ESPN’s Longhorn Network to Air Two Texas Longhorn Football Games in 2011
The University of Texas’ Longhorn Network signs on in late August. Under the conditions of the current Big 12 Conference television contracts, the Longhorn Network was originally scheduled to air one UT Football game per season. However, an arrangement announced between FOX Sports and ESPN will increase the number of games on the Longhorn Network to two, for the 2011 season.
The Houston Chronicle reports the games televised this season on the Longhorn Network will be the Rice game on September 3 and a Big 12 Conference game to be named later. One Big 12 Conference game we know won’t be moved to the Longhorn Network, is the annual clash between Texas and Texas A&M, which is already scheduled for ESPN.
As part of the agreement between FOX Sports and ESPN, FOX Sports will be allowed to air select Big 12 Conference games on their over-the-air FOX Network for national distribution beginning in 2012.
This agreement gives FOX over-the-air network games from the Big 12 without paying any additional rights fees. It also gives FOX another conference to pair up with their PAC-12 Conference games which start in 2012.
The side benefit for Texas Tech and other Big 12 Conference fans is that when Gus Johnson (one of my favorite play-by-play announcers) moves to the over-the-air FOX Network in 2012, there will still be a chance that he will call some Big 12 games.
This season, Gus Johnson will work on Big 12, PAC-12 and Conference USA games on the FX Network.
Johnson will also be the play-by-play announcer for the Big 12’s premier bowl game, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, on FOX Network.