Saturday, June 1, 2019

Thoughts on Initial CFB TV Selections For 2019

FOX Sports

* Looks like FOX's MLB postseason schedule will give them those Friday openings for Colorado at Oregon on 10/11 & Ohio St. at Northwestern on 10/18.  I was playing the incorrect hunch that FOX Sports' ALCS or NLCS schedule had not started on the Saturday since 2014, which is incorrect because they started the 2016 NLCS on a Saturday night on FS1 too.

2014 happened to be the year they got themselves in a bit of a jam with a weeknight football game, having to move Utah at Oregon St. from FS1 to FS2 plus Pac-12 Networks coverage.

* Its been drilled into my head that FOX Sports RSNs would be managed by FOX for some period of time after Sinclair takes over.  Don't know the closing date for that transaction yet, but Sinclair seemed optimistic that it could happen in the 3rd Quarter of 2019.  So we'll have at least a few Big 12 games on their channels, plus a package of ACC games.

I'm not going to speculate if Big 12 games will continue there beyond 2019, but the ACC games will be there well into the 2020s.  My personal opinion is that its not worth guessing how Sinclair is going to manage these RSNs or how FOX manages this subset of content, at least in their near term.

* Apparently Liberty's one year of games on ESPN3 was a bridge year to ESPN+, where most of their Atlantic Sun athletic contents reside.

* This is old news, but if you have the FOX Sports GO app on your phone, you've likely been directed to get the FOX Sports app & to watch content from FOX, FOX Deportes, FS1, FS2 and BTN, where FOX Sports Go & is the place to watch your FOX branded RSN content.  I've made that delineation on the schedule site as well.  My working theory is that FOX Sports Go will be sent over to Sinclair in the RSN transaction so that authentication to those channels remains seamless once they take over those RSNs.

I assume that the FSN football games from the Big 12 & ACC, plus Big East content later this fall & winter, will require the FOX Sports Go app & not be available via the FOX Sports app.  Confused?

* One immediate change with the addition of the ACC Network: No games were scheduled for ESPNEWS over the first three weeks of the season.  Maybe that's where the UFC PPV prelims for the Abu Dhabi event on 9/7 will end up airing as ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are all in use.

* Speaking of UFC, the Fight Night card on 12/7 on ESPN means that the Mountain West championship will air at 4pm ET, at the same time as the American on ABC (3:30pm for them) & SEC on CBS.

Also, the Michigan St. at Ohio St. on 10/5, preselected to air at 7:30pm on ABC or ESPN, happens to be on the same evening that ESPN is tentatively scheduled to air UFC PPV prelims.  Unless the PPV prelims move to ESPN2, I'd expect the football game to be on ABC as its already been set with the new ABC primetime start time of 7:30pm ET.

* The agreement for CBS to sublicense SEC games from ESPN, usually during the first two weeks of the season, ended after the 2018 season and appears to have not been renewed or renegotiated, so CBS's schedule will start as it did in most prior years when it carried US Open tennis (the weekend after the US Open final).  CBS and ESPN kept their MAC sublicense alive for at least 2019, with ten scheduled games on CBS Sports Network.

In my opinion and I'm not alone in this boat, the placement of the SEC primetime game on CBS on 9/21 is for Notre Dame at Georgia.  They don't have to make that announcement until 9/9 when TV assignments for 9/21 are made.  Also, CBS's schedule only has the one telecast window on 11/9 at 3:30pm ET.  That Saturday is notable as it is the date of the LSU at Alabama game, which has been played in primetime since 2011.

* Still no CFB game scheduled for Thursday 9/13 after North Carolina at Wake Forest was moved from that date to Friday 9/14.

* A couple folks have asked about the strategy that FOX has implemented, intending to place their best game at noon ET, then looking at the choices made over the first three weeks and being underwhelmed.  I'm not going to toe the company line for them.  They went with draws (Michigan & Ohio St.) in those slots.  Will those games be compelling to watch?  Can't say, so I do understand that part of the skepticism.  But these weren't going to be Pac-12 games, so Oklahoma at UCLA wasn't going to land there.  If there's a quibble between using Ohio St. at Indiana over Arizona St. at Michigan St., I can understand that one but Ohio St. draws.  They just do.

* There's some interesting info from a list of timeslots passed along to me for FOX broadcast networks game times:
  • Only one game at 12pm on 9/21 and 10/12.  I understand the reason in mid-October (MLB postseason) and Texas vs. Oklahoma is a good one to have.  Same with Wisconsin at Michigan on 9/21, but I can't figure out yet why only one game, unless they'll be moving a MLB window from FS1 over there, or a PBC card scheduled for FS1 that evening gets elevated.
  • It seems that FOX is going with MLB in primetime on 9/28, unless that game window is moving. 
  • 11/9 has a opening in mid-afternoon with no plan to air a game.  Would happen to be the weekend of LSU at Alabama, so if it stays in mid-afternoon, is FOX just laying out?
* So ESPN appears to have highly valued the Notre Dame at Michigan game (maybe that goes against the World Series on FOX, or try to take a bite out of them at 12pm?) and LSU at Texas with (instead of?) the Red River Shootout going to FOX for the second straight year.  I'm curious where Bedlam ends up on 11/30 since it's often a game that gets locked into a network family early.

Beyond those decision (ESPN also seems to value the 2nd week of the season with the Big Ten usually, just an observation), several Big Ten homecoming games interest me because of where they likely won't air:
  • The FOX listing sheet that I was sent says 9/28 has their broadcast network games earmarked for the Big 12 & Pac-12, so Indiana at Michigan St. won't air there.  FS1 also has a MLB window to slot, so once that gets settled, Indiana at Michigan St. might not be available at all for them,
  • None of the three games available on 10/12 (Michigan St. at Wisconsin, Rutgers at Indiana, Maryland at Purdue) would air on FOX because they don't have any other games after Red River, plus there's a NASCAR truck series race on FS1 in the early afternoon, so Rutgers at Indiana & Maryland at Purdue, both 12pm starts, wouldn't be available to them either.
  • Indications are that both games on 10/19 on FOX will come from the Big 12, so Purdue at Iowa, Wisconsin at Illinois and Minnesota at Rutgers wouldn't be on the broadcast network.
  • Iowa at Northwestern on 10/26 could air on FOX, but not FS1 with a NASCAR truck series race currently scheduled around the football game's 12pm start.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Final TV Guesses For 2019 College Football Early Season & Special Dates

One final run at the early season & special date TV schedule with most of these to be announced on May 30th.

In the interest of trying to keep this blog post short, I'm creating links to Google Docs for each week plus the weeknight schedule.

If a game isn't listed, I assuming it will be online only via ESPN3/ESPN+, Stadium online or other means.

Weeks Zero & One
Week Two
Week Three
Special Dates (Week Four & Beyond Weeknights)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Notes on Early Season ACC, ABC Primetime Games & Championship Saturday

* ABC has followed FOX's lead of showing the Pac-12 Championship game on broadcast television on Friday night.  In addition, they'll carry the ACC, American & Big 12 games on ABC on Saturday.  My assumption is that the Big 12 or ACC will be at noon while the American will be slotted against the SEC title game in the middle like last year.  Whichever game isn't at 12pm gets the primetime slot.

The ABC primetime games will also shift to 7:30pm ET starts full time after using those start times for Big Ten telecasts only.

* FOX's advertising upfront presentation noted that their best games each week would be a noon ET instead of in primetime.  Its fair to say that ABC owned the space at 8pm and is established there and in mid-afternoon there's often the SEC game on CBS being the top game, with Notre Dame on NBC also placing well.  In any case, there's a bit of a splitting of the audiences.  Can't hurt FOX to try another time slot.

FOX offered noon ET or 1pm ET ten times in 2018 (nine Saturdays plus day after Thanksgiving).  Per SportsMediaWatch, FOX's highest rated game was that earliest game nine times.  The only times the first game was not their highest rated was Week 13 when Kansas-Oklahoma at 7:30pm beat Michigan St.-Nebraska at 12pm.

With FOX being a Pac-12 rightsholder, I assume that they'll either place their best game from the conference at 3:30pm  ET when possible.  As for the Big Ten title game, I would assume that remains a primetime affair.

* Yes, the surprise for me was to see the existence of the ACC RSN package when the ACC released their remaining early season start times.  The conference's communications department said it would be 17 football games, plus men's & women's basketball games, distributed across existing RSNs.  This package is a continuation of an existing agreement to give games to RSNs that would have extended into the 2026-27 athletic year, so it was not bought back.  The agreement ending that athletic year was the extension reached when Pittsburgh and Syracuse were added as members, so it was the extension prior to the one where the ACC Network's establishment was announced.

I'll be interested to see how those games' distribution across RSNs will occur.  FOX's control over the RSNs being bought by Sinclair will be coming to an end at some point.  I don't know if there will be tighter control over which RSNs receive these games.  Will it be the same wide open distribution that FOX was given over the RSNs it owned plus any RSNs covering ACC states? With FOX out of the picture could other RSNs buy these games?  Or could only ACC states' RSNs receive these games with digital coverage elsewhere.

* So why did the RSN package remain?  I don't know yet.  In 2019, there are 91 regular season controlled games from the conference.  Of that, the RSN package will take 17.  Let's assume the ACC Network takes 45 (14 weeks X 3 games, plus 3 weeknight games in weeks 1 & 2), leaving 29 games for ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

That seems a bit low, but ESPN and ESPN2 could have to give up one window a month to UFC for PPV prelims.  Either way, the number of games on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 last year was 40.  So either ACC Network is going to be stocked up with games that would have otherwise appeared on those primary networks, or ACC Network isn't going to have three games a week.

* With the use of both ACC Network Extra & ACC RSNs, it appears that there won't be linear TV overflow channels for the network.

* Was also caught off guard by a pair of network designations & a date change:

  • Pittsburgh at Syracuse on ESPN on October 18th surprised me.  I was under the assumption that the game would be on ACC Network and ESPN would air Ohio St. at Northwestern.  I'm still working off the assumption that FS1 would have MLB postseason and FOX would be carrying WWE Smackdown, so maybe its possible that ABC will carry a Friday night football game.  Or I have a misplaced read on the MLB postseason schedule.
  • To further my misplaced assessment of the MLB postseason schedule, the start time  & network Virginia at Miami (FL) (8pm ET on ESPN) doesn't lend itself to being doubleheadered with Colorado at Oregon, also scheduled for that Friday night.  Assuming FOX has the same commitments to MLB and WWE, does the Pac-12 game air on ESPN2?  Pac-12 Networks?  Less certain it would air on ABC being a west coast game unless it starts earlier in the evening like the Pac-12 Championship will.
  • With North Carolina at Wake Forest moved to Friday night 9/13, Wake Forest will start the season with three consecutive Friday night games: vs. Utah St., at Rice, vs. UNC.  The 6pm start time could mean a doubleheader with Washington St. vs. Houston or for that game to air on ESPN2 instead.  Could also allow for the game at NRG Stadium to be moved to Thursday to give workers a chance to turn it over as Rice is hosting Texas there on Saturday night at 8pm ET.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

CFB TV Guesses (Take 2) on 2019 Weeks Two

Taking a 2nd crack at figuring out the Week Two CFB TV schedule.  What have we learned since late February?  A few things:
  • The Mountain West national TV schedule has been announced
  • One game has changed dates across this particular week
  • UFC 242 has been set for Saturday, September 7th.

Here's the original guesses

7pm ACCN: William & Mary at Virginia
8pm CBSSN: Wake Forest at Rice
9pm ESPN2: Marshall at Boise St. (confirmed)
10pm Pac-12: Sacramento St. at Arizona St.


Still don't know whether the ACC Network will have alternate feeds for football games or not.  When reaching out to contacts who may know, they said those details were still being worked out.  

I'm assuming CBS continued its sublicense agreement with ESPN for a pair of SEC games.  North Carolina vs. South Carolina in Week One & Arkansas at Ole Miss this week.  In prior years, since these are sublicensed, ESPN can air SEC games concurrently on ESPN, ESPN2 and/or ESPNU during these two games.

Per multiple reports, UFC 242 is set for September 7th in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Don't know if/how that affects when the fight schedule would be broadcast.  For those doing time zone math, 12pm ET = 8pm local time in the UAE, so for the time being I've cleared out the 12pm ESPN window for airing any PPV prelims.  ESPN would also carry the US Open women's final in mid-afternoon, so I don't have the channel carrying a game until 7pm ET.

The three Big 12 games on FS2 are not member retained games.  I just don't know where to place these without knowing when Sinclair will take over the formerly FOX owned RSNs.  I suppose the other platform FOX could use is Caffeine, the streaming platform they have invested in and are moving some Big East Digital Network to.  This particular weekend also has a FIFA international play break, so I think FS2 would be free from Bundesliga duty in the early afternoon.

12pm ABC: Syracuse at Maryland
12pm FOX: Army at Michigan
12pm ESPN2: Buffalo at Penn St.
12pm FS1: UTSA at Baylor
12pm ESPNU: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
12pm SEC: West Virginia at Missouri
12pm SEC Alt: Murray St. at Georgia
12pm BTN: Western Michigan at Michigan St.
12pm CBSSN: UAB at Akron
12pm FS2: Coastal Carolina at Kansas
12:30pm ACCN: Ohio at Pittsburgh
2pm Pac-12: Nevada at Oregon
3:30pm ABC: Cincinnati at Ohio St.
3:30pm CBS:  Arkansas at Ole Miss
3:30pm ESPN2: New Mexico St. at Alabama
3:30pm ESPNU: Illinois at Connecticut
3:30pm CBSSN: North Texas at SMU
3:30pm BTN: Rutgers at Iowa
3:30pm BTN: Eastern Illinois at Indiana
4pm FOX: LSU at Texas
4pm SEC: Eastern Michigan at Kentucky
4pm SEC Alt: Charleston Southern at South Carolina
4pm ACCN: Miami (FL) at North Carolina
4pm FS2: Bowling Green at Kansas St.
5pm Pac-12: San Diego St. at UCLA
5pm Pac-12 Washington: Northern Colorado at Washington St.
7pm ESPN: BYU at Tennessee
7pm ESPN2: USF at Georgia Tech
7pm CBSSN: UCF at FAU (time confirmed)
7pm Stadium: Western Kentucky at FIU (time confirmed)
7pm FOX PPV: South Dakota at Oklahoma
7:30pm ESPNU: Southern Miss at Mississippi St.
7:30pm SEC: Tulane at Auburn
7:30pm SEC Alt: UT Martin at Florida
7:30pm ACCN: UL-Monroe at Florida St.
7:30pm BTN: Vanderbilt at Purdue
7:30pm BTN: Central Michigan at Wisconsin
8pm ABC: Texas A&M at Clemson
8pm FOX: Stanford at USC
8pm Pac-12: Northern Illinois at Utah
8pm FS2: UTEP at Texas Tech
10pm ESPN: California at Washington
10pm FS1: Nebraska at Colorado
10:30pm CBSSN: Minnesota at Fresno St. (confirmed)
11pm Pac-12: Northern Arizona at Arizona
12am Spectrum PPV: Oregon St. at Hawai'i

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

CFB TV Guesses (Take 2) on 2019 Weeks Zero & One

Taking a 2nd crack at figuring out the Week Zero (really nothing to figure out here) and Week One CFB TV schedules.  What have we learned since late February?  Lots:
  • Houston at Oklahoma has moved to Sunday night
  • Miami (FL) vs. Florida has moved to Week Zero
  • The Mountain West national TV schedule has been announced
  • A handful of games have changed dates across this particular week

Week Zero

It is essentially finalized from a FBS perspective, provided someone doesn't pull some shenanigans and move a game.  Villanova at Colgate will also be slotted for national TV at some point (Stadium or CBSSN?).  The only sticking point I see in the schedule right now is the schedule of BIG3 basketball on CBSSN and whether that would be played on Saturday or Sunday.

Week One

Here's the deal: If the game isn't listed, assume it will be streamed by whatever the home conference's streaming arrangements are (ESPN3, ESPN+, Stadium online, etc.).  This now includes the member retained games for Baylor, Kansas, Kansas St. and Oklahoma St.

If you're curious about the two FS2 games, here's the deal: These two games are what I believe will be the member retained games for these two Big 12 schools as their content does not transfer over to ESPN+ until 2020.  I can't tell you what happens to those games because I don't know when operations for the former FOX RSNs will transfer over to Sinclair in 2019 as the sale does need regulatory approval.  The belief is the 3rd quarter.  I suppose the other platform FOX could use is Caffeine, the streaming platform they have invested in and are moving some Big East Digital Network to.

7pm ESPN: UCLA at Cincinnati (network confirmed)
7:30pm ACCN: Georgia Tech at Clemson (network confirmed)
7:30pm SNY: Wagner at Connecticut
8pm CBS Sports Network: FIU at Tulane

8pm BTN: South Dakota St. at Minnesota
8:30pm SEC: Texas St. at Texas A&M (confirmed)
10:15pm ESPN: Utah at BYU
10:30pm Pac-12: Kent St. at Arizona St.

6pm CBSSN: Rice at Army (network confirmed, time guess based on MW confirmation)
7pm ESPN: Wisconsin at USF (network family confirmed)
7pm ACCN: Utah St. at Wake Forest
7:30pm BTN: Massachusetts at Rutgers
8pm FS1: Tulsa at Michigan St.
9pm Pac-12: Colorado St. vs. Colorado
9:30pm CBSSN: Purdue at Nevada (confirmed)
10:15pm ESPN: Oklahoma St. at Oregon St.

12pm ABC: FAU at Ohio St.
12pm ESPN: Georgia St. at Tennessee
12pm ESPNU: Virginia at Pittsburgh
12pm SEC: Toledo at Kentucky
12pm BTN: Idaho at Penn St.
12:30pm ACCN: Virginia Tech at Boston College
1pm AT&T SN Pitt: James Madison at West Virginia
2pm Pac-12: Eastern Washington at Washington
3:30pm ABC: Duke vs. Alabama
3:30pm CBS: North Carolina vs. South Carolina
3:30pm FOX: Middle Tennessee at Michigan
3:30pm ESPN: 
Ole Miss at Memphis
3:30pm ESPNU: Akron at Illinois
3:30pm CBSSN: Holy Cross at Navy (network confirmed)
3:30pm BTN: Howard at Maryland
4pm ACCN: East Carolina at NC State
4pm SEC: Portland St. at Arkansas
4pm FS2: UAPB at TCU
5:30pm Pac-12: UC Davis at California
7pm ESPN: Georgia at Vanderbilt
7pm FS1: Northwestern at Stanford
7pm ESPNU: Mississippi St. vs. UL-Lafayette
7:30pm FOX: South Alabama at Nebraska
7:30pm ACCN: Boise St. vs. Florida St.
7:30pm SEC: Georgia Southern at LSU
7:30pm BTN: Miami (OH) at Iowa
7:30pm CBSSN: Missouri at Wyoming (confirmed)
8pm ABC: Oregon vs. Auburn
8pm Longhorn: Louisiana Tech at Texas
8pm FS2: Montana St. at Texas Tech 
8pm CyclonesTV: Northern Iowa at Iowa St.
9pm Pac-12: New Mexico St. at Washington St.
10:30pm ESPN: Fresno St. at USC

12pm ESPN2: Jackson St. vs. Bethune-Cookman
7:30pm ABC: Houston at Oklahoma (confirmed)

8pm ESPN: Notre Dame at Louisville

Friday, April 19, 2019

Mid-April CFB TV 2019 Notes

* The Big 12 signed a deal with ESPN for three football conference championship games and eight schools pledged their member-retained content for ESPN+.  A couple things not covered in my original post on the topic:
  • The Big 12 didn't get the value in the market that they were expecting for the three football conference championship games.  The number quoted by Sports Business Journal was $40 million for the three games, or slightly north of $13 million per game.  FOX Sports ended their deal for paying around $20 million per game and the conference seemed to believe they would be able to get that number on the open market.  The conference previously said they had multiple suitors for the games, which would, in theory, create a bidding war for the content.
  • I'm curious who now makes the call as to which game is designated as a school's member retained football game.  FOX Sports had that option previously & if a school elected not to utilize their own platforms, the game had to be offered back to FOX Sports.  I suppose I could see FOX Sports continuing to dictate these choices as to not adversely affect the games available to their own Big 12 content package, but I would think that ESPN now has a greater say, or all of the say, in the matter.  Maybe it will end up being a joint decision by both networks with the conference or individual school having the final say.  Could it end up being a intraconference game?  The conference said this was a possibility several years ago, but I believe there had to be extenuating circumstances for this option.
  • For that member retained content, I have no idea how ESPN is paying that to the schools.  Each of these deals were previously negotiated with FOX or another media partner, so I don't know if those eight have agreed to pledge this content in return for a guaranteed minimum payout or some other formula is going to be applied to compensate the schools.
* NBC has set start times for their Notre Dame home games.

* Conference USA came out with a handful of start times for games, along with a few date changes.  This could end up being nearly the entire schedule of linear TV games on CBS Sports Network (all times Eastern).  Nine games are listed here and a tenth would need to be finalized
  • Friday 9/6 - Wake Forest at Rice, 8pm
  • Saturday 9/7 - UCF at FAU, 7pm
  • Saturday 9/14 - Texas vs. Rice, 8pm
    • The Mountain West only has games vs. FCS opponents that day.  East Carolina at Navy should be at 3:30pm ET.  Maybe another American Athletic Conference game at 12pm ET.
  • Friday 9/20 - FIU at Louisiana Tech, 8pm
  • Friday 10/18 - Marshall at FAU, 6:30pm
    • Look for a potential doubleheader with the Mountain West.  Nevada at Utah St. could be scheduled for 10pm ET based on Marshall at FAU's start time
  • Friday 11/15 - Louisiana Tech at Marshall, 7pm
    • The Jamaica Classic is moving to a week later in the college basketball schedule, so it would not clash with this game's date
  • Saturday 11/23 - Miami vs. FIU, 7pm
  • Saturday 11/30 - FIU at Marshall, 12pm
  • Saturday 12/7 - Conference USA Championship, 1:30pm
Two of the three CBS produced Facebook games could be Cincinnati at Marshall (9/28, 5pm) & Marshall at Middle Tennessee (10/5, 3:30pm) based on the start times & other potential CBS Sports Network conflicts.

* One last item on Conference USA.  They came out with their season preview, basically a spring prospectus (not a media guide), and beIN Sports was absent from the list of TV partners.  At the moment, I take their absence as being a strong signal that they will not be returning as a C-USA television partner.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Quick Note on Big 12 content deal for ESPN+

Breaking my own rule regarding taking April off, but I saw some comments on the Big 12 ESPN+ deal that I think will need clarification by the schools.

Per Sports Business Journal, the Big 12 and ESPN have completed an agreement for three Big 12 football championship games that would have been attached to FOX Sports (2019, 2021 and 2023).   FOX Sports still is maintaining its presence televising regular season football, women's basketball and other events not covered by the existing deal that ESPN has with the conference.

The other part of the deal involves content that the schools have retained outside of agreements with ESPN and FOX Sports.  Each school gets to keep a group of events to monetize for themselves, which includes a football game, some men's & women's basketball, baseball, softball and other sports.  Sometimes they're called third tier agreements, sometimes they are notated as member retained content.  Much of this content aired regionally, and sometimes nationally if the school was contracted to FOX Sports RSNs:
  • Baylor: FOX Sports
  • Iowa St: Cyclones.TV from Mediacom
  • Kansas: Jayhawk TV Network (distributed to linear TV stations & ESPN+)
  • Kansas St.: K-State HD TV (distributed to FOX Sports MW & ESPN3)
  • Oklahoma: FOX Sports
  • Oklahoma St.: FOX Sports
  • TCU: FOX Sports
  • Texas: Longhorn Network
  • Texas Tech: FOX Sports
  • West Virginia: Nexstar (distributed through AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh)
My initial thought is that the sale of the FOX Sports RSNs allowed for this mostly encompassing deal for this member retained content, while Texas will remain on Longhorn Network and Oklahoma (may?) stay with FOX Sports.

What I didn't see in this post from SBJ is whether the content will remain regionally distributed for the eight schools via linear TV and also through ESPN+ or if ESPN+ will become the exclusive distribution outlet for this content.  Hopefully that will be clarified.  I would think that since Texas maintains its linear TV presence, the other schools could be allowed to maintain theirs or continue to strike local TV deals for the content while maintaining the ESPN+ "outermarket" presence.  This would also allow for those who don't get content from a RSN affiliated with FOX Sports to be able to get this content on a regular basis.

EDIT: ESPN release says this content will be exclusive to ESPN+.  One way to look at this as a positive is that some schools didn't have a good way to get access to this content outside of their region or state.  Here's the ESPN release.

EDIT: Oklahoma's content deal with FOX Sports is a longer term deal than the other schools' deals.  It runs through 2022, so if it were to join up with other Big 12 schools in this venture, it would be at that time and not over the two year "phase-in" that is occuring for the eight schools pledging their content.

Also, Iowa St. spelled out exactly what will occur with their Cyclones.TV channel.  Live games will go to ESPN+, but the channel can continue to show press conferences and replays of live events.