On Sept. 1, 2010, Brigham Young University announced a new 8-year deal with ESPN to televise Cougar football on the sports leader's family of networks. BYU is the first program to sign an exclusive deal with ESPN.
ESPN has agreed that any BYU games it doesn’t select may be televised live on BYUtv.
BYU is the only school with an exclusive television deal with ESPN and played 11 games on one of the ESPN networks in 2011, including five on ESPN, four on ESPN2 and two on ESPNU.
Since 2011, every BYU home football game has been televised to a live national audience on the ESPN family of networks or BYUtv. Additionally, BYU’s national fan base will be able to view same-day rebroadcasts on BYUtv of every home game and any away game to which ESPN has rights through conference agreements with the host team. “We’ve long sought broad, nationwide access to our games for our fans and increased visibility among those who may be less familiar with our university and athletic programs,” said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. “We’ve also been looking for ways to take better advantage of our own unique broadcasting resources.”
BYUtv is available in more than 53 million North American homes on DirecTV, Dish Network and more than 800 cable systems in the U.S. The network owns a new state-of-the-art production truck that will allow it to televise games in HD. ESPN and ESPN2 are both available in 98.5 million homes, while the 24-hour college sports network ESPNU is distributed to approximately 73 million homes. ESPN also produces college football games that are broadcast on ABC.
Each year, a minimum of three games will be carried on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC and one on ESPNU. At least one game each season will be carried live on BYUtv.
Over the past two seasons, only eight teams in the nation have had more games than BYU's 18 broadcasts on a national television channel (ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX). In all BYU has had 21 of 26 games on an ESPN network with two additional road broadcasts picked up by ESPN3 (online).
ESPN has televised many of the great games in Cougar football history, beginning with the network’s first live college football telecast. In that 1984 game, the Cougars defeated No. 3 Pitt at the beginning of BYU’s national championship season.
ESPN also carried BYU’s defeat of top-ranked Miami in 1990, a contest that is still the eighth-highest rated regular-season college football game on ESPN since that year. BYU's season-opening win over No. 3 Oklahoma was ESPN’s ninth-highest rated game of the 2009 regular season.
“BYU is nationally recognized as an outstanding university and for the history and tradition of its premier athletic programs,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming. “Once BYU decided to chart an independent course for football, we both recognized it is a good opportunity to build and grow our strong 30-year relationship. With this agreement, college football fans around the country will see the quality and pageantry of BYU as well as the passion and enthusiasm of its supporters.”
The exclusive radio home of BYU football and flagship of the Cougar Sports Network is KSL Newsradio in Salt Lake City. The “Voice of the Cougars” is Greg Wrubell, now in his 13th season as play-by-play commentator. A BYU alum, Wrubell is in his 22st year on the broadcast crew, having served as the sideline reporter before stepping into the booth.
Wrubell’s on-air partner and game analyst is ex-Cougar quarterback Marc Lyons, who begins his 33nd season on the BYU Football broadcasts. Former Cougar defensive back and 2009 team captain Scott Johnson begins his second year reporting from the sidelines, while Andrew Adams returns for his fourth season as game-day host in the “Cougar Scoreboard Studio.”
KSL's BYU Football broadcasts are heard via satellite on BYU Radio (SiriusXM 143) and over network affiliates in Utah, Idaho and Nevada. Coverage is also available online at ksl.com, which streams BYU Football games to a world-wide audience.
In addition to its comprehensive game-day coverage, KSL Newsradio broadcasts “BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall” Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. MT throughout the season, with a live audience in attendance. KSL-5 Television airs the TV show bearing the same name each Sunday night at 11 p.m. MT. The weekly shows focus on "BYU Football"—the importance of the team itself and the values it represents. KSL's "Voice of the Cougars," Greg Wrubell, hosts both the TV and radio versions of the program, with format elements that draw greater attention to BYU Football's core pillars of "Tradition, Spirit and Honor."
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