First and foremost, and one day after acknowledging they would become a football independent starting in 2011, BYU announced they had reached an agreement on an eight-year contract with ESPN. The agreement covers only BYU home games or neutral site games where the Cougars are the designated home team; any game not televised by ESPN will be broadcast on the school’s own network.
BYU will also be permitted same-day broadcast of ESPN games on BYUTV.
Regarding going independent and hooking up with ESPN, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said the partnership “comes down to two pillars — access and exposure. Every home football and basketball game will be carried nationally and we’ll televise the Olympic sports as often as we please to showcase what I believe is the greatest student-athletes in the world.”
Reminding people that the first live college football game ever televised by the network involved BYU, ESPN executive Dave Brown said “BYU helped put ESPN on the map. I’m anxious to rekindle that partnership.”
A portion of that partnership with ESPN will be to help schedule games with “storied programs”. It’s already happened with Texas, and it will also happen with a brother in independence.
At the same press conference officially announcing they would be a football independent, BYU also announced a six-game series with Notre Dame. The series will run through the 2020 season, although the specific dates and locations have yet to be released.
“We’re still working out the details, but we have agreed to a six-game deal through 2020 with Note Dame football that will bring the Fighting Irish to Provo,” Holmoe said (what) in a statement.