If you're hoping to see another Iowa State upset over Texas this year, you might be out of luck.
ESPN announced on Monday that the November 10th game between Iowa State and Texas will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network. This will mark the third Texas game of the season to air on the LHN but the first Big 12 conference game. The Longhorns first two games of the year against Wyoming and New Mexico were also broadcast on the network.
Iowa State fans within the state of Iowa will still be able to see the game, however. The game will be broadcast on six regional ABC affiliates within the state (five in Iowa, plus Omaha's ABC affiliate). If you're a Cyclone fan outside the area though, tough luck.
Looking at this through the broad lens of the entire Big 12, one has to wonder how putting a conference game on a channel still not available to many - even within the state of Texas - is a good thing.
Isn't the point of the Big 12's TV contract to provide as much exposure for the conference as possible? That certainly happens when the games are on the Fox, FX, FSN or any of the other ESPN platforms.
All this is simply a power play by ESPN trying to put pressure on other carriers, mainly those in Texas, to add the channel to their list of offerings. You know Texas fans want to watch Texas games, funny how that works.
In the meantime, the people who pay the price are the Iowa State and Texas fans who won't be able to see their team play, not to mention others around the country who would have tuned in otherwise, Big 12 fans included.
The Big 12 allows each school to retain the rights the one football game per season. With this being the third Texas game of the year set to be on the Longhorn Network, it's my understanding the additional two games count as two of the 19 games ESPN/ABC holds the right to as part of the league's TV contract.
Iowa State has yet to make the announcement that I've seen, but why they would agree to put one of the marquee games on their schedule on a channel seen by far fewer eyeballs than the alternatives provide is beyond me.
Maybe the answer is as simple as they don't have much say in the matter, but I highly doubt that's the case given the stink Texas Tech raised when the possibility was discussed of their game against Texas State being broadcast on the network.
Not that ESPN cares all that much. To them, the simplest solution is for all carriers to add the channel then it's problem solved. If only it was that simple.