The U. of Texas Has Plans For Its Own TV Network

It’s no secret that sports are big business in this country and a big reason for that has been television.  With all the money that funnels into leagues like the NFL and MLB for television rights, along with advertising, owners aren’t exactly light in the wallet.   Of course, in recent years this has led to a lot of leagues starting their own television networks.  The NBA and NFL each have one, and MLB will be starting one next season.   The trend has even moved over to college where there’s a Big Ten Network and the SEC has been entertaining thoughts to start their own channel as well.

One college conference that doesn’t have it’s own television network is the Big 12, and I’m guessing the University of Texas is fine with that.  After all, they’re sports programs are popular enough in Texas and around the country that they don’t really need the added income because they’re already the most profitable athletic department in the country.  They have so much money, in fact, that they just might start their very own network just for the Longhorns.

From BUSINESS WEEK:

In what would be a first for college sports on television, the University of Texas is planning to launch its own 24/7 sports network, signaling a further move toward niche programming on cable and satellite.

Officials from the University of Texas have teamed up with the college sports unit of IMG Worldwide, a talent agency and licensing company, to negotiate distribution on Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and AT&T in Texas and possibly in bordering states, says Pat Battle, a senior vice-president at IMG College. IMG has an agreement with the Austin (Tex.) school, which is part of the Big 12 Conference, to oversee its trademark licensing, marketing, and multimedia rights.

If the channel, tentatively named the Longhorn Sports Network, gets off the ground, it would be the first time a university has created its own sports network seeking broad distribution. “Texas has such an incredible fan base and such great content through all its sports programs,” says Battle, “that we feel a network like this will have a real following.” A spokesman for DeLoss Dodds, the UT athletics director, said he was unavailable for comment.

Think of the possibilities here.  The Longhorn Sports Network could have a Bachelor-style show in which 12 Texas co-eds fight for the right to go out with Colt McCoy.   Wait, that’s the only possibility I can think of actually.  Maybe this isn’t the greatest idea after all.

I mean, yeah the Longhorns are popular but the most popular sport at Texas is football and I don’t think the Longhorns Sports Network would get exclusive rights to Texas games, or if they’d be able to show them at all.   Which means that viewers would likely be stuck watching Texas field hockey or something boring like that.   Of course, considering that the folks in Texas treat high school football like it’s the NFL, maybe they’d be into that.