Kansas State fans rejoice! In a bit of under reported news last week, Kansas State made a major announcement. The athletics department has entered into a new streaming agreement with SIDEARM Sports and ESPN3. SIDEARM will be helping to revamp k-statesports.com and related apps and subscribers will be able to stream athletic events. As a part of this deal the September 2 season opening game against Central Arkansas will be aired on ESPN3. While for most ESPN3 requires a high-speed internet connection and a subscription to a TV provider, it is free for college students on campus and members of the military on base.
The meat of the agreement will not be football games. Instead, it will primarily be women’s soccer, volleyball, baseball and women’s basketball. Basically, non-revenue sports. However, as Kansas State continues to leverage its third tier rights it is reasonable to expect football games not picked up by television networks to land within this deal.
The big bomb shell was buried farther down in the report. All K-StateHD.tv content will become free. Producing these events will not be cheap, so it is pretty reasonable to guess that SIDEARM and Kansas State will be financing these through finding advertisers. And, that will be money that KSU will not have to share with the rest of the Big 12.
Football fans can only hope that this is the start of being able to stream games online for free.