SBD/January 28, 2011/Media
Beebe Notes Texas A&M Not Alone In Wanting Clarification On UT-ESPN Deal
Published January 28, 2011
Texas A&M has expressed concern about the forthcoming Univ. of Texas network airing high school sports, and Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said he believes “everybody wants to get clarification about what can be done or what can't be done in an institutional distributed format." Beebe said, “That's something that not just Texas A&M but others have a concern about. It's a new format for distribution of college content.” He did note the current Big 12-ESPN deal “means further solidarity of the conference." Beebe: "Obviously there's a lot of value in Texas' programming, but also in the conference programming. And as we head into our future negotiations, both with Fox this spring and ESPN in four years, I think it bodes well for our football and basketball programming." ESPN's Rod Gilmore said Texas was already the dominant player in the Big 12, and the UT Network "skews the money even more so than it has been." Gilmore: "Texas is the key in the Big 12, and the issue is, 'What does Texas want?' If Texas wants world domination, get out of their way. Texas controls the Big 12. If they want to go independent, the Big 12 is over with.” ESPN’s Tom Luginbill said Beebe "realizes what's good for Texas is good for the Big 12 overall." Luginbill: "There's a political line that Dan Beebe's having to walk between pleasing the members of the conference as a whole and making sure the kingpin of the conference in Texas still has enough of a controlling interest to make sure the good is for everybody" (“College Football Live,” ESPN, 1/27).
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JUST THE TEN OF US: Beebe said the Big 12 has no plans to expand, and that is “going to be the case for a long time.” He said of last summer’s conference realignment, “Even though we worked hard to keep 12 members in the conference, when we came out of it with 10, everybody kind of looked around and said, 'You know what, this is great.'” Beebe added the benefits of not having a football championship game "outweigh the detriments of having one" (“College Football Live," ESPN, 1/27).