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Coming To Your TV: All BEVO All The Time?

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When the Big 10 created its own cable channel, speculation began that others would soon follow. Not the SEC -- they decided that having their broadcast partners (CBS/ESPN) do all the heavy lifting was a better idea, so they signed multi-billion dollar deals that run to 2025.

The Big 12? Maybe, but one school in the Big 12 was - at best - lukewarm to the idea. Are your ready for the BEVO channel 24/7?

Texas has quietly been exploring the idea of a Longhorn Channel for sometime, and the current movement among conferences and their TV partners only makes the inspection more relevant. Texas already has BEVOD through Time-Warner Cable, which is a video-on-demand service available in four Texas markets. It consists of Longhorn Coach's shows, highlights of recent games, video features of UT "Olympic Sports," as well as a monthly pull from the library of old seasons and games. Just last night I killed a couple of hours watching the Cotton Bowl Highlight packages from 1962, 1964, 1973 and 1982 (proving once again that I have no social life.)

UT and Time Warner look at BEVOD as a preview of what could be offered by a 24-hr UT cable channel.

Obviously due dilegence must be completed for such a venture. There is the problem that for the near future your best live product (football & basketball) are mainly spoken for through the Big 12 TV contracts. UT and its marketing partner, IMG College are looking for corporate sponsors to leverage the risk. Obviously they would like the network to be on the basic digital cable tier, but then that limits what you can ask for in subscription rates.

Time-Warner is the critical partner in this, and how they see the BEVOD experiment will be an important element. Obviously this is a regional channel proposal that would have to make most of its mark in Texas and the Southwest. UT does have over 400,000 alums, and UT claims that they have 5 million fans in the state, and that almost half of them have an annual household income of more than $75,000. A multi-media production unit supposedly is in the works for the North Endzone complex.

There are some times when you never get tired of watching BEVO

The proposed network would be on line a year from now. And the rest of the Big 12 will not be happy when and if BEVO gets his own channel.