In the battle between Oklahoma and Texas for superiority in athletic TV programming, the Sooners apparently will have the edge in distribution and the Longhorns the edge in rights fees.
According to a report Monday in Sports Business Daily, OU is close to announcing a deal with Fox Sports Oklahoma and Fox Sports Southwest that will place more than 1,000 hours of OU Network-branded programming in a combined 8.6 million homes of the two networks.
That's a huge advantage over the Longhorn Network, which has barely gotten off the ground in Texas, and reportedly has about 4 million subscribers nationally, most of which are on Verizon FiOS.
While Texas' deal with ESPN for the Longhorn Network is valued at $300 million over 20 years, OU's deal with Fox is believed to be worth much less, both in terms of value and length, Sports Business Daily reported.
OU athletic spokesman Kenny Mossman declined to comment Tuesday on the trade publication's report.
“We have continued an aggressive approach in launching expanded content distribution through a sustainable network,” Mossman said in a statement. “Our progress has been significant, but as we have said since we began this process, we won't address specifics until an agreement has been finalized.”
Fox Sports Southwest spokesman Ramon Alvarez also declined to comment.
Between the FSOK and Fox Sports Southwest, the OU programming would be carried to cable and satellite homes in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and a small portion of New Mexico.
Texas subscribers apparently would get more OU programming than any of the Texas schools, unless they are among the small segment that subscribe to the Longhorn Network.