It’s not a Big 12 television network, but the conference is going digital.
The rights agreement between the Big 12 and ESPN has been expanded upon, the conference announced Wednesday. The agreement runs through the 2024-25 season. A large focal point of the deal includes the Big 12 Football Championship game being broadcast on either ESPN or ABC through 2024.
The expanded agreement also brings a Big 12-branded offering to ESPN+, ESPN’s streaming service. Each participating Big 12 school will assign available rights to ESPN and deliver more than 50 exclusive events per year, including:
- 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 Conference championship events and original content.
Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor will begin delivering multiple sports under the new ESPN+ Big 12 platform in 2019 along with select conference championships being available.
Texas Tech, TCU, Iowa State and West Virginia will join that lineup in 2020-21. However Oklahoma and Texas will not produce and deliver programming to ESPN+ at this time because of existing long-term rights agreements. Those schools can be featured as road teams in games on the service, though.
“The Big 12-branded identity on ESPN+ is a step forward for our conference,” OSU athletic director Mike Holder said in the release. “While no one knows exactly what tomorrow may bring, all indications are that digital platforms are the future. At Oklahoma State we are excited to partner with our conference brethren in this next evolution of college athletics.”