The Longhorn Network has proven to be a negotiating snag over the past couple months in keeping certain members of the Big 12 in conference (re: Texas A&M), and in fully allowing the Longhorns from moving to what would have been the Pac-16.
As a potentially lucrative $300 million deal, the LHN has been viewed more as the “One Upper” character, Penelope, from “Saturday Night Live” in the eyes of the remaining Big 12 than a source of third-tier TV revenue. That annoyance felt by all those not labeled “UT” appears to have carried over to at least one regional television network as the LHN begins to show high school highlights on programs.
While the full-scale airing of high school games is still on hold, the LHN can still pursue the broadcast of highlights, scores and stats from high school events. Last Thursday, the LHN showed a YouTube clip of a game from New Jersey. No stats or scores were shown.
But Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman reports that the LHN’s VP of Programming, Dave Brown, has asked four Texas TV affiliates in Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas to trade their HS highlights segment for a two-minute, LHN-produced clip of highlights that the Texas/ESPN-based network has put together.
One affiliate, KTRK in Houston, has obliged; KSAT in San Antonio, however, was appalled.
“We were really insulted that (the Longhorn Network might think) we’d just roll over for them,” a producer at KSAT told Bohls. ”Now if it had been ‘Hard Knocks’ material, that’d have been different. Once we looked at it, we said thanks, but no thanks.”
In August, the NCAA decided to put youth programming on conference and institution-affiliated networks on hold. The NCAA is expected to review the idea for the next six to nine months, at which point an official “ruling” is expected to be given on the airing of youth programming.