ESPN and the Big 12 Conference have significantly expanded their rights deal into effect through the 2024/25 season. In addition to its already robust coverage of the Big 12, the deal means abc or ESPN will broadcast the Big 12 Championship exclusively on television each year until 2024 — adding three additional championship games (2019, 2021 and 2023) and bolstering ABC and ESPN`s Roster at the Saturday Championship each year on the eve of College Football Selection`s Day. Jeff Long, Kansas: “This agreement strengthens the Big 12 Conference alliance with our valued broadcast partner and helps ensure the conference`s future financial growth. While this decision involves a change in the way our local and regional fans see a few games early in the season, there will be Jayhawks around the world the convenience of watching games whenever they want and with the same excellent quality we`re all used to at espn Networks. We also know that more and more Jayhawk fans are watching digital platforms to see their favorite programs. Now they can watch their favorite team on the industry`s industry-leading digital sports platform. The partnership with ESPN aligns all rights to broadcast the conference (linear and digital) pending broadcast agreements released in 2024-25. Iowa State expects its Cyclones.tv presence to continue, including its linear channel on Mediacom. In addition, the deal will bring hundreds of Big 12 events, including exclusive football and basketball games, as well as several other sports, conference championships, and original content — to ESPN+, the direct-to-mainstream sports streaming service. As part of the agreement, all ESPN+ events will be produced and presented under a big 12 offering developed by the conference and ESPN and launched on ESPN+ prior to the start of the 2019-20 sports season.
None of this necessarily means that the League is betting on the maintenance of life. For advertisers, it`s always worth having a big conference in the center of the country. What`s more, Texas and Oklahoma could ultimately decide that their best chances of winning championships remain in the Big 12. The granting of rights stipulates in principle that if a school interrupts before the end of the media rights contract, the conference retains the television rights to its football and basketball matches. In this context, no school is expected to leave the conference before the end of 2025, unless it takes on a massive legal challenge. Texas was excluded because it has a contract with ESPNs Longhorn Network for the rights to at least one football game per season. Oklahoma had a local television contract for at least one game per season. Several sources have mentioned, as part of the expansion process, that it is difficult for Texas and Oklahoma alone to find support to extend the granting of rights beyond their expiration in 2025.
The new agreement provides that Big 12 content will be specifically tagged on ESPN+ for the conference, creating a de facto digital conferencing network. As part of the expanded deal, hundreds of additional big 12 sporting events are featured each year under the new big 12 offering on ESPN+, with each of espn`s big 12 conference schools granting available rights and offering more than 50 exclusive events per year. The range will include: in 2020-21, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia and Texas Tech will join the range. Under existing long-term rights agreements, Texas (longhorn Network) and Oklahoma will not currently produce or provide any programs on ESPN+, but will be featured as street teams in games listed on the service under the brand`s new big 12 offering. . . .