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UT To Unveil 20-Year, $300M Deal With ESPN For Longhorn Network

By John Ourand & Michael Smith, Staff Writers, SportsBusiness Journal

Univ. of Texas to receive $15M annually from ESPN as rights fee for Longhorn Network
The Univ. of Texas today will announce a 20-year, $300M deal with ESPN to create the Longhorn Network, the first-of-its-kind channel to broadcast live UT athletic events, shoulder programming and non-sports university content. The Longhorn Network will launch in the fall and will be owned by ESPN, which will pay the school a rights fee that averages $15M a year, sources said. In addition, ESPN has committed close to $400M in production value to the channel over the 20-year term. IMG College, the Longhorns’ multimedia rights holder, negotiated the deal with UT.

All three parties – UT, ESPN and IMG – signed the contract, sources said, because some of the rights had to be sublicensed from IMG, while other rights came directly from the university. In addition to the channel, Texas makes more than $10M a year from its multimedia rights agreement with IMG, which will give the school an annual revenue stream of about $25M for its multimedia rights and the channel combined. The Longhorns’ budget for the '10-11 fiscal year, already the nation’s richest, is $137M.
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