Norman, Ok May, 15 (The Oklahoma Post) –
The University of Oklahoma and SoonerVision signed a multi-year deal with ESPN+, and Sooner fans worldwide are celebrating as this looks like the first step in joining the SEC.
“Given the overwhelming size and passion of the Sooners fan base, we are thrilled that ESPN+ is partnering with Oklahoma to create SoonerVision on ESPN+, the most expansive agreement ESPN+ has with an individual university athletics program.”OU Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione.
The blockbuster deal will include more than 100 annual live events, studio programming, and archival content.
ESPN+ will stream one regular-season college football game, the annual Oklahoma spring football game, and more than 100 other competitions across men’s and women’s basketball and Olympic sports, including Oklahoma’s NCAA champion women’s gymnastics and softball programs.
On top of live game programming, SoonerVision on ESPN+ will also include classic content, coaches’ shows, pro days, pregame shows, and more.
The ESPN+ deal will replace the contract that Oklahoma athletics and SoonerVision had with Bally Sports, which carried over from the Fox Sports deal. The agreement with Bally expires on June 30th, and Sooner content on ESPN+ will begin in August.
The switch is welcomed news to most Sooner fans as Bally Sports has not been the best for fans trying to watch Oklahoma sports.
The biggest problem with Bally and the main reason fans like the switch is that Oklahoma will be the sole focus with this new deal and will not have any events that start late or end early due to scheduling conflicts.
Bally also covers the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Oklahoma athletic events would often have to start late or end early because of the Thunder games. Now without the overcasting shadow of the Thunder hovering over them, Oklahoma Sports can take the spotlight with this new deal.
“The University of Oklahoma is home to one of the premier athletic departments in the country, and we look forward to presenting a wide variety of men’s and women’s sports on SoonerVision on ESPN+ to fans across the country.”Nick Dawson, Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN.
This is a big win for Sooner fans; in my opinion, broadcasts will be more reliable where they start on time and don’t end early. Overall, there will be more content; the ESPN+ deal will cover more sports and archived content.
Another big win for fans is accessibility, as it will be a lot easier to find and watch things now because all you need is an electronic device and an ESPN+ account to access all of the Sooner Vision content.
ESPN+ is not perfect, though, as it has one glaring issue to go along with some technical problems that will happen in any broadcast. That glaring issue is that ESPN+ has no DVR system, so you can not pause and rewind or watch it later.
I have had personal experiences with ESPN+ as I own a subscription. When I have used it, I have not had hardly any technical difficulties, the broadcast almost always starts on time, and everything is easy to find and operate.
Like I said before, though, it will have issues just like any other broadcast. I think this is a win for Oklahoma fans, and ESPN+ is a significant upgrade on the Bally deal.
A subscription is $69.99 a year or $6.99 a month. A cable television subscription is not required. Neither is a long-term commitment. Viewers can sign up at espn.com, espnplus.com, or the ESPN app.
(Writing by Austin DeSpain; Editing by Robbie Robertson)
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