BYU, ESPN Sorting Out Bowl Contract Before New TV Deal
BYU football's "much-expected new contract extension with ESPN is still very much in the works," with the "holdup to the negotiations" being the school's bowl situation, according to Jay Drew of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. BYU relies on ESPN to "help them land postseason games because they are an independent in college football and not affiliated with a conference," and AD Tom Holmoe detailed the situation in a pre-recorded statement that aired yesterday at BYU's football media day. Holmoe said BYU plans to "be with ESPN for a long time." But he "did not divulge the expected length of the new contract, or if there is a timeline to get the deal completely done." He stressed that BYU’s agreement with ESPN for the net to "air up to five BYU football home games a year will continue, but officials are waiting for the other deal -- the bowl contract -- to be finalized before they make an official announcement." ESPN networks "will air 35 bowl games, and was largely responsible for getting BYU into the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last December when the Cougars were 6-6 and competing with several other 6-6 teams for a bowl berth." Holmoe also said that BYU’s "enticing home schedule this year" that includes games against Utah, USC, Washington and Boise State is "largely due to its deal with ESPN" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/19).