February 28, 2024

Blockbuster TV deal


Lawrence, Kan. (Lawrence AP)–The University of Kansas has approved a deal for television rights to its athletic events that will vastly expand coverage and access to Jayhawks sports across Kansas and nationwide, according to officials involved in the deal.

 Kansas Athletics and IMG College, along with Time Warner Cable and Kansas City’s Metro Sports, announced Monday that beginning in the 2013-14 school year, Metro Sports will televise more than 50 live Kansas events on the revamped Jayhawk Network, along with 600 hours of programming such as pre- and postgame shows for Jayhawk football and men’s basketball games and a weekly magazine-style show.

The deal also includes “Hawk Talk” radio show simulcasts, a social-media-centered show for fans, live coverage of news conferences, a “Jayhawk Rewind” highlight show, a quarterly “Jayhawk Legends” series and quarterly Kansas academic specials, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

The live-game broadcasts on Metro Sports will be offered only to viewers in Kansas and the Kansas City metro area because of the Big 12 Conference’s television agreement with ESPN and Fox Sports, but most of the additional programing will be available to Time Warner’s customers nationwide.

“This is the backbone of providing Jayhawk fans with access to all of our sports in a way that they’ve never experienced before,” Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger said.

During the next sports year, the Jayhawk Network will cover one football game, six men’s basketball games, as many as 16 women’s basketball games, nine volleyball matches, eight baseball games and up to 12 live softball, soccer and track and field events.

“This will extend the Jayhawk brand significantly while providing corporate partners with many new ways to support the Jayhawks and reach one of the most attractive and passionate fan bases in college sports,” said Jason Booker, general manager for Jayhawk IMG Sports Marketing.

Kansas is the last Big 12 school to sign a contract for its Tier-3 television rights. Texas is affiliated with the ESPN-backed Longhorn Network; Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech have deals with Fox; and Iowa State and West Virginia have agreements with Mediacom and ROOT in their respective markets.

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