SBD/July 19, 2011/Media

Oklahoma AD Addresses School's Progress With Own TV Network

Oklahoma interacting with variety of media companies about possible network
Univ. of Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione yesterday addressed the "progress being made" on the school's "24-hour, seven day a week network similar to that of the impending Longhorn Network," according to Anthony Slater of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN. Castiglione said, "We have had a great amount of interest in the prospects of a network here. 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 said OU must build a network "that is sustainable" for the school. Castiglione: "This isn't like you can just go out and buy a network. It isn't just a commodity. This is a very big undertaking. ... We are trying to position ourselves to be more available on all the emerging platforms the way the digital revolution is taking place, things we know about right now, as well as through things that from a technological standpoint can still be developed" (NEWSOK.com, 7/18).

TALKS CONTINUE: MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds reports ESPN has said that it is "gaining yardage as it pounds the distribution line" for Longhorn Network, "but has yet to reach affiliate paydirt." ESPN Exec VP/Affiliate Sales & Marketing David Preschlack: "We're talking to everybody, big and small. We're comfortable with where we are (some six weeks) before the Aug. 26 launch." Sources said that ESPN is "seeking a monthly sub fee of 40 cents for expanded basic carriage in Texas and adjoining states, and sports tier positioning in other markets." It is "akin to the model deployed by the Big Ten Network," which charges $0.70-0.75 cents "in the states within the conference footprint." Meanwhile, Preschlack said that the "Longhorn equivalent of Watch ESPN would be authenticated to the network's subs, with such content not part" of the main Watch ESPN app (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 7/18 issue).

MONITORING THE ENEMY: In Houston, Brent Zwerneman cites a source as saying that the Texas A&M regents meeting Thursday and Friday will include a "closed-door session concerning the Longhorn Network." The session "will be informational only," including talking points on the Univ. of Texas' "plans to air a Big 12 football game on the ESPN-owned network, and to potentially air high school games." The source added that "no action will be taken," as the regents "will simply be informed of the latest by lawyers concerning the deep-pocketed network" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/19).
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