Texas announced today that they have taken another logical step forward for college sports entertainment. Texas just negotiated with ESPN to create the Texas Network that will launch this fall. Eventually, in my opinion, all major universities will have their own channels and phone applications allowing access to all sports no matter where you are. The first shoe has dropped on that so to speak. Link:
This only makes sense as each school will assume more responsibility for its own viewership and therefore, it's own profit margin. The beauty of this for Texas is that it coincides with the continued development of a "Big 12 Network" which will allow them to "double dip" into the ESPN money pot to the tune of $30M a year. Take that SEC schools.
If you were wondering how the Big 12 retained Texas and stayed together this past summer, I think we might have just gotten our answer. However, in the big picture, the power will now begin to shift towards the individual schools and away from the NCAA and conferences.
So, here it is, another step towards collegiate sports autonomy that is driven by the bottom line. In my opinion this will eventually lead to the secession of the NCAA by big-time football programs, a playoff, and significantly lower academic standards for athletes at big time programs.
That should generate a lot of money until, of course, man fuses with machine and sports can no longer be competed on a level playing field. I'll post more future predictions later.