ESPN Snags TV Rights to Newly-Independent BYU Football
ESPN and Brigham Young University have reached an eight-year agreement for exclusive rights to BYU home football games across the ESPN platforms. The deal runs through the 2018 season with an ESPN option in 2019. ESPN will receive first selection rights to all BYU home games and any neutral site matchup where BYU is the designated home team.
“BYU is nationally recognized as an outstanding university and for the history and tradition of its premier athletic programs,” says Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming. “Once BYU decided to chart an independent course for football, we both recognized it is a good opportunity to build and grow our strong 30- year relationship. With this agreement, college football fans around the country will see the quality and pageantry of BYU as well as the passion and enthusiasm of its supporters.”
The announcement comes just days after BYU announced that it was leaving the Mountain West Conference to become an independent in football. The school will join the West Coast Conference in all other sports in the 2011-12 school year.
“ESPN’s long history of televising some of the great games in Cougar football history was one of the reasons we reached out to them when we began this process,” says BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. “We’re thrilled to return to an official relationship with the family of networks that has done so much for us over the years, and which has a well deserved reputation for high-quality productions. We’re also grateful to ESPN for accommodating our in-house broadcasting arm, BYU Broadcasting.”
An annual minimum of three games will air on ESPN, ESPN on ABC or ESPN2, including telecasts on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. At least one game per season will air on ESPNU. ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, and ESPN GamePlan will be able to simulcast any ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC telecast. BYU content will also be available on ESPN Classic, ESPN.com, and ESPN Mobile Properties. Any games not selected by ESPN will be available on BYU Broadcasting.