Report: BYU, ESPN Agree To New Seven-Year Deal Through 2026 Season

Dec 2, 2019, 5:57 PM | Updated: Dec 3, 2019, 9:24 am
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey...
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – BYU football and ESPN have agreed to a new television contract that would keep the Cougars’ home games on the worldwide leader of sports through the 2026 season.

The report was first put out by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy. A BYU spokesperson had no comment on McMurphy’s report and said they will announce their new television deal when it is finalized.

The 2019 season marked BYU’s final season of its initial television contract with ESPN as an FBS Independent. BYU left the Mountain West Conference in 2011 and has had their home football games televised on ESPN networks since that season.

Financially, BYU’s first contract with ESPN was believed to be around $6 million per year. Being a private institution, however, those financial terms are not available to the public. It’s not known how much the next television deal will bring BYU financially.

Back in June, BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe addressed negotiations with ESPN at BYU’s annual Media Day event and said, “We’re in a good spot. We’re in the tail end. We’ve been with ESPN for a long time. They’ve done a lot of our games. We look forward to working with them in the future,”

One of the hangups that Holmoe acknowledged at Media Day in June was the bowl situation. According to McMurphy, BYU is guaranteed a game with a contracted ESPN bowl. Later this month, BYU is playing in the Hawaii Bowl, which is an ESPN contracted game.

Since 2011, BYU is in the top 20 in all of college football for most nationally televised games, in large part because of ESPN. ESPN’s Senior Vice President Pete Derzis discussed the relationship with BYU after the Cougars clinched their sixth-win of the season last month.

“It’s outstanding,” said Derzis. “Long-standing relationship, great respect for what BYU has brought to the table, it’s a national program and we’re proud to be their television partner.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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