ESPN And Texas Make 20-Year Commitment, No Word On Prenup

01.20.11 9 years ago 4 Comments

In a deal that guarantees a buttload of money over a buttload of years, ESPN and the University of Texas have agreed to create a 24-hour network for the Longhorns and all of their sports. Now, you can yell “Hook ’em Horns” at your television for literally the whole day and be exponentially more insufferable.

ESPN and the University of Texas will combine on a 24-hour television network showing Longhorns sports as well as original series, studio shows, historical programming and other academic and cultural events.

ESPN will help develop, launch and operate the network, according to a news release. The deal is worth $300 million over 20 years. The network will launch in September.

Included in the coverage will be at least one exclusive football game, eight men’s basketball games, women’s basketball coverage of games not televised elsewhere, and Olympic sports coverage. There will also be pregame and postgame shows for football and basketball games, coaches’ shows for every sport Texas sponsors and other daily programming. -ESPN (duh).

I am told some of the programming includes a hour-long UT alumni segment including an daily update of whether or not Sergio Kindle has played in the NFL yet, Mack Brown’s own cooking show (every episode ends with him ordering takeout) and five hours of UT volleyball from the early ’90s. You don’t want to miss this action!

There are not many other options to watch sports on basic cable besides ESPN, so I’ve always watched them, and they do a pretty good job for the most part. It just makes me feel icky that they’re creating a network specifically for a college program.

Also, let’s hypothetically say that a couple crucial members of the UT football team get into a fight on campus. How will ESPN report that? Will their contract with the Longhorns pose a conflict of interest? I’m just saying, it could be pretty hard to report bad stuff about your friend when $300 million is involved. This isn’t the first thing that’s made me take news from ESPN less seriously (for example, the worse-than-a-dry-handjob-from-a-guy hour for “The Decision”), but it’s not helping their case. I might have to resort to switching my main source of sports to the Spanish channel where the guy yells over highlights while being surrounded by large-chested girls. If that hasn’t been made yet, I call dibs.

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