Comments about ‘Ryan Teeples: For BYU, a painful TV past has led to a continually fruitful ESPN relationship’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013 9:55 a.m. MDT

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Orem, UT

A nice as it was to be in a conference and be able to compete for a conference championship, it's even nicer to have the MTN debacle behind us.

ESPN/BYUtv is a winning combination for all BYU fans and now that the initial scheduling difficulties have been overcome, its fun seeing the array of national opponents Tom is lining up. As a member of the MWC, what fan could have imagined BYU playing Texas, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Boise State all in the same season.

Eventually, it would be nice to see BYU join the Big 12 and be able to compete for a conference championship again, but in the meantime, Independence and ESPN/BYUtv is working.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Being able to watch the games again no matter where in the world you are is why I love Independence. I also like the variety of programs we are getting to see. There are at least six meaningful opponents on the schedule each year compared to three or four that we had in the past. The only thing I do miss is playing Air Force. I had hoped BYU would have scheduled Army or Navy quickly. That hasn't happened. BYU should go after the 2016 Army game at Yankee Stadium before Notre Dame takes it.


Yes the ESPN deal is good and the games BYU gets are better than before. But the game times are harder. Friday Nights, Saturday Nights, regular changes in game times. I guess what makes BYU a good target is not only the audience but also the flexibility.

But the key for BYU still remains winning - the loss to Virginia and Utah have taken what could have been a significant season and made it interesting at best. Game to Game it is still an exciting challenge but the end result is predetermined - a Bowl Game in SF.

It is not the Conference Championship I miss - it is the uncertainty of the outcome of the season as a whole. Notre Dame deals with it I guess I can too.

The Middle Of, UT

It would be nice if I could get ESPNu in HD.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

@True Blue

Giving up independence for the Big12 just doesn't make sense. We would lose the flexibility we have in scheduling, and more importantly may not retain the rights to the rebroadcasts of the games. Those rights are critical from a church perspective. BYU is an international brand that only will continue to grow because of BYU sports being broadcast around the globe. BYU is the most recognized University in Africa and South America currently. Market shares are growing in Asia and Europe. The exposure that football brings to the university and church opens doors.

A chance at a conference championship isn't worth giving up what BYU currently has even if it was for the BIG 12. Get rebroadcast rights and play only 8 conference games during the season then BYU should give up Independence. Unless that happens, BYU has the best thing going for it.

South Jordan, UT

Yeah but if BYU doesn't start winning more then all of their games will get pushed to ESPNU and we'll be back to square one.

Reno Cougs Fan 68
Reno, NV

I agree with all you wrote and I would also like to see the Y schedule the service academies!!!

Go Cougs beat Houston!!!

Provo, UT

Steve Jarvis,

Are you kidding?

You prefer BYU stay independent and not be a Big 12 member (should the invite come) and be left out of the multi millions of $ that come with being a member?

No question that BYU made the right decision leaving the MWC for Independence with ESPN as a critical partner, but being a Big 12 or other major conference member will FAR OUTWEIGH any benefit to BYU staying independent.

Disclaimer: I am a BYU alum who contributes to BYU each year.

Iron County, UT

As a member of the Utah National Guard and Cougar fan it was great to have access to all the games while I was deployed. I can't say that my fellow soldiers who are Ute fans were as happy as I was but then again they did have their PAC 12 t-shirts that they wore to the gym on game day.


Regardless - we need to get out of the WWC and into a real conference for non-football sports.

Salt Lake City, UT

I think that the ESPN deal is both good and bad. I do not care so much about the times, but we do not really even play in ESPN, we get relegated to the lower tier ESPN U and ESPN News channels. If BYU could get onto some of the more premiere channels of ESPN, that would be better I feel.
I guess in the end, since I have season tickets, it is rare that I even watch a game on TV.

South Jordan, UT

Ask the question:

Would BYU fans rather be in a good conference like the Big 12 or assure that all their independent games stay on one of the ESPN channels? Most fans want a conference and get what they deserve at the end of the season. There is a good chance that BYU could go 8-4 this year. If BYU ended the year 8-4 in the Big 12 or Pac 12, they would be playing in the Cotton, Alamo, Holiday or Sun Bowl against really good teams rather than playing in S.F. (against a mediocre team) in the Winter.

Richard Cranium
Mesa, AZ

I for one, hate independence. It is boring football. There is nothing to cheer for because as long as they are bowl eligible (6 wins) they will be going to a po-dunk bowl. They will never be invited to a BCS bowl without being in a big conference. It is not ever going to happen. Sure they get to play lots of different teams, but I like rivalries. I like the consistency of playing in a conference and competing to win that conference each year. It makes the seasons fun to watch.

And for those who think that the rest of the country thinks BYU is relevant, you are kidding yourselves. Without a conference BYU is just as important to them as Navy each year. And the polls show it. Even Utah State has more street cred than BYU does now.

South Jordan, UT


"Would BYU fans rather be in a good conference like the Big 12 or assure that all their independent games stay on one of the ESPN channels?"

There is no question that BYU fans want to be in a conference. It will be tough for BYU unless the conferences agree to allow the BYU teams to not play Sunday games. BYU fans have very little say in what happens to where the team plays. The mission of the church is to spread the gospel and there is much more visibility on international channels like ESPN and the channels owned by the LDS church. It may be a tough sale on both sides.

There may also be another shakeup in college football that allows a breakoff of Big 12, Pac 12, Big 10 that would allow entrance to BYU. Just sayin'.

Eagle Mountain, UT


A big 12 conference affiliation is MUCH preferred to independence. I am not saying that Independence is a bad thing I really enjoy it, but if the big 12 came calling we would jump on so fast. the money difference is huge, and scheduling is big, not to mention the recruiting would increase exponentially, especially in Texas. I love where we are at but will take a conference deal any day.


Does it really make that big a deal which espn channel we are on? They are all lumped together. I don't judge which games to watch by what ESPN channel its on. just push channel up button once and you are there.


Good point. Plus the big 12 generally gets a couple teams in a BCS game and we split the revenue from those bowls.

St Louis, MO

Independence has been an interesting experiment, but I don't see it as a viable long-term arrangement. I see some of these scheduling announcements for 2022 and what not, and I don't even read further because hopefully the Y will find a conference before then.

Playing Colorado State and Wyoming each year may not have been the most glamourous games, but at least there was a long-time, familiarity-breeds-contempt edge present. The lower level WAC/MWC teams hated BYU for its long-term success. When Georgia Tech comes to town, it's a neat novelty, but there's no history there. Same this week . . we're playing undefeated Houston, and I'm mildly interested, but there really isn't anything riding on it.

BYU made a bold move and it has been, on the whole, a success, but if we're still scrambling to fill a schedule in 2020, I'll be officially bummed.

Tooele, UT

Blastfromthepast. Currently all PAC 12 games are available on multiple platforms, including streaming. The PAC learned from both the MTN and the Big 12 network setups and has done a remarkable job of creating the network. The real issue for BYU will come if the football winds change to exclude non-AQ conference members in the playoff system. I think that is a real possibility. The problem is, none of those big guys will tinker with their schedule to accommodate non-Sunday play for BYU. So that puts them in a tough position for the future.

Cheyenne, WY

Independence is great for now. I don't think there will be a lot of conference shake-up until the next round of tv contract negotiations for conferences (I think around 2017-2018). I think the most viable option in the end is for BYU to be a football member only of either the Pac-12 or the Big-12 (several college football writers think this is a possibility).
I think this would be great for BYU and which ever conference would do it. You get a large fan base program, that is usually a good program, a large seating capacity, and a decent sized tv market with Utah (and other national BYU fans).
This would also allow BYU to keep it's other sports from competing on Sunday.


Everyone needs to remember the primary mission of BYU sports is not to make money, but to generate more exposure for the LDS Church. To that end, the deal with ESPN, as well as independence, has succeeded beyond the Churches wildest expectations. Even if a game is "relegated" to ESPN News, it still offers greater exposure and audience than the MTN ever did. Even a Big 12 membership would be hard pressed to provide the vehicle ESPN provides to help the LDS Church accomplish its primary goal regarding BYU Sports.

In addition, BYU isn't the only team that has late kick off times. USC's game against AZ had a late start and it's upcoming game against OR ST also will have a late start. It's not just BYU. I bet if you go through each PAC-12 school, you'll see that most have two or three games with a 7:30 or later kick off as well as many PAC-12 games are broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and playing on the PAC-12 network isn't exactly the same as playing on ESPN.

BYU's doing great and things will only continue to get better.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT


I have a different perspective than most.

BYU's rights to rebroadcast its games have a higher monetary value than being in any conference does. That is likely the reason discussions with the Big12 went nowhere.

BYU has made its brand what it is internationally mostly based on replays of games back in the old WAC games of the 80s. Those games have been replayed countless times. Think Utah fans are tired of reliving 1984? 1984 is how many people around the world believed BYU was in football until BYU became independent and took control of its TV rights to rebroadcast.

While many US fans yearn for a conference BYU will not join one unless they have those TV rights to rebroadcast. I would like 8 games so we can schedule four games regionally (California, East Coast, etc), but that is my own preference. Rebroadcast rights are likely the reason BYU remains independent.

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