Like it or not, ESPN+ is the future. But what does that mean? Well, it means that you have to get yet another service if you want to catch the game on any given week. But it also means more coverage for the Big 12. Once you bite the $5 a month bullet, there is some fantastic content waiting for you.
Without a conference TV network, we knew the Big 12 was looking to capitalize on their third-tier rights by taking advantage of a booming streaming industry. Bob Bowlsby announced the partnership with ESPN and creation of the Big 12 Now digital network during media days.
“Obviously cable is not going to go away. It’s going to continue to be a huge part of our strategy, but we are on the right side of technology. We have the right partners, and the future on this is very exciting.”– Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby
Great Big 12 Content
While fans have been skeptical or down-right frustrated by having yet one more thing to subscribe to and pay for each month, the content on Big 12 Now has been impressive.
Even if you aren’t a Jayhawk fan, the Miles To Go series has been must-watch entertainment for any football fan. The pregame shows, preview and coaches shows are also very well done. And then there are the games. This week it’s West Virginia at Kansas. Next week it is Kansas State at Oklahoma State.
It’s The Future
I have been impressed by the game coverage so far. Pair ESPN+ with a Chromecast or other streaming device on your TV and it’s indistinguishable from watching the game on ESPN, itself. And the best part is, you don’t need a cable subscription in order to stream it.
And really, that’s what this new direction is all about. It’s about the cord-cutters. Those who are tired of paying for a massive service each month when they aren’t interested in most of what is available. And for awhile, watching live sports has prevented a lot of football fans from severing the cable connection. Thankfully, that is changing and the Big 12 is poised to capitalize on it.
Hulu, Disney+ & ESPN+
There is also more good news on the horizon. Let’s be honest, $5 a month for ESPN+ doesn’t sound like much. However, when you add it to your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and CBS All Access subscriptions, along with whatever else is out there, then it starts to add up. The good news is that in October, Disney is pairing Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for just $13 a month.