The University of Texas has received permission from the University of Texas System Board of Regents to take the next step in forming a Texas-only sports network, dubbed the Longhorn Network. The idea of Texas having their own network has been floating around for a few years according to athletic director DeLoss Dodds. Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com has previously reported that the network could be valued at over $30 million in revenue for the school and athletic department.
UT President William Powers Jr. proposed to the board that the network would carry nonathletic events in addition to sporting events such as football, basketball, baseball and more. “We’re in the business of engaging our work with the community, whether it’s a football game or an opera,” Powers said.
What happens now is the university will begin searching for a broadcast partner for the network. The leading candidate for the partnership is believed to be ESPN. A new facility will need to be constructed as well. The location of the network’s broadcast center will be in the north end zone of Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Fans looking for streaming coverage from the Longhorn Network may be in luck as well. Texas’ multimedia rights are held by IMG College, the nation’s leading collegiate marketing and media company. IMG College has content deals with many of the big names in college athletics including Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, the SEC, the NCAA, NCAA Football, the College Football Hall of Fame and more. IMG College has been in negotiations with Texas for plans for the Longhorn Network and they have an interest in sharing the network through multiple platforms.
The school is targeting a network launch of August of 2011, just in time for next season.