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Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
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TexasTerror Offline
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Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
As many in this group know, there's some conversation on the future of the Western Athletic Conference and it's television/media partner. The Wittry write-up a few weeks ago indicated that the league's media committee was determining between ESPN and FloSports.

The Big Sky is not necessarily a comparable conference in all aspects, but in some aspects - it is.

You can see in the initial paragraph, they talk about over 600+ conference events on the ESPN+/ESPN App in addition to two televised games on ESPNU and one regular season men's basketball game and both the championship games.

What do you hope the WAC shares in the coming weeks on this front? Do you feel this Big Sky agreement sets the bar for expectations?

Quote:FARMINGTON, Utah (June 9, 2021) -- The Big Sky Conference and ESPN have announced a new multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement, adding hundreds of Big Sky live events to ESPN’s college sports portfolio. More than 600 Big Sky events in both men’s and women’s sports will stream on ESPN+ and the ESPN App. ESPNU will televise two football games each year, in addition to one regular season men’s basketball game and the championship games for the Big Sky Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments slated for ESPN networks.

“This landmark agreement for the Big Sky and our membership rightfully aligns the nation’s preeminent FCS conference with the strongest media brand in sports,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “We are absolutely thrilled to join the ESPN family and deliver an elevated viewing experience with hundreds of Big Sky contests on ESPN+ each year. In addition, the numerous linear opportunities on ESPN networks now available to us is unprecedented among our peers, and yet another way that we will enhance the brand of the Big Sky.”

The first event on ESPN networks as part of the new deal is the Big Sky Conference’s annual Football Kickoff, which will stream live on ESPN+ on Monday, July 26. Big Sky teams have recently been featured on ESPN networks while competing on the national stage, including Eastern Washington and conference champion Weber State in the FCS Playoffs, and the Northern Arizona men’s cross country team claiming its fourth NCAA title in five years, live on ESPNU.

Big Sky Conference
06-09-2021 11:59 AM
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Lopes87 Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
I think the WAC needs to stay with ESPN. I know GCU will go kicking and screaming if its FloSports, I could see the Lopes working out their own tv/stream deal if the WAC went with the god awful FloSports option.
06-09-2021 12:50 PM
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DoubleRSU Online
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-09-2021 12:50 PM)Lopes87 Wrote:  I think the WAC needs to stay with ESPN. I know GCU will go kicking and screaming if its FloSports, I could see the Lopes working out their own tv/stream deal if the WAC went with the god awful FloSports option.

Yes, the WAC needs to stay with ESPN. Unless Fox comes calling and is putting games on FS1 - which is extremely unlikely.
06-09-2021 01:29 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
So no more Big Sky on Pluto?
06-09-2021 01:29 PM
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TardisCaptain Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-09-2021 01:29 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  So no more Big Sky on Pluto?

I was wondering the same thing.
06-09-2021 04:33 PM
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DoubleRSU Online
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
No. No more Pluto
06-09-2021 05:25 PM
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SDHornet Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
Pluto worked well, and I had no issues with it plus it's free and would re-air random BSC events on the various channels designated for the BSC when live events aren't on. But moving to the Mouse is a better move for the BSC.

Wonder what is going through SUU's mind right now. We'll see what Hurd and co can pull off in this arena.
06-09-2021 06:23 PM
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cleburneslim Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
ESPN only buys up media rights so they can suppress them relegating the fcs to anonymity.
Imo free and on TV is better than a pittance and on espn3. And seen by no one that doesn't purposely seek it out. How do you grow new fans if they never watch a game.
06-09-2021 09:04 PM
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DoubleRSU Online
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-09-2021 09:04 PM)cleburneslim Wrote:  ESPN only buys up media rights so they can suppress them relegating the fcs to anonymity.
Imo free and on TV is better than a pittance and on espn3. And seen by no one that doesn't purposely seek it out. How do you grow new fans if they never watch a game.

Please. You’re just an ESPN hater. If the Big Sky was getting good ratings and exposure on Pluto, they would still be with them. Why didn’t the Big Sky get a better offer to go somewhere else? Do you really think the Big Sky is a hot TV property? A lot of these small conferences (WAC included) are lucky that ESPN wants their rights.
06-09-2021 09:52 PM
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SDHornet Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-09-2021 09:52 PM)DoubleRSU Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:04 PM)cleburneslim Wrote:  ESPN only buys up media rights so they can suppress them relegating the fcs to anonymity.
Imo free and on TV is better than a pittance and on espn3. And seen by no one that doesn't purposely seek it out. How do you grow new fans if they never watch a game.

Please. You’re just an ESPN hater. If the Big Sky was getting good ratings and exposure on Pluto, they would still be with them. Why didn’t the Big Sky get a better offer to go somewhere else? Do you really think the Big Sky is a hot TV property? A lot of these small conferences (WAC included) are lucky that ESPN wants their rights.

Yeah, he's wrong. The BSC had a deal with Root Sports to broadcast a weekly FB game. I'm assuming that expired and the BSC leveraged that into this ESPN deal. Lots of FCS games are already on ESPN+.

Now if all that was on Pluto (M&W hoops, VB, WSoc, Softball) isn't carried over onto ESPN+, it will b a net negative from an exposure point of view but the BSC press release indicates otherwise.
06-09-2021 10:49 PM
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cleburneslim Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
Not a fan of Pluto either. But any conference would be better off with actual airtime and not simply available for their fans.
ESPN+ offers a few bucks and a spot where only the fans you have will see you. The problem with root was that it is not everyone gets it and it is hidden at the end of the dial at least it was for me so I rarely visited it.
Jax State has a similar deal with ESPN+ and it simply put is no better than the OVC digital network we had that was free. No one is watching but your own fans who seek it out.

Enlighten me as to who or how is ESPN+ going to grow the big sky as a product how will it help gain new fans or more viewers?
06-10-2021 03:54 AM
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DoubleRSU Online
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-10-2021 03:54 AM)cleburneslim Wrote:  Not a fan of Pluto either. But any conference would be better off with actual airtime and not simply available for their fans.
ESPN+ offers a few bucks and a spot where only the fans you have will see you. The problem with root was that it is not everyone gets it and it is hidden at the end of the dial at least it was for me so I rarely visited it.
Jax State has a similar deal with ESPN+ and it simply put is no better than the OVC digital network we had that was free. No one is watching but your own fans who seek it out.

Enlighten me as to who or how is ESPN+ going to grow the big sky as a product how will it help gain new fans or more viewers?

ESPN is only worried about advertisers and shareholders. It is not their problem to help the Big Sky, OVC, or WAC to help gain new fans or more viewers. That’s the problem of the athletic departments and conferences. ESPN will only want to grow audiences for LSU vs Bama, not Dixie State vs Jacksonville State. Only a brain dead network would put effort towards smaller conferences than bigger ones.

How is ESPN+ worse than a conference network available on their own website? How are you going to grow an audience with that?
06-10-2021 10:43 AM
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SDHornet Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-10-2021 03:54 AM)cleburneslim Wrote:  Not a fan of Pluto either. But any conference would be better off with actual airtime and not simply available for their fans.
ESPN+ offers a few bucks and a spot where only the fans you have will see you. The problem with root was that it is not everyone gets it and it is hidden at the end of the dial at least it was for me so I rarely visited it.
Jax State has a similar deal with ESPN+ and it simply put is no better than the OVC digital network we had that was free. No one is watching but your own fans who seek it out.

Enlighten me as to who or how is ESPN+ going to grow the big sky as a product how will it help gain new fans or more viewers?

I can't tell you how many times I was thumbing through the ESPN+ lineup and landed on a game in which I had no rooting interest. Last week was probably the most college baseball I ever watched in that time span. Would have never tuned in if the large variety of games weren't available by a few clicks or touches of the firestick remote.

Fans will find their teams regardless of what platform they are on. Pluto, WAC Digital Network, Root, pornhub, radio, facebook, whatever, the fans will find their team. This move is best for casual fans looking for something to watch which maybe, just maybe will grow the fanbase a tiny bit. This was a good move by the BSC.
06-10-2021 01:12 PM
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-10-2021 01:12 PM)SDHornet Wrote:  
(06-10-2021 03:54 AM)cleburneslim Wrote:  Not a fan of Pluto either. But any conference would be better off with actual airtime and not simply available for their fans.
ESPN+ offers a few bucks and a spot where only the fans you have will see you. The problem with root was that it is not everyone gets it and it is hidden at the end of the dial at least it was for me so I rarely visited it.
Jax State has a similar deal with ESPN+ and it simply put is no better than the OVC digital network we had that was free. No one is watching but your own fans who seek it out.

Enlighten me as to who or how is ESPN+ going to grow the big sky as a product how will it help gain new fans or more viewers?

I can't tell you how many times I was thumbing through the ESPN+ lineup and landed on a game in which I had no rooting interest. Last week was probably the most college baseball I ever watched in that time span. Would have never tuned in if the large variety of games weren't available by a few clicks or touches of the firestick remote.

Fans will find their teams regardless of what platform they are on. Pluto, WAC Digital Network, Root, pornhub, radio, facebook, whatever, the fans will find their team. This move is best for casual fans looking for something to watch which maybe, just maybe will grow the fanbase a tiny bit. This was a good move by the BSC.

Which schools are streaming thru pornhub? Might become my new favorite team.
(This post was last modified: 06-10-2021 04:54 PM by TexanFan.)
06-10-2021 02:18 PM
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DoubleRSU Online
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-10-2021 01:12 PM)SDHornet Wrote:  
(06-10-2021 03:54 AM)cleburneslim Wrote:  Not a fan of Pluto either. But any conference would be better off with actual airtime and not simply available for their fans.
ESPN+ offers a few bucks and a spot where only the fans you have will see you. The problem with root was that it is not everyone gets it and it is hidden at the end of the dial at least it was for me so I rarely visited it.
Jax State has a similar deal with ESPN+ and it simply put is no better than the OVC digital network we had that was free. No one is watching but your own fans who seek it out.

Enlighten me as to who or how is ESPN+ going to grow the big sky as a product how will it help gain new fans or more viewers?

I can't tell you how many times I was thumbing through the ESPN+ lineup and landed on a game in which I had no rooting interest. Last week was probably the most college baseball I ever watched in that time span. Would have never tuned in if the large variety of games weren't available by a few clicks or touches of the firestick remote.

Fans will find their teams regardless of what platform they are on. Pluto, WAC Digital Network, Root, pornhub, radio, facebook, whatever, the fans will find their team. This move is best for casual fans looking for something to watch which maybe, just maybe will grow the fanbase a tiny bit. This was a good move by the BSC.

Same here. Last year I did not have cable or a streaming package. Only OTT services. I would also browse randomly on ESPN+. Watched a lot of different games. I watched an Austin Peay basketball game, among many other events. I would have never browsed to OVC.com to watch any game on there. Being on “TV” is a big deal, even if it’s only ESPN+. I would venture to say that the majority of ESPN+ users, watch on their TV.
06-10-2021 02:35 PM
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Vulpes88 Online
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-10-2021 02:18 PM)TexanFan Wrote:  
(06-10-2021 01:12 PM)SDHornet Wrote:  
(06-10-2021 03:54 AM)cleburneslim Wrote:  Not a fan of Pluto either. But any conference would be better off with actual airtime and not simply available for their fans.
ESPN+ offers a few bucks and a spot where only the fans you have will see you. The problem with root was that it is not everyone gets it and it is hidden at the end of the dial at least it was for me so I rarely visited it.
Jax State has a similar deal with ESPN+ and it simply put is no better than the OVC digital network we had that was free. No one is watching but your own fans who seek it out.

Enlighten me as to who or how is ESPN+ going to grow the big sky as a product how will it help gain new fans or more viewers?

I can't tell you how many times I was thumbing through the ESPN+ lineup and landed on a game in which I had no rooting interest. Last week was probably the most college baseball I ever watched in that time span. Would have never tuned in if the large variety of games weren't available by a few clicks or touches of the firestick remote.

Fans will find their teams regardless of what platform they are on. Pluto, WAC Digital Network, Root, pornhub, radio, facebook, whatever, the fans will find their team. This move is best for casual fans looking for something to watch which maybe, just maybe will grow the fanbase a tiny bit. This was a good move by the BSC.

Which schools are streaming thru pornhub? Might become my new favorite team.

I believe that would be the Hustler University Cocks and Beavers.
06-11-2021 11:39 AM
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Pounder Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-09-2021 10:49 PM)SDHornet Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:52 PM)DoubleRSU Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:04 PM)cleburneslim Wrote:  ESPN only buys up media rights so they can suppress them relegating the fcs to anonymity.
Imo free and on TV is better than a pittance and on espn3. And seen by no one that doesn't purposely seek it out. How do you grow new fans if they never watch a game.

Please. You’re just an ESPN hater. If the Big Sky was getting good ratings and exposure on Pluto, they would still be with them. Why didn’t the Big Sky get a better offer to go somewhere else? Do you really think the Big Sky is a hot TV property? A lot of these small conferences (WAC included) are lucky that ESPN wants their rights.

Yeah, he's wrong. The BSC had a deal with Root Sports to broadcast a weekly FB game. I'm assuming that expired and the BSC leveraged that into this ESPN deal. Lots of FCS games are already on ESPN+.

Now if all that was on Pluto (M&W hoops, VB, WSoc, Softball) isn't carried over onto ESPN+, it will b a net negative from an exposure point of view but the BSC press release indicates otherwise.

Has the Root deal expired? I've heard conflicting comments. That deal is the practical bone thrown to Montana for their involvement in the channel.

OTOH, Root just signed the Portland Trail Blazers on, and along with Seattle Kraken, that channel is getting crowded awfully fast.

I do believe ESPN is taking the entire Pluto package... this helps.
06-11-2021 02:52 PM
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Lopes87 Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-11-2021 02:52 PM)Pounder Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 10:49 PM)SDHornet Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:52 PM)DoubleRSU Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:04 PM)cleburneslim Wrote:  ESPN only buys up media rights so they can suppress them relegating the fcs to anonymity.
Imo free and on TV is better than a pittance and on espn3. And seen by no one that doesn't purposely seek it out. How do you grow new fans if they never watch a game.

Please. You’re just an ESPN hater. If the Big Sky was getting good ratings and exposure on Pluto, they would still be with them. Why didn’t the Big Sky get a better offer to go somewhere else? Do you really think the Big Sky is a hot TV property? A lot of these small conferences (WAC included) are lucky that ESPN wants their rights.

Yeah, he's wrong. The BSC had a deal with Root Sports to broadcast a weekly FB game. I'm assuming that expired and the BSC leveraged that into this ESPN deal. Lots of FCS games are already on ESPN+.

Now if all that was on Pluto (M&W hoops, VB, WSoc, Softball) isn't carried over onto ESPN+, it will b a net negative from an exposure point of view but the BSC press release indicates otherwise.

Has the Root deal expired? I've heard conflicting comments. That deal is the practical bone thrown to Montana for their involvement in the channel.

OTOH, Root just signed the Portland Trail Blazers on, and along with Seattle Kraken, that channel is getting crowded awfully fast.

I do believe ESPN is taking the entire Pluto package... this helps.

Root Sports NW is owned by the Seattle Mariners and like you said between the Mariners Blazers Kraken Timbers some GNAC hoops and HS sports from time to time it looks like the Montana schools will have games on Root Sports as well. I wouldn't be shocked at some point to see the Storm join the lineup as well.
(This post was last modified: 06-11-2021 05:31 PM by Lopes87.)
06-11-2021 05:31 PM
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SDHornet Offline
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RE: Semi OT: Big Sky Television Deal
(06-11-2021 02:52 PM)Pounder Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 10:49 PM)SDHornet Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:52 PM)DoubleRSU Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 09:04 PM)cleburneslim Wrote:  ESPN only buys up media rights so they can suppress them relegating the fcs to anonymity.
Imo free and on TV is better than a pittance and on espn3. And seen by no one that doesn't purposely seek it out. How do you grow new fans if they never watch a game.

Please. You’re just an ESPN hater. If the Big Sky was getting good ratings and exposure on Pluto, they would still be with them. Why didn’t the Big Sky get a better offer to go somewhere else? Do you really think the Big Sky is a hot TV property? A lot of these small conferences (WAC included) are lucky that ESPN wants their rights.

Yeah, he's wrong. The BSC had a deal with Root Sports to broadcast a weekly FB game. I'm assuming that expired and the BSC leveraged that into this ESPN deal. Lots of FCS games are already on ESPN+.

Now if all that was on Pluto (M&W hoops, VB, WSoc, Softball) isn't carried over onto ESPN+, it will b a net negative from an exposure point of view but the BSC press release indicates otherwise.

Has the Root deal expired? I've heard conflicting comments. That deal is the practical bone thrown to Montana for their involvement in the channel.

OTOH, Root just signed the Portland Trail Blazers on, and along with Seattle Kraken, that channel is getting crowded awfully fast.

I do believe ESPN is taking the entire Pluto package... this helps.

BSC release indicated that there is one more year left on the deal. The beauty of the Root deal is that although the Montuckies were the ones always aired, the monies went to the conference. The thing to keep an eye on is will additional games be picked up by ESPNU (not ESPN+) when the Root deal expires.
06-11-2021 05:55 PM
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