In Dallas, Chuck Carlton notes ESPN has publicly said that it “has no regrets and is committed” to the Longhorn Network. But at the same time, execs “had to believe they would be on far more cable systems now.” What they “didn't realize is the state of Texas market is too fractured.” Carlton: “Not everybody wants to be a Longhorn. A lot of people dislike that brand, and don't want to see their cable bills rise to have burnt orange 24/7.” The Univ. of Texas will “need some kind of catalyst (a major football game or two?) to pressure cable providers next season” (DALLASNEWS.com, 3/1).
KEEPING IT COMPETITIVE? YAHOO SPORTS’ Kevin Iole noted he likes what Main Events is “trying to do by putting boxing on the NBC Sports Network.” The idea was to create “competitive matches in which no one knew who was going to win,” but that plan “didn’t last too long.” On the March 24 show, the series “will feature a tripleheader that will open with Tomasz Adamek meeting Nagy Aguilera in a heavyweight match.” Iole: “If you’re going to put Aguilera on the air, then don’t tell us you’re serious about making competitive matches, because Aguilera isn’t competitive against any quality heavyweight” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/28).
FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS: Broadcasting company Record has “threatened to sue FIFA for awarding rival network Globo the Brazilian rights for the ’18 and ’22 World Cups without a bidding process." Record said yesterday that it was “surprised at the decision because it had been told” by FIFA TV Dir Niclas Ericson that broadcasters “would be allowed to bid” for the ’18-22 rights. Globo has held World Cup broadcast rights since ’70 (AP, 2/29).
NEW PROGRAMMING: The Perform Group is developing new, branded YouTube channels for Livesport.TV, its live sports streaming service, and Goal.com soccer brands. The new channels will largely be advertiser-supported, but certain events will be placed behind a paywall for U.S. viewers. Furthering Perform’s reach into Google-owned properties, the company is also launching a series of Chrome applications for Goal.com and a series of other clients (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).