AUSTIN, Texas -- ESPN and the University of Texas will combine on a 24-hour television network showing Longhorns sports as well as original series, studio shows, historical programming and other academic and cultural events.
There also will be an online component to the network offering content not featured on the linear TV feed.
ESPN will help develop, launch and operate the network. It will also handle distribution of the network, which is unnamed as of now. The deal is worth $300 million over 20 years. The network will launch in September.
With the University of Texas the first such school to get a network deal how many other schools will follow suit? Using a network like this Texas seeks to draw in more student athletes via more media exposure as well as to promote their schools sports to a new level of revenue grabbing. With colleges making millions of dollars off of tv deals with major television networks for bowl games alone will we see a new bevy of associated sports networks dedicated to selling us on a particular college? With college sports creating more and more revenue for huge schools like Texas, I think we will see a trend for colleges who want to produce more programming of their sports to more fans over a longer time. With a 20 year deal it looks like we wont see the end of UT's sports for a long time, will networks like these dominate our televisions for years to come?