (even with their recent price increase).

Edward Daub 7 months, 1 week ago

Shame on DIRECTV! For years and years, I got Jayhawk Network KU Basketball Games on ESPN Full Court "Pay per View". Last Fall, when I called about ESPN+, DIRECTV said sorry we do not carry that! So, I can get NFL, NBA, MLB, but zero ESPN+?

Maybe it's because I live in West "By God" Virginia? Rock Chalk!

Brian Skelly 7 months, 1 week ago

ESPN+ is a streaming channel. Not an pay or over the air station. ESPN is moving a lot of what could be seen for free (streaming anyways) to its subscription service.

They already have 2 million subscribers, and Im quite sure that's tip of the iceberg. It'll be Netflix for sports in a few years.

Edward Daub 7 months, 1 week ago

Thanks Brian for the explanation! My son helped me figure out how to "stream" the 4 KU Bball Games into my TV, but the picture quality was worse. Suffice to say, I am a bit "steamed" about streaming. Shame on ESPN+!

I love my three sports packages on DIRECTV, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, and MLB Extra Inninigs! Will they come under attack too?

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