bigleadsports ran an interesting article yesterday. The premise is that LHN will impact how the media reports on Texas athletics. Read past the suggestion of media being credible, and there are several interesting points.
Here’s the crux of the story:
In making itself synonymous with Texas, ESPN has managed to make its journalists implicitly part of the Longhorn brand as well.
Not earth shattering, but when considering their point about A&M’s "inferiority complex", this becomes relevant. We already know the folks in College Station aren’t going to watch LHN, what about GameDay?
ESPN does an amazingly thorough job of cross-promotion. All the way down to subtly bumping an event on Sportscenter because the network carried it live. That slight boost is in hopes of raising interest for a future live telecast.
The WWL is a carefully crafted, perception-altering information stream. ESPN is always on-message whether viewers like the particular message or not.
That’s where this story has meaning. Longhorn haters can ignore LHN to their heart's content. Live high school games? Scratch them off the programming list.
None of it matters because ESPN will saturate viewers with Texas messages because of their investment.
Stewart Mandel had this to say:
"Case in point: The ever-popular GameDay crew (Chris Fowler and Co.) will be appearing live from Austin for the channel’s Aug. 26 debut. ESPN and Texas are now one and the same, and you can’t tell me it won’t affect the way Gameday, SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, et. al., cover Mack Brown’s program."
ESPN’s own Pat Forde chimed in with:
"If it gets into an uneven playing field, and ESPN is part and parcel of creating an uneven playing field, then I can understand why fans of other teams would have a problem with that."
To some degree, this is media complaining about how difficult their job is. Beyond that, it is interesting to note that LHN will alter the perception of fans across the country. Dodds’ monster isn’t changing how people think about the Horns, it’s altering how folks perceive journalists.
Joe Schad’s anonymous sources had no comment.
Remember in 2005 when Austin was up In arms that ESPN anointed that year’s USC bunch as the greatest team in the history of college football? Buckle up, this is gonna be way better.