Oklahoma’s television channel apparently hitting a snag


Texas’ Longhorn Network has occupied a couple headlines over the past 24 hours as the ESPN-partnered organization prepares for its launch next month.

But, if you remember back to January, rumors arose that the Longorns’ Red River Rival, Oklahoma, was on the verge of starting their own television channel as well.

Well, it’s been six whole months since that story was published. Out of curiosity, how far along is OU from completing that channel?

Not that far, actually.

If we’re referencing back to the arms race analogy, this missile is still on the ground.

In an interview with The Oklahoman, OU athletics director Joe Castiglione said the possibility of a 24/7 television channel is still there, but it’s nowhere close to being a done deal.

You can CLICK HERE for the whole response, but here are a few snippets:

“We are interacting with a variety of different media companies and we know that we will have potentially a different model than the one that people keep hearing about in regards to the one at the University of Texas.

“Look, we have to build one that is sustainable for the University of Oklahoma. This isn’t like you can just go out and buy a network. It isn’t just a commodity. This is a very big undertaking… You got to remember, we have had a network for 12 years and we still have a network, this is a different type of network. You might call it a channel. You might be thinking about something that could have more of a 24-hour a day, seven day a week presence, although it might vary for that.

“We are trying to position ourselves for the next wave. We have a network right now, lets make that abundantly clear. And if you have watched over the last couple of years, more than ever, live events being distributed over the state, whether it is cable or over the air

“We are looking for the next frontier. We have a frontier spirit in Oklahoma and we have been trying to figure out the right path for us. I’m really encouraged by the progress. I like the interaction we have had with various media companies and we will find something that is truly sustainable for us. Sustainable is a key word. We want it to be around for a while and that is why we are being very diligent looking at the opportunities.

For Texas, having ESPN to help organize, run and pay for the costs of the network was a huge plus. Not that Texas didn’t have — or, couldn’t get — the funds to do it anyway, but the process was significantly expedited by having the WWL as a partner.

Oklahoma doesn’t have that luxury right now, even though they are a top-10 program.

Then again, you can count on one hand how many individual institutions that have a network of that magnitude.