UK Sports Network
West Virginia (limited)
|Owner||JMI Sports (UK Sports & Campus Marketing)|
The UK Sports Network, historically known as the Big Blue Sports Network (BBSN) and also formerly known as the UK IMG Sports Network, is the radio and television network of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men's and women's sports teams. It consists of seven over-the-air television affiliates, two regional sports networks, and 44 radio stations in Kentucky and neighboring states.
Except for the Blue/White game, beginning in the 2012-2013 season, all men's basketball broadcasts on Fox Sports South began to be produced by Fox Sports, using their graphics and music.
In 2007, HOST Communications, a college sports marketing company based in the university's home city of Lexington that had operated the Big Blue Sports Network, was purchased by the entertainment management company IMG. However, the name of the network did not change until the 2010–11 academic year.
Sale of media rights to JMI Sports
On June 23, 2014, University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart announced that JMI Sports, owned by former San Diego Padres owner John Moores, had been awarded the multimedia rights to all University of Kentucky sports teams. UK's contract with JMI Sports was to initially begin upon the expiration of the university's contract with IMG College in April 2015. The university's contract with JMI include:
- Radio rights to UK's football, men's and women's basketball and baseball games (Television rights are covered by Southeastern Conference broadcasting arrangements, including the SEC Network);
- Stadium and arena corporate signage and game programs for all home UK events, other than those hosted at Rupp Arena (Rupp Arena corporate signage is managed by Learfield Sports (Rupp Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties) under a contract with the Lexington Center Corporation, who manages the arena for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.);
- Naming rights to university athletics facilities and premium areas;
- Sponsorship on UKathletics.com;
- Game sponsorships and game promotions;
- Coaches' endorsements;
- Pre and postgame television shows and specials and postseason highlight DVDs;
- Video features on video boards, other than at Rupp Arena (which are also managed by Learfield Sports due to the same ownership and management reasons above);
- Opportunities to develop UK Athletics Corporate Partnership Program; and
- The potential, at the university's discretion, to market campus multimedia rights, creating the potential for an integrated approach to multimedia rights and marketing.
On October 27, 2014, it was announced that JMI Sports had bought out the final year of IMG's contract with the University of Kentucky. As part of that agreement with IMG, JMI immediately took over management of the entire University of Kentucky's Sports Marketing program, including the UK Sports Network.
Over-the air television affiliates
|Lexington||WKYT||Flagship TV affiliate of the network|
|City of license/Market||Station||Notes|
|Hopkinsville||WKAG-CA||This station went defunct in 2011.|
Regional sports networks
|Fox Sports South||Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee|
|Fox Sports Ohio||Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Northwest Pennsylvania, West Virginia, southwest New York|
All cities listed are in Kentucky unless otherwise indicated.
Notable former radio affiliates
- Vol Network, the Tennessee statewide network of the Tennessee Volunteers, Kentucky's southern neighbor.
- "UK Sports Network Radio Affiliates". UKAthletics.com. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
- UK Athletics Awards Multimedia Rights to JMI Sports
- JMI Buys Out Contract at UK
- 2014-15 Kentucky Men's Basketball Media Guide, page 8.