Bloggers at The Midnight Yell, a Texas A&M site, have made public the contract between the University of Texas and ESPN for The Longhorn Network. One of their friends obtained the document through a successful open records request.
The full report highlights a number of notable terms of the agreement. To me, the most interesting provision is the one granting Texas editorial control:
In the event that UT reasonably determines that any on-air talent does not reflect the quality and reputation desired by UT for the Network based upon inappropriate statements made or actions taken by such talent and so notifies ESPN, ESPN will cause such talent to be promptly replaced (and will in any event no longer allow them on air following such notice).
There isn’t much to add to that, except to say that I don’t know whether clauses like this are common or becoming common with the rise of these sorts of networks (which now exist, to varying extents, in the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 12), but, common or not, they have to raise questions about the integrity of the host network.
If you’re interested in the money involved, Texas’ ability to leave the ten-team Big 12, or any other aspect of the relationship, read The Midnight Yell’s thorough coverage.