FARMINGTON, Utah — Big Sky Conference games will have a big-time presence on local television stations thanks to a new partnership with The E.W. Scripps Company, Commissioner Tom Wistrcill announced Wednesday.
Scripps stations in markets with Big Sky schools will broadcast football and basketball games beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.
“This partnership with Scripps allows Big Sky fans to watch games throughout our entire footprint,” Wistrcill said. “One of the primary objectives with our conference’s media rights is to maximize the number of people who can watch our teams compete, and this deal complements our ESPN relationship by providing extensive television coverage with a renowned media company that has existing relationships across the Big Sky.”
The Big Sky Conference will retain rights to digitally distribute and stream programming via the ESPN+ app both within and outside the league’s footprint. Broadcasts on Scripps won't be subject to any blackout restrictions.
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“We want to deliver content that is of high interest to our audiences, and we know viewers in this part of the country are passionate about their Big Sky sports,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for The E.W. Scripps Company. “When it’s important to the community, it’s important to us.”
Under the new deal, Scripps will have the rights to broadcast up to 14 conference football games involving Montana and Montana State. Scripps will air the annual “Brawl of the Wild” between the Griz and Bobcats statewide in Montana using Scripps Montana CBS Stations.
As part of this agreement, UM and MSU each will have one home and one away conference football game that will air in primetime. The Big Sky Conference will schedule the balance of the Montana and Montana State football games to air in the afternoon, which will air on Scripps Montana CBS, NBC and CW TV stations.
Also under the contract, Scripps will have the first right to broadcast as many as eight women’s or men’s basketball games involving Montana or Montana State. Additional conference football and basketball games may be added by mutual agreement between the Big Sky Conference and Scripps.
In addition, Scripps will be on-site annually to produce content at the Big Sky’s Football Kickoff, Hall of Fame Ceremony and Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.
With this new agreement, Big Sky contests will not air on ROOT Sports moving forward. Additional television clearances for Big Sky contests will be announced at a later date.