University of Texas Expands Empire, Signs $300 Million TV Deal with ESPN

Keenan WomackContributor IIIJanuary 20, 2011

Finally, the University of Texas, with the help of ESPN, has managed to match the grandeur of its program with a Godzillatron-sized TV deal.

In the same way that the massive scoreboard looms over the south end of Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, so too does ESPN's new Texas Sports Network cast a shadow over the heads of college football programs across the nation.

The details of such a lucrative bargain?

Oh, $300 million, 20 years, with the university receiving 82.5 percent of the guaranteed money, only adding further income to a stream of revenue already ranked first in the nation (the athletic department made $143 million last year alone, $14 million more than second-place Alabama).

And, as if the money fails to satisfy, consider also the additional advantages created by such a network; high school and junior college athletes, regardless of national location, will be able to watch 24 hours of University of Texas sports coverage, creating essentially a network of non-stop, pro-Texas propaganda, exposure invaluable in the world of recruiting.

Not that Texas had been struggling to recruit before it and ESPN struck the deal. Quite the contrary, actually, as Texas currently holds the this season's top football recruiting class according to both Rivals and Scout.

Equipping Texas's prior recruiting supremacy with a network of around-the-clock publicity? Get ready for the Longhorns to start raking in the top class in all major sports, every year.

While many may assume that the inception of the network signifies UT's lean towards conference independence and the eventual and inevitable collapse of the Big XII, no plans to leave the conference, as far as anyone knows, have been seriously considered, let alone finalized.

With a top-notch education system, a powerhouse athletics program and its own TV network, the University of Texas clearly lacks no wealth, but let us see if the Longhorns can convert their prosperity into National Championship trophies. Or, if that proves too difficult in the short term, just getting an offensive line coach would help.