Longhorn Network Contract Provides Texas With Vast Power

The Longhorn Network contract between Texas and ESPN has made its way into the public eye. The Midnight Yell obtained a copy of the contract, with Outkick The Coverage providing quick legal analysis of the deal, which gives Texas huge sway over the new venture. Similarly, many of the clauses in it show that Texas is not interested in helping out the Big 12.

Outkick The Coverage points out several major issues with this contract. Should Texas ever become an Independent in any sport, this would allow ESPN an exclusive 60-day window to negotiate for the entirety of Texas sports broadcast rights. Similarly, Texas is contractually obligated to stay away from participation in other sports networks, which may also mean that they would be unable to be affiliated with a Big 12 Network, if that ever came to fruition.

Additionally, employees of the Longhorn Network are expected to maintain a "quality and reputation desired by UT," to reflect the best interests of the network and the school. If the university does not like what is said on air, OTC points out, they can approach ESPN and have that person removed from the network.

Another controversial part of the contract is that ESPN is supposed to make every effort to obtain the Texas State Championship Game, a potential scenario that could give an unfair recruiting advantage to Texas. With a one-year wait on broadcasting any high school games, this condition still has a long time to percolate.

For more on the Longhorn Network, check out the rest of this StoryStream, and also check out Burnt Orange Nation.

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