What Would Texas and Oklahoma Joining The SEC Do To Collegiate Sports Streaming?
After the seismic shift in the college sports world that took the Big Ten Conference up to 14 teams and nearly created a 16-team Pac 12 Conference nearly a decade ago, sports observers insisted that such a cataclysmic change couldn’t take place again.
Well, there may be a change on the horizon. On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported that Texas and Oklahoma — both members of the Big XII Conference — made formal inquiries about bolting to join the Southeastern Conference.
The SEC currently has 14 member schools, a concentration of economic and athletic power, and its own television network — the SEC Network. Oklahoma and Texas would bring their own economic and athletic strength, and, in the case of Texas, a television network of its own — the Longhorn Network.
|DTV STREAM||fuboTV||Hulu||Philo||Sling TV||YouTube|
|S’inscrire||Essai gratuit||Essai gratuit||Essai gratuit||Get $25 OFF||S’inscrire|
|69,99 $US||64,99 $US||64,99 $US||25 $US||35 $US||35 $US||64,99 $US|
|Longhorn Network||-||-||-||-||^ 11 $US||-||-|
|SEC Network||≥ 84,99 $US||•||•||-||^ 11 $US||-||•|
Both TV networks are part of the ESPN family of networks. Any move by the two schools would likely create a realignment of ESPN’s group of college networks.
Speculatively, Texas and Oklahoma would likely join the SEC’s West Division. Arguably, they’d share the division with Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Texas A&M. The remaining schools: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt, would make up the SEC East.
One could easily see two separate television networks split by region with the current SEC Network serving the schools and area covered by the SEC East, while the Longhorn Network expands to cover the region surrounding the schools and area served by the SEC West.
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Three other conferences currently have large-scale networks: the ACC Network (also part of the ESPN family of networks), the Big Ten Network (one of the Fox networks), and the independently owned and operated Pac-12 Network.
Members of the Big XII Conference have been openly opposed to Oklahoma and Texas leaving for the SEC, while proponents of at least one former Big XII member school that has since joined the SEC — Texas A&M — have both expressed reservations about the two universities joining the Southeastern Conference.
The larger question at play would have to be whether or not the other conferences would expand beyond their present size given the guise of an expanded SEC. The last time schools began switching conferences, in 2010, it set off a 3-year-long feeding frenzy that resulted in Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland joining the Big Ten, as well as Missouri and Texas A&M bolting from the Big XII for the SEC — and that was just for starters.
Fans looking for a gigantic feeding frenzy in collegiate sports streaming would relish the idea of a group of four 16-team superconferences comprised of large schools dominating the landscape.
Conversely, fans of smaller college sports tend to be more trepidatious and would rather see the conferences remain as they are — without expanding any more.
Only time will tell what comes next.