New Big 12 Digital Deal To Change Some Of WVU’s TV Package

New Big 12 Digital Deal To Change Some Of WVU’s TV Package


ESPN and the Big 12 Conference announced a new agreement that will significantly expanded their existing rights contract, which runs through the 2024-25 season.

It will also change the distribution for the Tier 3 programming for eight of the Big 12’s 10 schools, including West Virginia University.

The new agreement will, according to Business Sports Journal, reportedly add another $40 million to the league’s media contract, which has six years remaining and currently pays the Big 12 a total of nearly $220 million per year.

ESPN/ABC now will be sole carrier for the Big 12 Championship Football game through 2024. Originally FOX was going to televise the game in 2019, 2021 and 2023, but that network recently backed out of its deal to broadcast the title game. ESPN/ABC already was signed to televise the championship game in the even years, and now it will have exclusive rights for the next six years.

This new media rights deal will also establish a Big 12-branded area within the ESPN+ subscription streaming service. Hundreds of Big 12 events, including exclusive football and basketball games, as well as multiple other sports, conference championships and original content, will now be carried by ESPN+.

According to WVU officials, as part of this new agreement, live Mountaineer events that previously were televised on local platforms, like AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh or various in-state channels, will now be shown exclusively on ESPN+.

Certainly this will be a change for both in-market and out-of-market viewers. Those in the market will now have to subscribe to ESPN+ if they wish to view games that previously were carried by AT&T SportsNet. At the same time, it will also enhance the viewing opportunities for those out of the market to watch games through the streaming service. Currently the subscription cost for ESPN+ is $4.99 a month.

In recent years, one Mountaineer non-conference football game per season and a half dozen or so men’s basketball games were televised on AT&T SportsNet. Now those games will be carried by ESPN+ when West Virginia’s part of the new contract begins with the start of the 2020-21 season.

Due to existing long-term rights agreements, Texas (the Longhorn Network, which is through ESPN) and Oklahoma (SoonerSports, which is through FOX Sports) will not produce or deliver programming included on ESPN+ at this time, though each can be featured when they are the road teams in games listed under the new Big 12-branded offering on the service.

The conference’s other eight 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.

Each participating Big 12 school now is assigning its available rights to ESPN and will each deliver more than 50 exclusive events per year.

The lineup will include:

• An exclusive regular-season football game each season from each participating school, as well as any spring football games.

• All regular season and exhibition men’s basketball games not distributed on ESPN’s linear networks (expected to be upwards of 75 games per year).

• Women’s basketball and other conference sports such as volleyball, soccer, wrestling, softball, baseball and more.

• Select Big 12 championship events and also other original content.

“Our institutions are thrilled with the exposure all 10 athletics programs will receive through this Big 12-branded offering,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “I appreciate the efforts of ESPN’s Burke Magnus, Nick Dawson and Pete Derzis in bringing this to fruition. Building on our relationship with ESPN and Disney DTCI allows our programs access to cutting-edge technology through the ESPN+ platform, and the ability for multiple live contests to be distributed simultaneously. 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.”

“We appreciate the continued collaboration with our friends at the Big 12 Conference and their commitment to innovation,” said Magnus, who is ESPN’s executive vice president, programming & scheduling. “This enhancement to our rights agreement reflects an ongoing desire to give Big 12 fans access to their favorite teams and hundreds of more contests, while embracing the power of technology and the expanded nature of sports consumption with ESPN+.”

WVU officials also pointed out that the new agreement is expected to enhance the Big 12’s bargaining power when renewing the next full media contract, which will then include all Tier 1 and Tier 2 rights. That contract currently runs through the end of the 2024-25 season, though usually renegotiations of such deals start several years in advance of the end of the current contract.

 

Home forums New Big 12 Digital Deal To Change Some Of WVU’s TV Package

This topic contains 18 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by RipsRevenge RipsRevenge .

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  • #88664

    New Big 12 Digital Deal To Change Some Of WVU’s TV Package ESPN and the Big 12 Conference announced a new agreement that will significantly expanded t
    [See the full post at: New Big 12 Digital Deal To Change Some Of WVU’s TV Package]

    #88683

    Greg – do you know if this new deal will also absorb telecasts originating through WVU Sports?

    #88693

    So now I have to hook up my computer to my 65” tv to watch the Mountaineers. Some older folks wont be able to watch because of the technical challenges this presents. Young folks will be driving down the freeway watching the games on their phones. Oh boy!!!

    #88697

    Hurts my access as ESPN+ doesn’t work south of the border

    #88718

    Greg – do you know if this new deal will also absorb telecasts originating through WVU Sports?

    If you are talking about games that were just streamed on WVU’s site, the answer appears to be some, but not all.

    Each school will have to supply 50-some games per year to ESPN+.

    I’ll add this to a list of follow-up questions I’m putting together for WVU. If anyone has any others they would like to ask, please list them here and I’ll do my best to get answers.

    #88719

    Hurts my access as ESPN+ doesn’t work south of the border

    Did not know that. Is it somehow blocked on your computers or mobile devices?

    #88722

    Hurts my access as ESPN+ doesn’t work south of the border

    Did not know that. Is it somehow blocked on your computers or mobile devices?

    That’s a good question.  Would using a US based VPN make a difference?

    #88723

    So, am I to infer that ESPN+ is not an option on any cable service?  I guess I’ll have to learn how to hook up my computer to my TV.  Sheesh, society is constantly causing this OLD dog to learn new tricks . . . keeps me young, I guess.

    #88730

    Does anyone know if you can watch espn+ on a smart tv?

    #88732

    This stinks for an old dog like me; but will probably be beneficial to most. I watched the non conference mediocre games on ATT …. guess I will still be able to see all the important games and will tune to radio for WVU vs Duquesne football game

    #88742

    This SUCKS….  just SUCKS.   Another way ESPiN is getting into your pocket.  Only $4.99/month…… only…..   ESPiN is slowly pushing every game to its premium stations.  ESPNU is an upgrade on my cable.  Can’t get ESPN3 or News.   Now have to pay for ESPN+.   On top of that you have to tether or blue tooth to your TV.  Some of the older TV’s don’t have that capability.   Mex can’t get it at all?????  What next?  Will IMG start to charge for their voice broadcasts?

    IMO this isn’t progress for the fans.  It’s just another way for ESPiN to make money off of the fans.

    #88745

    ESPN+ is a streaming service, but you should be able to access it on most smart TVs and with devices like Roku or Amazon Firestick.

    I don’t currently have ESPN+ but will probably subscribe to it in the future to get the Big 12 channel. What I’ll likely do is look at my currently Dish package and likely drop some of those channels, like AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, to offset the cost. I enjoy watching an occasional Pirate and Penguin game, which are the biggest broadcast partners on AT&T SportsNet, but not enough to pay additional for that channel if the Mountaineers no longer are involved.

    #88747

    This SUCKS…. just SUCKS. Another way ESPiN is getting into your pocket. Only $4.99/month…… only….. ESPiN is slowly pushing every game to its premium stations. ESPNU is an upgrade on my cable. Can’t get ESPN3 or News. Now have to pay for ESPN+. On top of that you have to tether or blue tooth to your TV. Some of the older TV’s don’t have that capability. Mex can’t get it at all????? What next? Will IMG start to charge for their voice broadcasts? IMO this isn’t progress for the fans. It’s just another way for ESPiN to make money off of the fans.

    Buggers, that’s what they are.  It rubs me raw in the anal area for every dime I am LITERALLY forced to give to Mouse Ears.  But I love my Mountaineers and being able to watch them more than I hate these smucks.

    #88813

    Greg – do you know if this new deal will also absorb telecasts originating through WVU Sports?

    It will for the most part. At this point, the understanding is that live games will eitehr be on ESPN+ or not at all.

    “Shoulder” events like coaches shows and football pregame shows could still be streamed on WVU’s web site, but live sports will be on ESPN+ or not at all.

    #88814

    IMO this isn’t progress for the fans. It’s just another way for ESPiN to make money off of the fans.

    There are a couple of positives, but at first glance I agree it’s more of a hardship. Many people aren’t digital mavens, and don’t have smart TVs. The world is moving that way, but it’s not universal.

    One positive. If, say, there are to football games that are going to be on ESPN+, it doesn’t matter what time they start, because they don’t conflict with broadcast slots. ESPN+ can and already does run events simultaneously. So, you won’t have a game moved to a different start time just for a TV slot — at least those that will be on ESPN+.

    One other thought – can’t blame ESPN for all of this. The other four P5 conferences have their own networks, and fans there arleady have to pay extra for them to get all of the games.

    #88815

    Does anyone know if you can watch espn+ on a smart tv?

    If your smart TV can connect to the internet, then yes.

    #88840

    Hurts my access as ESPN+ doesn’t work south of the border

    Did not know that. Is it somehow blocked on your computers or mobile devices?

    That’s a good question. Would using a US based VPN make a difference?

    Yes, I would need to use one of the services that masks/changes your IP address. I suppose that is on the agenda now.

    #88848

    I see that it is not available anywhere outside the US. So, an IP redirection or masking system is in your future.

    More on ESPN+. Although this is more like an ad for it. Probably ghostwritten by ESPN.

    #88853

    Hurts my access as ESPN+ doesn’t work south of the border

    Did not know that. Is it somehow blocked on your computers or mobile devices?

    That’s a good question. Would using a US based VPN make a difference?

    Yes, I would need to use one of the services that masks/changes your IP address. I suppose that is on the agenda now.

    I’m currently using NordVPN and can connect pretty much anywhere throughout the world.  I think it was $70 for 3 years if that helps.

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