Midland Reporter-Telegram’s Oscar LeRoy spoke to Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec on Sunday and Schovanec spoke about some Big 12 items that may give an indication about where the Big 12 is headed. I don’t think the Big 12 distribution was announced, but Schovanec did confirm that it would be about $35 million, which is above the ACC and Pac-12, but below the SEC and Big 10, which have their conference digital networks included in their distribution.
This leads to the lede, which is that Schovanec said that the Big 12 may look to focus on their own digital content and that the Longhorn Network is not an impediment to this move:
Schovanec said while the conference is in good shape financially, it is the only Power 5 Conference without its own television network, although it has a primary affiliation with the Fox Network. Texas Tech also had a deal with Learfield Sports, a third-tier provider that is a substantial source of revenue and marketing.
Instead of seeking its own network, Schovanec said there is a strong possibility that the conference will focus more on digital content, which might be the wave of the future.
If the conference starts its own network, it is uncertain what would happen to the Longhorn Network, but Schovanec said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the future of LHN.
“I would not say that the existence of the Longhorn Network is a problem with the league right now. It’s a little bit different,” he said. “This is not a source of contention when we get together; it’s not. I think we have to recognize that Texas and Oklahoma have a certain preferred status by virtue of their success (and) their budgets but they’re still very good partners. We are not stepsisters to those institutions in terms of how we work together.”
In the dead of summer of 2018, the Big 12 announced a new mobile app partnered with NeuLion College and there are also apparently Apple TV and Roku apps that were released as well. Coinciding with all of this, Twitter personality RedDirtSports (not sure if that’s even the right reference, but it’s the person behind the handle) posted on Patreon about how the Big 12 posted for some trademarks around the mobile app that deal with distribution of video content. So rather than partner with an ESPN or FOX, it appears that maybe the Big 12 is going to have their own app to distribute digital content.
The question from my perspective is what digital product will the Big 12 produce that will want me to pay for a monthly subscription of the digital content.