Say goodbye to ESPN GamePlan, the cable, satellite and streaming package that allowed out-of-market college football fans to watch up to 15 regional game telecasts each week. In its place will be ESPN College Extra, which will apparently be a bundle of the former GamePlan and Full Court packages.
Details haven’t yet been offered to consumers, but bars and restaurants have been given the lowdown on the package for DirecTV. According to It’s All About Satellites, the rebranded ESPN College Extra will include the following:
— Over 600 live sporting events, including up to 140 college football games and over 300 college basketball games
— Includes three (3) “Red Zone” like programs for college sports – ESPN Goal Line for football, ESPN Buzzer Beater for basketball, ESPN Bases Loaded for baseball – at no extra charge (all on channel 615 and in HD)
— All in HD
NCAA Conferences included are:
— College Football: ACC, Sun Belt, MAC, AAC, TBD FCS and HBCU games
— College Basketball: ACC, AAC, Big12, Horizon, MAC, Sun Belt, MAAC, MVC, Summit, WAC, Big South, and WCC
For home viewers watching on cable, satellite or internet, ESPN GamePlan was no longer being offered by some providers in order to make room for other channels, many of which have their own college sports package affiliated with individual conferences.
With the advent of channels such as the Big Ten Network, SEC Network and Pac-12 Network, in addition to conference agreements with networks like Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network and, of course, ESPN, there are so many more college games — including regional telecasts previously unavailable to out-of-market fans — accessible to the typical consumer now. Why pay $140, which is what ESPN GamePlan cost last year? (And by the way, the package was only available in standard definition, further lowering its value for consumers.)
Well, many people weren’t, which is why the channel was being booted by most providers and why ESPN is now offering something else.
No word yet on how much ESPN College Extra will cost for cable, satellite and internet viewers, but the information DirecTV provided to bars and restaurants advertised a price of $235 in three installments. Considering that’s nearly twice as much as what GamePlan ($142) and Full Court ($109) cost last year, that fee will very likely be different.