Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and what it means for Kansas Fans
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Big 12 Conference has named its Big-12 branded digital offering via ESPN+ Big 12 Now, with Kansas’ football game Saturday vs. Coastal Carolina one of the first games to appear on the viewing schedule.
The conference made the announcement at its preseason football media day in Arlington, Texas. The conference had announced in April the development of the Big 12-branded digital offering via ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer subscription sports streaming service.
What does the development of Big 12 Now mean for Kansas fans? It means that Kansas’ third-tier (i.e., non-network) events will appear exclusively on ESPN+, which is available nationwide via the free ESPN App on mobile and connected devices, and at ESPN.com. A subscription to ESPN+ is $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year and can be cancelled at any time.
The most notable change for KU fans will center around one football game and two men’s basketball exhibition games and four early-season non-conference games. Those events have traditionally not aired on ESPN. They will now be available exclusively on Big 12 Now, not on over-the-air, local or cable television. One thing that will not change: KU will have as many football and men’s basketball games on ESPN and other major TV networks as in the past.
Each participating Big 12 institution will provide television production for a minimum of 50 events per year, including the women’s basketball and Olympic sports productions that were available on ESPN+ during the 2019-20 season. This agreement provides Big 12 schools the flexibility to set their own preferred dates and times for these events.
“This agreement strengthens the Big 12 Conference’s alliance with our valued broadcast partner,” said Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long, “and helps ensure the conference’s future financial growth. While this decision means a change in how our local and regional fans watch a few early-season games, it will allow Jayhawks around the country the convenience of watching games when they want and with the same excellent quality we are all used to on the ESPN Networks. We also know more and more Jayhawk fans look to digital platforms to watch their favorite programming; now they will be able watch their favorite team via the industry’s leading digital sports platform.”
ESPN+ reached two million subscribers within a year of its launch. Subscribers to ESPN+ have access to thousands of events annually, including thousands of college sports events; hundreds of Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games; top domestic and international soccer; new and exclusive series; studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30-for-30 film archive; popular past series from ESPN and more.
In addition to the content available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, Kansas fans can catch various shoulder programming on Midco Sports Network, Spectrum Sports and Cox Communications.
Among the programming available on KU’s linear networks is the following:
- Hawk Talk reairs (football and men’s basketball)
- Gameday Live (30 min pregame and 60 min postgame shows for football and men’s basketball)
- Late Night in The Phog
- Football Signing Day Special
- NCAA Tournament Preview Special
Please check your local listings. Dates and times are subject to change.