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SBD/June 28, 2011/Media
Pac-12 Considering Three Different Models For Conference's TV Network
Published June 28, 2011
ASKING FOR A PRETTY PENNY: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Ourand & Smith report the Univ. of Texas' Longhorn Network is “seeking its first distribution partner,” and sources said that ESPN “wants 40 cents per subscriber per month for placement on expanded basic cable tiers in Texas and various markets in three adjoining states: Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.” With a $0.40 rate, Longhorn Network “instantly would become one of the 30 or 40 highest priced cable channels.” ESPN is “far along in negotiations with several distributors, including two of the region’s biggest operators: Time Warner Cable and Verizon.” Sources expect ESPN “to be negotiating carriage deals with operators in Texas right up to the school’s” season-opener against Rice Univ. on Sept. 3rd. The net is scheduled to launch Aug. 26 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/27 issue).
FREE TO AIR: BYU this year is going independent in football and joining the West Coast Conference for other sports, and in Utah, Jeff Call noted "approximately 140" BYU events and games will be broadcast by ESPN or BYUtv this year. BYU AD Tom Holmoe: "All of our home football and basketball games will be on TV, and we have the opportunity to do road games with BYUtv. We have an agreement with the West Coast Conference that we can do games on the road." BYUtv is "available in about 60 million homes around the nation." But Call noted a "big issue is how the school can monetize BYUtv, which is limited in the way it can produce revenue through advertising." Holmoe: "That's what we're doing right now. It's a modification. There are rules and regulations with what you can do with the contracts and agreements they have with the (cable and satellite) carriers" (DESERET NEWS, 6/27).
PRIME PLACEMENT: In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel noted the "eventual plan is for FX to stage a weekly nationally-televised" Big 12 football game at 8:00pm ET on Saturdays. Three FX games "have been slotted for television so far," and all three involve the Univ. of Oklahoma. The FX package is "part of the commitment by Fox Sports Net," whose deal with the Big 12 earlier this year "gives the conference confidence about its future." OU AD Joe Castiglione said of FX, "That's one of their (Fox's) strong cable networks. They have almost 100 million subscribers. That's a strong presence" (NEWSOK.com, 6/24).