The Longhorn Network, the ESPN-fueled network which will encourage University of Texas athletics starting soon after this month, is going as favorite towards the other Big 12 like a rat floating in a strike bowl.
Previously, the discussion has placed it’s weight against the Longhorn Network to televise every high school football games this drop, departing from the NCAA to at least just for this year rule and likely forbid several prohibitive prospecting benefit that could involve for Texas.
The network, after ESPN’s Game Day opens programming on Aug. 26, will televise live the Sept. 3 football game between Texas and Rice. Additionally it is already been declared a Big 12 convention game, as yet to be determined, is going to be carried on the LHN too.
It has been reported by Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman, and affirmed by Redraidersports.com on Monday that Texas Tech has been contacted by ESPN to get it’s game with Texas Nov. 5 on the LHN.
Tech apparently had been informed the UT game could not likely be brought by ESPN or it’s companion ABC, thus attempting to make the LHN option more pleasing. ESPN’s review included as well televising around two non-conference football games over the following 4 seasons for $5 million and plus some other non-football-related programming. There’s even several dialogue of ESPN assembling a home-and-home series with a high-profile BCS conference school.
Tech chancellor Kent Hance nixed any deal, reportedly saying, “I don’t want a Tech fan to have to give one dime to the Longhorn Network.” President Guy Bailey and athletic director Kirby Hocutt agreed with Hance’s stance (then again, who’s going to go against their boss on something like this).
ESPN now is reportedly pursuing Oklahoma State for that game.
Here’s the unseemly side of all of this, and shows how much power ESPN can have when it jumps in bed with a powerful institution like Texas: It can give the sports network real leverage with other schools in the name of profit and Bevo.
Although ESPN attempted to make it appealing for Tech to play on the Longhorns personal network, what’s to keep ESPN from playing hard ball with, say, Missouri or Baylor? You don’t play on the LHN? Fine, then we won’t be televising certain games you wanted down the road.
This Longhorn Network is going to get very messy down the line, so much so that it wouldn’t surprise me if Texas A&M and Oklahoma, if they can’t start something like that themselves, eventually bolt to the SEC.