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ESPN signs expanded content agreement with Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 Conference has signed an expanded agreement with ESPN, which will gain the rights to all its American football championship games until 2024 and create a Big 12-branded offering on OTT streaming service ESPN+.

ESPN will reportedly pay the collegiate athletic conference $40m (€35m) for the additional rights, which includes title games in 2019, 2021 and 2023 that Fox declined to buy.

As part of the deal, eight of the conference’s 10 universities will provide hundreds of games across multiple sports to ESPN+ including one regular-season American football game, as well as men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball games and original content.

Due to existing long-term rights agreements, Texas (the Longhorn Network) and Oklahoma (Fox Sports) will not produce and deliver programming included on ESPN+. Nonetheless, the OTT service will effectively become a de facto digital conference network.

“Our institutions are thrilled with the exposure all 10 athletics programs will receive through this Big 12-branded offering,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “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.”