The Big 12 Conference and ESPN announced Wednesday an expansion to their existing rights agreement. The deal, which runs through 2024-25 season, will bring more Big 12 events to ESPN+, a subscription service that was founded in April 2018.
Eight of the 10 Big 12 schools will have their games featured on ESPN+ under the new agreement. Texas and Oklahoma will not produce content for ESPN+.
"This is a very important and strategic move by both the Big 12 Conference and ESPN, and the announcement further enhances the Big 12 brand and favorably positions the conference for years to come," said Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard in a press release. "To be the first autonomy conference to have a branded identity on the ESPN+ platform speaks to the long-term growth of the conference and our commitment to embrace technology in order to best deliver content to our fans."
Iowa State will begin producing content for ESPN+ in July 2020, along with West Virginia, Texas Tech and Texas Christian (TCU). Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State will begin in July 2019.
“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 in a release. “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.”
According to a release from ESPN, the deal includes at least 50 exclusive events each year. These events will include a regular season football game from each participating school each season.
In a release, Pollard said Iowa State expects to continue its work with Cyclones.TV and its Mediacom channel will also continue. Live games will instead air on ESPN+.
"Mediacom has been a tremendous partner for our institution and they have been instrumental in helping Iowa State Athletics grow its brand," Pollard said. "We do recognize that live game telecasts for all sports, previously aired on Cyclones.tv and Mediacom, will move to the ESPN+ platform. However, we'll continue to show other programming including media conferences, coaches' shows, special features and replays of all live home game content."