Sooner Network not a network...6/14/2012 4:37:16 AM
take the Pac-12 TV deal and add Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and the cities of Dallas & Houston.... i wonder what our TV and Pac-12 Network would look like. what we have now is awesome, but it would have been even bigger and better. 8 games each week instead of 6. i would guess that we'd have a game on FOX/ABC each week, plus FX & ESPN would probably show a double-header every week. the Pac-12 Net would still have it's 3 games / wk, but they would then be rotating in Texas & Oklahoma games into their lineup. that'd be amazing. what could have been!
anyway, i'd rather be us than them.
Oklahoma's new 'Sooner Network' is simply an agreement with Fox Sports to show a bunch of Sooner sporting events. it's not a bad deal and it will give them some decent exposure in the region they like to recruit, but imagine if instead of the Pac-12 Network (s), USC had signed a deal like this with Fox Sports West. ugh.
The Sooner Network:
To be clear, the Longhorn Network and OU's television partnership with Fox Sports are two entirely different entities.
Any time of day, 24/7/365, viewers can push buttons on their remote and go directly to the Longhorn Network -- assuming they get their television service from Verizon, or they live in specifically defined regions of central or southern Texas.
To see the OU network -- or whatever it will be called -- OU fans can turn on Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Oklahoma or another Fox Sports channel, then look for whatever Sooner programming might be scheduled around the network's other programming, which includes a vast menu of professional sports and other collegiate properties.
"This is not gonna be an OU Network," a source said. "This is gonna be OU's third tier rights distributed over several different Fox Sports outlets."
The agreement will be for at least 1,000 hours of OU programming per year. LHN, with its 24-hour platform, is on for 8,760 hours a year.
....The Fox Sports distribution model was "attractive to OU," a source said because Sooner programming will be seen on cable and satellite TV throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana -- an audience of just more than 10 million people.
By contrast, the Longhorn Network is currently available to about 4 million people, of which, some 3.7 million have Verizon's FiOS television service. The rest are scattered among six small cable systems in Texas.
Moreover, OU fans nationwide who have satellite TV -- DirecTV or Dish Network -- can upgrade to a Fox Sports package that includes every Fox Sports regional channel. Longhorn Network isn't available on satellite yet.
Texas fans are unhappy they can't watch the network. But cable and satellite systems so far are unwilling to pay what's been widely reported as 40 cents per customer per month for the service, a cost one source called "astronomical."
....Like Texas' deal with ESPN, the OU-FSN deal falls under the Big 12 Conference's Tier 3 rights, meaning OU gets to keep every penny it's paid by Fox Sports instead of sharing the revenue with other schools in the conference. The Big 12 now requires equal sharing of revenue from games shown on Tier 1 (over the air) and Tier 2 (network cable) platforms, but allows schools to negotiate their own Tier 3 deals.
A source said it's unknown at this time if Fox Sports will pick up an OU football game for Tier 3 distribution, but said it wasn't any kind of hangup in the negotiation process.
....OU programming likely will offer a much higher percentage of original content than LHN, much of which so far is re-runs of current athletic events, studio shows and repackaged classic games. FSN will show OU reruns, too, but with only 1,000 hours, there simply isn't much time for repeats.
....And when Longhorn fans throughout Texas can't get the Longhorn Network, they can always flip on Fox Sports Southwest or Fox Sports Houston, where there will be plenty of Sooner content for them to watch.
"Imagine that," a source said. "You're gonna be able to see more OU programming in Austin than you can Longhorn programming."