Big 12 football: OU & OSU go head-to-head
OU plays TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN. OSU plays Baylor at 11 a.m. Saturday on FX.
Here we go again. On Nov. 10, the Cowboys hosted West Virginia at 2:30 p.m. on ABC, and the Sooners hosted Baylor at 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. That makes for some unfortunate viewing in our state.
While there are some OU fans that have no interest in watching OSU, and some OSU fans who wouldn’t dare watch an OU game, there are a ton of fans of both crimson and orange bent who would like to watch the other side’s game, even if it’s to hope for a defeat.
In Oklahoma, it hurts the television ratings of both games. But get used to it. The conference’s new television contract has de-regulated the televising of Big 12 games.
In previous years, the Big 12 had exclusive windows – 11 (or 11:30 a.m.), 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. Exceptions were made, primarily for an ABC 7 p.m. window.
But now there is no exclusivity. Games can go head-to-head at most any time. And the number of networks has increased.
ESPN and Fox are in partnership. ESPN shows games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2. Fox shows games on Big Fox, Fox Sports Net and FX.
There’s been a change in philosophy among the networks, said Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda.
“The TV approach has been inventory and content,” Burda said of the new contract. “They want to put as many games out there as they can, all day. Now they’re putting multiple games out there across multiple platforms.”
And so we get OU and OSU head-to-head. It hurts the ratings in Oklahoma, but our state’s population makes barely a ripple nationally.
While OU is a national brand, and OSU is building a decent brand with its recent success, the eyeballs in Oklahoma are not what drive that. That brand means, would someone in California or Georgia or Ohio flipping channels, come across an Oklahoma, or a Texas, or a Nebraska, or a whoever, and stop to watch?
That’s why West Virginia’s in the conference. The Mountaineers come from a state of 1.8 million people. But West Virginia football has a brand. People elsewhere will watch the Mountaineers, and the networks know it. The networks told the Big 12 West Virginia was an acceptable replacement for Missouri.
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