Tv network

KU’s new deal with ESPN+ means Jayhawk TV Network will be available nationwide without cuts

The frustrations of KU fans unable to see the six men’s basketball games broadcast only by Jayhawk TV in recent years are now a thing of the past.

Thanks to a new agreement between KU and its media partners, which includes an expanded lineup of Spectrum Sports, Cox Cable, KMCI, MidCo Sports Network and ESPN, the outage associated with these six early-season men’s basketball games has been eliminated.

Jayhawk fans across the country, including in Kansas, will now be able to watch all KU basketball games through any of the cable providers listed above or through ESPN’s new direct-to-consumer streaming platform. known as ESPN+.

“We are excited to have an inclusive and expanded media coverage solution for our KU alumni and fans,” KU’s new athletic director Jeff Long said in a press release. “Special thanks to Spectrum Sports for not only improving our coverage over the past four years, but also helping us get to this point with an in-house production solution. With our live and cable partners, coupled with our ESPN+ agreement, we’re excited more Jayhawks than ever can follow us.

KU administrator Jim Marchiony, who has been with the athletic department for years and has therefore been aware of complaints from disgruntled Kansas fans who were unable to see early-season basketball games , said Thursday’s announcement was a direct result of listening to frustrations. of his fan base.

“We’ve been trying to structure it this way for a few years now,” Marchiony said.

Very little about the specifics of the content will change, other than who can access it and how.

Through its in-house video production arm known as Rock Chalk Video, Kansas Athletics in the 2018-19 school year will broadcast approximately 100 live KU sporting events – approximately 20 more than the old agreement – and will continue to offer additional hours of original programming via a 30-minute pre-game show and a 60-minute post-game show for every KU men’s football and basketball game at home and away. outside, as well as reruns of weekly Hawk Talk segments from select KU trainers.

This too will now be available for a new set of eyes.

“This will be the first time anyone outside of Kansas State will be able to access pre-game and post-game broadcasts,” said Todd Kober, KU associate AD for external branding.

As for the folks in Kansas who have DirecTV or Dish Network as their television provider, Kober said anyone with those satellite services who is within range of KMCI would be able to catch all six men’s basketball games at the start. seasonal on the air.

Those out of range will now have the option of accessing games through ESPN+, which requires an internet connection and incurs a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 per month. But, according to KU administrators, it’s a significant upgrade over the ESPN3 system that previously blocked these games for Kansas residents.

Marchiony said the expanded service would not be “a drain on our budget”, and added that any additional revenue coming from KU would likely be offset by the additional production costs Rock Chalk Video incurs.

Marchiony also said that the financial elements of the new deal were minimal because ESPN would absorb much of the production costs given that so many of KU’s roughly 100 live events would be available through ESPN+.