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

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    I can't find ESPNU or ESPNews.

    I am only thankful for BYUTV.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    "Rather, that discussion begins and ends with pervasive bias against the LDS Church, whether from the left (liberal academics) or from the right (Bible-thumping evangelicals)."

    Always the victims. I'm surprised you didn't blame the refs for BYU not being invited to a major conf.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 11:09 a.m.


    Your narrative omits the reluctance that the Big-12 presidents had to invite another diva to the conference. Three's a crowd, with Oklahoma and Texas around.

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    Oct. 18, 2013 2:57 a.m.

    I have to respond to a misconception; BYU would do anything within reason the get an invite to the B12, and hadn't the admin not been so timid BYU would have offered to commit, if asked, in July of 2011. Compare BYU vs TCU, and the money that could be added to the B12 coffers, no comparison, but when the 12 got shaky with Mizzo and A&M moving out, BYU got very skittish failing to see the ocean for the beach. Matt Tail writing for the Lawarence(KS) World wrote about the situation after the result of the leagues President's 90 min conference call. Yes, this was after the PAC was turned down by the bigs from Tex and Okla. Sunday play has never been an issue. BYU is on the deep outside currently but if offered, yes in a heartbeat. Just ask Tom Holmoe.

  • USNGary San Diego, CA
    Oct. 18, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    Mormon ute, I was in cedar city traveling and could not watch the utah UCLA game because the hotel did not carry the channel. I was still in UTAH. Big difference in PAC 12 tv deal and espn. Your deal is mostly regional, not national. Go figure....

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:12 p.m.


    BYU did plenty to deserve their 1984 National Championship - they beat every team they faced and ended the season on a 24-game winning streak, with back-to-back Top 7 finishes, and their FIFTH Top 12 finish in SIX years.

    Get over your jealousy.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 17, 2013 9:04 p.m.


    I never said anything about ESPN. I said the Big 5 conferences. Everyone wants Notre Dame, nobody as of yet wants BYU.

    I have always said BYU is a good fit for the Big 12. Good luck!


    Did BYU winning a National Championship in 1984 enhance the prestige of the title, given that they didn't really do anything to merit it?

    NOPE! That is why we have the BCS.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 17, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    Did Barack Obama's winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 enhance the prestige of the award, given that he hadn't really done anything to merit it outside of "not being George W. Bush"? Similarly, at least from this BYU fan's perspective, Utah's invitation to join the PAC-12 was more a reward for "not being BYU" than anything else in particular. If BYU has been systematically excluded from consideration for membership in "prestigious" conferences, it certainly has nothing to do with the quality of its athletics; one look at the cellar-dwellers in those conferences makes ~that~ self-evident. Rather, that discussion begins and ends with pervasive bias against the LDS Church, whether from the left (liberal academics) or from the right (Bible-thumping evangelicals). Any Ute fan with a shred of self-awareness has to know this is true.

  • OldCoug1 Colorado Springs, CO
    Oct. 17, 2013 2:50 a.m.

    Many of you Ute fans are intimating that BYU games are only on ESPNU or ESPNNEWS. This is simply not true. According to the contract with ESPN, 3 games were to be broadcast on ESPN/2, one on ESPNU, and one on BYUTV. THis year, BYU has three home games on ESPN/2, two on ESPNU and 1 on BYUTV. Two ESPN2 and one ESPN game. It is true that there are two away games, one on ESPNU and one on ESPNNEWS that are being covered by ESPN. That is out of BYU's control since those are away games. Of course the Notre Dame game is on NBC and there are two CBSSPORTS broadcasts, again away games and out of BYU's control.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    You're grasping at straws Uteology. ESPN executives have stated on numerous occassions that they're very pleased with their partnership with BYU.

    Regarding the value of BYU's brand, either we can choose to believe the word of a desperate BYU hater, or we can choose to believe the ESPN executives who make a living televising college football.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    Minor recalls a meeting at ESPN where someone in programming listed 10 collegiate football programs on the board. He said that the numbers indicated, and the network recognized, these schools as having national value from an audience standpoint. Then, a circle was drawn around three schools that the network said it would take any time it could get them.

    BYU was one of the three.


    Ironically the same thing happened during SEC, PAC-12, Big 12, Big 10, and ACC expansions meetings. Unfortunately, BYU never even made the list.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    ESPN/BYUtv is a winning combination for all BYU fans and now that the initial scheduling difficulties have been overcome.


    BYU 2014 Schedule:

    @Middle Tennessee
    Southern Miss
    Savannah State

    Lets see how many Cougar fans like this schedule?

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    From the article:

    "a circle was drawn around three schools that the network said it would take any time it could get them.

    BYU was one of the three."

    For those who say that BYU is not a national brand - or is not relevant on a national scale - the executives at ESPN would beg to differ.

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    Gilbert, AZ said:

    "Mormon Ute

    .....As much as you'd like to believe otherwise so you can sleep at night, ESPN didn't sign BYU to a long-term contract just to shuffle BYU games off to some place where they would be "hidden" away."

    Tell that to Ads and school President's that are expecting more from ESPN. Their games are being hidden away. ESPN has loaded up on contracts to keeps conferences and schools from other networks. Even if that means not showing them on TV. ESPN sounds like a fine business partner huh?

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    Oct. 16, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    "...the author of the article took a swipe at Utah and the Pac 12 in his third paragraph.

    A little hyper-sensitive aren't we? The author of the article no such thing. He simply stated that PAC 12 fans were experiencing the same types of growing pains with their new network as MWC fans did with The MTN.

    "While Pac-12 fans are partially living (or reliving) that nightmare this year, BYU is basking in the glow of legitimate national television coverage every game of the season."

    "Reliving" is obviously a reference to Utah fans who had to put up with the same anxiety as they did with The MTN in not knowing if they would be able to get the new PAC Network through their current cable or satellite provider - if I'm not mistaken, the PAC Net still isn't available on DirecTV.

    That's not a swipe, it's simply a comparison of similar events.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 16, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    Mormon Ute,
    I raise hypothetical questions just for people to think about it.
    I am not the type to say. Well Utah may sell out and get 45,000 to games and BYU gets 60,000 to MTSU.
    I just want people to think before they talk. My assumption is if both stadiums were the same size attendance would be very similar.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Oct. 16, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    You're sadly mistaken if you think that a Utah game "available" in some household outside of Utah's fan base really draws much interest from sports fans in that household.

    Like it or not, BYU has a national fan base that enjoys watching BYU sports wherever they are. ESPN and BYUtv give them that option, even if the game is broadcast on ESPNU.

    As much as you'd like to believe otherwise so you can sleep at night, ESPN didn't sign BYU to a long-term contract just to shuffle BYU games off to some place where they would be "hidden" away.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 16, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    Mormon Ute --

    Of course, the other advantage BYU has is BYUtv, which is not only part of a lot of people's cable/satellite packages in the U.S. but is beamed all over the world. (I'm sure that's more attributable to General Conference than to BYU athletics, but the effect is the same.) Football independence and non-football membership in the WCC has enabled BYUtv to broadcast or replay a lot of games that it might not otherwise be able to show. And, personally, I like being able to watch the home games of the BYU women's volleyball, women's soccer, and men's volleyball teams--which I'd never get to see but for BYUtv.

  • Y's little brother Sandy, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    Why do Utah fans read articles about BYU's partnership with ESPN only to whine about them?

  • killarney Lincoln Park, IL
    Oct. 16, 2013 11:04 a.m.


    Why do Utah fans constantly have to beat their chests about being in the PAC 12?

    Everybody reading these blogs already knows it.

    Could it be that you're still trying to validate your PAC membership by pretending that you're actually a contender.

    btw, one upset win doesn't make you a contender. Check the standings. You've only played 3 conference games and you're already 2 games behind the PAC south leader whom you lost to. UCLA would have to lose 3 games for the Utes to finish ahead of the Bruins.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    If byu fans like independence and their relationship with ESPN better than being in a conference, fine. Run with it. What I don't understand is why the local media has this driving need to continually and frequently put out articles depicting how great byu's situation is. If it's so great, why the non-stop sales campaign?

    I have to say, though,all the talk from byu fans regarding sold out stadiums and high quality schedules does not hold up to the facts. But, as I said, if you people are happy with it...

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:27 a.m.


    There's no doubt BYU is better off now than they were in the MWC, but the author of the article took a swipe at Utah and the Pac 12 in his third paragraph. That's what has gotten some of us to challenge him. Utah vs Stanford was on the Pac 12 Network which is available from your cable provider or Dish Network. Fox Sports 1 is the channel you are referring to and we had two earlier games on that channel. It is available nationwide with the same distribution as ESPN's main channel. The Pac 12 deal with Fox also gives our teams access to Fox's main broadcast channel.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:19 a.m.


    Here's a quote from Ken Lee's comment: "Hey, you monkeys carping about a heirachy of the various ESPN channels should just relax. No one cares or differentiates which ESPN channel you are on...they are ALL carried on cable/satellite equally and they all have big name schools sprinkled throughout." That's what I was responding to. So there you go. I wasn't making it up. You can go back to his comment to see for yourself.

    To your point, being available and actually being in those homes are two different things. The number of homes I was referring to is the actual number of homes subscribed to that preferred package and I was told it is about half the number that have the basic package. With the Pac 12 Network in 48 million homes (not just available, but actually on their package) that is equal to or better than ESPNU or ESPN News.

    BeSmart, that's a hypothetical question that nobody can answer. I don't think RES will ever be expanded to 65,000. The trend right now in college footbal is 50,000 to 55,000 and I think that's where Utah will stop.

  • StableSkittle ,
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Hasn't the content in the article been told over and over again? Give us something original, Mr. Teeples.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    I realize that I may be asked to surrender my 'man card' by saying this, but I don't care about football.....college, pro or any other kind of it. Ditto for golf, baseball, soccer, basketball, or even (gasp) bass fishing.

    Call me a wimp, but I gave up on all sports years ago and have many more hours each week to pursue my hobbies.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    It's refreshing that ESPN is showing its respect to BYU. BYU helped ESPN grow from its start and it's great to see ESPN recognize that BYU is an important brand nationwide.

    A whole different topic...I love football but can't stop thinking that is the sacrifice of dozens of players' health a worthy goal for BYU to continue sponsoring football? It's been a great source of exposure for the Church but at what cost? It seems like it should be reviewed...

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I can't help but compare BYU to the University of New Mexico, which is still reeling from the after-effects of the "The mtn" debacle in the MWC. At one time, I was more a UNM fan than a BYU fan, but that has all changed now, and for one reason: UNM is hardly ever on TV, even its men's basketball team (which has been better than BYU for a number of years now, and may still be this year), and when it ~is~ on TV, it's almost always on a local channel that is little better than community access. One may tout the advantages of belonging to the PAC-12 or the Big 12 (although a lot more people get ESPNU and ESPN News than Fox-1 or whatever network the Utah-Stanford game was on [was it on TV?]), but there simply is no question that BYU was better off leaving the MWC when it did. And I'm sure there are a lot of formerly lukewarm BYU fans like me for whom the ability to see the Cougs on TV has made them significantly more loyal.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    Mormon Ute

    "Ken Lee, Solomon Levi and all you others who think there is no difference between ESPNU and ESPN's other channels."

    Why do you have to make stuff up in order to feel good about yourself? Nobody said there's no difference between ESPNU and ESPN/ESPN2. What they said was it's not that hard or expensive to get ESPNU. The Digital Preferred package is only $10 more per month than the Digital Basic package through Comcast. It's likely very similar in price on other cable/satellite systems and is available nationwide in 75 million homes, which is much wider distribution than the PAC 12 networks.

    As far as fickle fans go, look no further than a couple of blocks east of RES, where the Huntsman Center has been a vast sea of empty red chairs for years.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Mormon Ute
    Something to consider
    would Utah sell out a 64,000 seat stadium as often as BYU?
    not poking fun just a question to think about. If I lived in Utah I would love to go to these games, but I can't.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    Steven S Jarvis,

    Bad move. You can't back that up with any sort of facts, because they don't exist. Your fan base is the most fickle in the state. You couldn't even sell out LES for Lavell's last game. During the Gary Crowton years my Bishop was getting a letter from BYU before every home game offering $1 tickets to Church youth groups for activities. The same goes for basketball. During and shortly after that one win season the same offer was being made to Bishops for basketball games. If your arena and stadium were full, it wasn't with fans paying full price. It was a bunch of kids from the wards on the Wasatch front who were there with their youth leaders on the Church's dime. Meanwhile, we've been selling out RES for nearly every home game for years. We have one of the highest sell out rates in the Country. We also have one of the highest renewal rates for season ticket holders and that has been going on for at least 5 years. The last three years it's been almost 100%.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Kinda of funny when someone asks a question about independence and someone else responds with "there is no question..." Clearly there is a question. I'm on the side of independence and agree with others that the mission of the the school/church trumps conference championships. BYU just sent one guy in the first round to the NFL, with another potential early rounder this year, my point being that the players aren't losing out on professional opportunities as a result of independence. Alumni around the country have an opportunity of an BYU game against a local school instead of the fixed schedule of a conference deal. Candidly, I just don't see what the big deal about a conference affiliation is now that BYU has proven that they can get the TV coverage and quality opponents on the schedule. Maybe it's an age thing? I graduated from BYU in 1982 and there were plenty of conference championships to enjoy and eventually expect in the WAC.I believe there are schools out there that don't want to come to Provo to play BYU because of the likelihood of a loss ala Miami. Independence is working for me.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Ken Lee, Solomon Levi and all you others who think there is no difference between ESPNU and ESPN's other channels. You better check your listings. I have Comcast Digital Basic, which is one step above the most basic of all packages Comcast offers and I don't have ESPNU. I only get ESPN and ESPN2. To get ESPNU I have to upgrade to Digital Preferred and pay a higher price. I was told that ESPNU is in about half as many homes as ESPN and ESPN2 as a result of being part of the preferred package on Comcast and most satellite providers. It doesn't bother me, because none of the Ute's games have been on ESPNU. My understanding of the Pac 12 broadcast deal is that the games will be on ESPN, ESPN2, one of the Fox channels or on the Pac 12 Net. I have all of those on my Digital Basic package so I'm happy.

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass

    Sorry, not even close. you get 6-8 million a season total.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    I think it's neat we get $6,000,000M to $8,000,000M every game!
    CHaching! That's a ton of money.

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    @Steven S Jarvis
    "BYU fans aren't like some fan bases."

    One word; Lemming

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    @bleeding Crimson

    I am sure most BYU fans are pretty excited about the remaining match-ups against Boise State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and a 5-0 Houston team. BYU fans aren't like some fan bases. We support the team no matter what. The same goes for basketball. Having a one-win season didn't decimate attendance. Can Utah say the same?

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    stanford series 2:2 USC 1:1 those are not 2:1 s sorry

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    Amazing how the ESPN deal and the desire for teams to be on ESPN, gets BYU two for one deals. That is not a great deal. The only ones who really want to be on ESPN, are the Idaho States of the world. Other BCS teams still get 2:1's. That's the power of being in a BCS conference.

    I think our Big12 chances have set sail, never to return due to some TV rights that BYU was not willing to negotiate on.

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:51 a.m.

    I am not sure why you would bash the PAC 12's distribution, their deal is amazing they get more national coverage than any other conference with three networks carrying their programing. I wish DirectTV would get off their high horse and agree to the deal like everybody else but all the same 70 million homes is nothing to sneeze at.

    Bottom line both schools have great national coverage. end of story.

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:00 a.m.

    Great article, it cleared a o lot of issues up about the byU split from the MWC, I always thought it was because of Todd Christesen's commentating.

  • cmbennett1 OGDEN, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 2:06 a.m.

    The problem I have with ESPNU is that it has the worst announcers and the worst technical package on ESPN. (Fewer cameras, longer shots.)

  • Bleed Crimson Sandy, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2013 12:31 a.m.

    Another BYU/ESPN article huh? It sounds to me like Cougar fans don't have much to look forward to these days.

    1) They already lost their first game in week 1 to Virginia (which ended their season).

    2) They lost to their big brother for the 4th straight year.

    3) It doesn't matter what they do the rest of the season. They'll wind up in the same mediocre bowl game they have contracts with.

    All BYU fans and sports writers can talk about is BYU's ESPN deal. That's all the cougies have!

  • CG Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    For $10 more per month, about the cost of popcorn and a drink at a movie theater,
    anyone who's interested can get ESPNU with Comcast's Digital Preferred Package.

    Fans making a big deal about how "inaccessible" ESPNU is because it's not included in the basic tier of channels are just blowing smoke.

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:13 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    "BYU has had at least two games hidden away on ESPNU this season."

    LOL at mischaracterization of ESPNU.

    ESPNU is available nationwide in approximately 75 million households and has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers – Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.

    The PAC 12 Networks are available nationwide in approximately 48 million households, but 20 million DirecTV subscribers still can’t get the Pac-12 Networks.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    I have to challenge the writer's assertion that the Pac 12 Network's distribution issues are anywhere close to what happened with the mtn. The Pac 12 Network is on basic cable in every market in the Pac 12 area and most nationwide. Dish Network also carries it in basic packages nationwide. Yes, missing out on DirectTV bites, but doesn't come close to the obscurity under which the mtn operated. Also, the Pac 12 Network is HD and is very professionally produced. In addition to this, the Pac 12 TV deal includes games on ESPN and Fox giving the Pac 12 access to Fox broadcast channels and Fox Sports 1. The writer may have missed the fact that the Utah - USU game was the first college football game televised on Fox Sports 1. The Utes have had one other game on that network with all others on ESPN, ESPN2 or the Pac 12 Network. BYU has had at least two games hidden away on ESPNU this season. I'll take the Pac 12 any day.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Oct. 15, 2013 8:17 p.m.

    So Bronco's love and dedication to our former quarterback could have been very expensive. I'm sure ESPN was not happy with the kind of teams we fielded in 2011 and 2012. A great defense was wasted on an offense that could not have won the WAC championship. Now we're starting over, but actually going back to the 2010 offense. We're back to a lack of imagination in the offense. Why not hire a REAL offensive coordinator and then our value to ESPN would grow. That is exactly what Utah did when it became clear that and experienced man was needed. They are getting their money's worth.

  • Ken Lee Pasadena, CA
    Oct. 15, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    Hey, you monkeys carping about a heirachy of the various ESPN channels should just relax. No one cares or differentiates which ESPN channel you are on...they are ALL carried on cable/satellite equally and they all have big name schools sprinkled throughout. Which one of you discards other non-BYU games because they come on ESPNU or whatever? DIfferent on ESPN3 --computer based online garbage...I can't make that even work...

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    Love Lavell, but I disagree that a conference championship is a big deal when that conference has weak teams. It's not so much a victory as an expectation. Boring.

    I've talked to many BYU players and they consistently find independence it's own challenge with differing standards for calling a season a good season. And losing one or two or even three games does NOT end the challenges for a season any more than if you were independent. Utah, for example, pretty much has zero chance of going to a Rose Bowl, but, there is much to work for despite not even a division crown.

    Love Bronco too, but, I don't think he's right when he says Utah being in the PAC12 doesn't give Utah an advantage. I suspect that should BYU be in the Big 12 some of the 4 star recruits BYU is barely missing out on would land here. Can't prove it, but from comments players have made, that is reasonable.

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Yes BYU belongs in a conference, and without question AD Tom Holmoe & Cecil Samuelson wanted to get into the Big 12 just over 2 years ago. Politics at LDS Church headquarters as much or more than the "no Sunday play" rules (media partners indicate BYU will work in larger leagues with more scheduling options) sadly put the kibosh on this. There are those in LDS Church leadership who strongly feel BYU should remain an undergraduate focused university and feel that the school moving into larger more affluent leagues like the Big 12 or Pac-12 would threaten this. Similarly they feel BYU should never detract from the mission of state schools, and BYU being in the Big 12 along with Utah in the Pac-12 would totally bury Utah State University potentially lowering their relevance to the levels of Utah Valley, Weber State or Southern Utah Universities. Consequently Holmoe had no choice but to craft this interim independence solution given the political hand he's been dealt with. Thanksfully Holmoe has had the brand value built up over the past 40 years to be able to have this option with ESPN.

  • RSLfanalways West Valley, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    I think the MWC had a bad tv deal in the past, but now looking at all the Utah State games this year the MWC has a decent tv deals with CBS sports and USU even had a game on CBS which more people have access to than ESPN. I think being independent was good for BYU at the time but I think a conference would be better now than being indy.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 15, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    @ Stringer Bell
    No door is ever closed. If BYU gets a conference a better TV contract then BYU has a home. Main reason why conferences expanded in the first place was money and championship games.

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    Oct. 15, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    The Watch Dog

    "If you only get ESPN or ESPN2 forget about watching BYU right now and flip on your internet radio. Some cable networks only carry those two stations in the basic cable package."

    Who cares about "basic"? If you're a true BYU fan, paying a few bucks a month to watch BYU football is not a big deal. The extra cost to get ESPNU is far less than the cost of one ticket for one game.

  • Warrior Parent Belle Glade, FL
    Oct. 15, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    I love ESPN's coverage and BYUTV's rebroadcasts. best of both worlds!

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:31 p.m.


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

    All you have to do is call Comcast and request ESPNU in HD. It's available.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    You had better get used to Independence. The Big 12 window of opportunity has been closed for good thanks to BYU's arrogance. I believe they have moved on and don't see that opportunity returning.

  • The Watch Dog tumwater, WA
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    If you only get ESPN or ESPN2 forget about watching BYU right now and flip on your internet radio. Some cable networks only carry those two stations in the basic cable package. It's great that they're getting better air time but, depending on who they play (ie. Notre Dame, Wisconsin, etc.), they're still ESPN bottom feeders - but at least they are in the programming discussion now. Like Holmoe said, though, they can improve their air time if they win their games. I want to believe that is a long-term prodiction.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:08 p.m.


    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.

  • 32843 PROVO, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    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.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Utahute72 Tooele, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    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.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    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.

  • nhatch82 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:42 p.m.


    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.

  • Ldsfan South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:13 p.m.


    "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'.

  • Richard Cranium Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    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.

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    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.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    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.

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:43 p.m.

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

  • BlastfromthePast Iron County, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    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.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    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.

  • Reno Cougs Fan 68 Reno, NV
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:59 a.m.

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

    Go Cougs beat Houston!!!

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    @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.

  • LoveTheKittens The Middle Of, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:41 a.m.

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

    Oct. 15, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    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.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    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.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    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.