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What Would Texas and Oklahoma Joining The SEC Do To Collegiate Sports Streaming?

Mike Nelson

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.

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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.

Selected SEC games have been offered through ESPN+, but there is no indication as to what a realigned SEC would do to that streaming picture.


ESPN+ is a live TV streaming service that gives access to thousands of live sporting events, original shows like Peyton’s Place, the entire library of 30 for 30, E:60, The Last Dance, as well exclusive written analysis from top ESPN insiders.

The service can be subscribed for $9.99 / month per month or annually for $99.99 / year.

You will get a daily out-of-market game from MLB, and every out-of-market NHL with NHL Power Play (previously NHL.TV). For NFL Fans, they have an exclusive NFL game, and simulcast select Monday Football games.

The service has some of the most attractive soccer coverage including Bundesliga, LaLiga, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredevise and more.

College sports fans will be able to watch thousands of games and events including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf, and more.

For boxing and UFC fans, the service offers Top Rank boxing and will be the home of 15 exclusive UFC events.

ESPN+ now includes exclusive insights from analysts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (which used to be part of ESPN Insider), as well as premium Fantasy Tools & PickCenter.

What it does not include is most live sports that air on ESPN and ESPN2.

To get access to those channels you have to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. We suggest reading our guide on How to Watch ESPN without Cable.

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.


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