BYU football media day kicked off Friday morning and it didn't take much time for some important news to come out relating to the BYU and ESPN relationship. For starters, BYU will be a free agent for a bowl for the upcoming season instead of the traditional bowl assignment that fans have been accustomed to over the years. Additionally, ESPN has picked up the option for 2019 which essentially means business as usual for the partnership for at least one other season.
If you would like a deeper dive into what bowl free agency means for BYU football then check out this article here that we wrote back in December. To put it simply, BYU is now able to theoretically go to any bowl game (albeit it will be a select few given tie ins of other teams and conferences) instead of being assigned to one game that is known all year long. ESPN's contract does confirm that if the team is eligible, they'll be in a bowl game.
The upside here is that BYU and their fans will have excitement all year long knowing that each game matters when it comes to bowl selection. In the past, unless BYU was eligible for a BCS bowl, they were assigned to one bowl, mitigating any surprise or intrigue. With BYU's national fan base, tickets getting sold will not be a problem, regardless of where the game is played. That, along with not knowing the opponent, should provide some excitement as the season progresses.
ESPN has also decided to pick up the 2019 option for the BYU tv deal. You can read the full press release here but really, all you need to know is that everything regarding ESPN and BYU football games will remain the same through 2019 at the very least.
Full @BYUCougars press release on ESPN option-year announcement: pic.twitter.com/gioGzS6neB— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) June 23, 2017