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ESPN & The Big West Conference Ink Multi-Year, Multi-Platform TV, Streaming Rights Deal

Jeff Kotuby

Get ready for more of those late-night, Big West chaser games on ESPN.

ESPN and the Big West Conference have agreed to a multi-year, multi-platform rights deal — though no specific terms like length and value were discussed. The agreement will see more than 600 Big West events in both men’s and women’s sports will stream on ESPN+.

The networks of ESPN will continue to present the men’s semifinals and title game of the Big West Basketball Championship. They will also carry nine regular-season live events across its networks, including five men’s basketball contests.

“The Big West has been a mainstay of our men’s basketball programming for decades, and we’re excited to further highlight the conference, its student-athletes, and member institutions with this new, dynamic media rights agreement,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. “ESPN platforms will now be the destination for the best of the Big West’s 18 sponsored sports.”

ESPN seems to be bolstering its roster of mid-major conferences to populate its ESPN+ platform. Last month, ESPN and the Big Sky Conference reached a similar multi-year, multi-platform rights agreement that would see its sports broadcast on multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN+. Hopefully, the MAC is next on ESPN’s list, because everyone loves a little MACtion, right?


ESPN+ is a live TV streaming service that gives access to thousands of live sporting events, original shows like Peyton’s Place, the entire library of 30 for 30, E:60, The Last Dance, as well exclusive written analysis from top ESPN insiders.

The service can be subscribed for $9.99 / month per month or annually for $99.99 / year.

You will get a daily out-of-market game from MLB, and every out-of-market NHL with NHL Power Play (previously NHL.TV). For NFL Fans, they have an exclusive NFL game, and simulcast select Monday Football games.

The service has some of the most attractive soccer coverage including Bundesliga, LaLiga, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredevise and more.

College sports fans will be able to watch thousands of games and events including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf, and more.

For boxing and UFC fans, the service offers Top Rank boxing and will be the home of 15 exclusive UFC events.

ESPN+ now includes exclusive insights from analysts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (which used to be part of ESPN Insider), as well as premium Fantasy Tools & PickCenter.

What it does not include is most live sports that air on ESPN and ESPN2.

To get access to those channels you have to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. We suggest reading our guide on How to Watch ESPN without Cable.

The Big West consists of Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Hawai‘i, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara. The conference hosts play in 18 sports: baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball, women’s beach volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field and women’s water polo.

Noticeably missing from this list is football, which the conference stopped hosting back in 2000. The most notable school still in the Big West that plays football — Hawaii — is part of the Mountain West Conference as the conference’s lone football-only member.

“The exposure generated in this agreement sets a new standard by delivering a tenfold increase in the number of Big West games and content available to our fans on ESPN networks,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said. “Aligning the Big West with the strongest and most innovative sports media company in the world, as well as the creativity and storytelling of Disney, is an unmistakable opportunity for us to engage our fan base with compelling content both live and on-demand.”


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