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Tag:Television Contracts
Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 12:01 pm

Longhorn Network contract emerges

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Longhorn Network has caused a lot of problems within the Big 12 since its inception in January. Sure, the Big 12 secured a pretty good television deal for itself, but since the members of the conference have seen what Texas plans to do with its network, the relationship amongst the Big 12 schools has been tenuous at best.

The one sticking point that seemed to cause the most attention was the Longhorn Network's plan to televise high school games, a plan that has been tabled for a year, but has been anything but resolved. Well, thanks to The Midnight Yell, the full contract between Texas and ESPN has emerged, and there's a bit more in the deal that could be problematic for the Big 12.

Here are some highlights of the deal:

- ESPN has exclusive negotiating rights with Texas should the school no longer be a member of the Big 12. "In the event that UT determines not to participate in any athletics conference in one or more sports, UT agrees to provide ESPN a right of first negotiation of 60 days with respect to its television telecast rights.." ESPN also has 48 hours to match any offer Texas may get from somewhere else.

In other words, if the Big 12 does dissolve, Texas can still have its own network as an independent. It's also possible that Texas can just go independent in football and remain in the Big 12 for other sports.

- Texas will get about $11,000,000 a year from the network. And that number will increase by 3% annually until ESPN gets its money back from the original investment, at which point Texas' revenues from the network will rise significantly.

- If the Big 12 created its own network, Texas couldn't be a part of it.  "Neither IMG nor UT will during the Term and within the Territory i. participate in or permit the development of another "Longhorns Network" or similar network enterprise (regardless of name) related to UT" The terms of the deal are for 20 years, and the territory referred to his Texas. So if the Big 12 wants its own network and would want to feature Texas games, it's going to have to wait until 2031 to do so.

- ESPN will try to get rights to Texas high school state championship games. Obviously, this is part of the high school games deal that the Big 12 has decided to ignore for a year, but the contract states that ESPN agrees to try and get the rights for these games. Whether it will ever be allowed by the NCAA remains to be seen, but it's obvious that the Longhorn Network would love to televise these games.

Now, if you go over the contract in its entirety, a lot of what Texas wants to do makes sense. These are good business decisions for the school, and Texas has always been a school that knows how to get money out of its athletic department. Still, when going over the deal and looking at it from the perspective of another Big 12 school, it's easy to see why schools like Texas A&M aren't exactly thrilled with it.

It's essentially a lot of words and numbers that can be paraphrased with "We're Texas, and we're more important than the rest of you."
Posted on: July 19, 2011 9:18 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 9:21 am

OU, Texas A&M responding to the Longhorn Network

Posted by Chip Patterson

College football has become a big money business, and most of that money is coming from lucrative media contracts. As we prepare for the 2011 football season, we are on the verge of a historic college sports media venture with the premiere of the Longhorn Network. The network will present an all-access focus on Texas athletics unlike any major media venture before. In the soon-to-be 10-team Big 12 conference, the competitors have taken notice.

The College Station Bureau reported Monday night that Texas A&M has added a closed-door session to their regularly scheduled regents meeting this week regarding Texas' multi-million dollar network. The sources cited in the report said the session would be "informational only" and the Aggie decision makers will simply be given the latest from lawyers on the network.

The topic has come up for Red River rival Oklahoma as well. Athletic director Joe Castiglione told local media on Monday that progress is being made for a Longhorn-style network for the Sooners.

"We have had a great amount of interest in the prospects of a network here," Castiglione said. We are interacting with a variety of different media companies and we know that we will have potentially a different model than the one that people keep hearing about in regards to the one at the University of Texas."

Castiglione went on to turn the focus on the "digital revolution," reminding the Sooner faithful of the "frontier spirit" in Oklahoma. Oklahoma already boasts a powerful broadband and mobile network, and plans to stream 30 to 50 live events in the coming year.

While the comments seemed a little defensive on the first read, I think that Castiglione has the right idea with making progress towards the full multimedia experience rather than make a hasty push towards the television network. Sure, the power of the Longhorn Network and its ability to reach a mass audience greatly overpowers Oklahoma's current broadband setup, but as mobile video becomes more and more popular it will become a necessary piece of sports media providers.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:41 pm

The SEC gets richer

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Considering that the SEC is already a BCS conference, and is located throughout an area of the country that is absolutely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs about college football, it's not exactly surprising to find out that the conference brings in quite a bit of revenue through football. You take a look at the packed houses in The Swamp, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tiger Stadium or any of the other college football cathedrals in the conference on a Saturday in the fall, and you can see that business is booming.

And now the rich have gotten even richer. Kyle Veazey of the Clarion-Ledger took a look at the SEC's finances for the 2009-10 year, the first year of the SEC's new television contract with ESPN and CBS, and found out that the conference more than doubled its television revenue.

In the period between Sept. 1, 2009 and Aug. 30, 2010, the SEC reported $153.3 million in revenue from television and satellite radio — up 155 percent from the $60.1 million it reported in the same category in 2008-09. The league also saw a slight gain in revenue from postseason events, reporting $80.9 million in revenue in 2009-10, up from $78.8 million in 2008-09. Those two categories make up the vast majority of the league’s revenue.

The 12 conference members received an average of $18.28 million from the conference in 2009-10. That’s an increase of $5.25 million over the 2008-09 average of $13.03 million.

Man, I should have been a football conference.

What's somewhat humorous is the fact that the only person involved in the SEC who took a paycut during that time span was commissioner Mike Slive, though he's not hurting. Slive took home $1,008,032 during the 2009-10 school year, with $940,000 of that being base pay. That's a cut from the $2.1 million Slive earned in 2008-09, but the only reason for that is because Slive received a $1 million bonus for negotiating the conferences new television deal that year.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or