It was announced earlier Tuesday that Texas' game with Iowa State on Oct. 18 would be televised on Longhorn Network.
The announcement had a decidedly Texas tinge to it, partly because the announcement had all the hype of ESPN behind it, and partly because LHN has been cast as everything wrong with college sports today by some people.
But it was not the only aspect of this (admittedly tiny) piece of news. For LHN to be able to acquire a Big 12 game, Texas must find a partner willing to cede the game over to LHN. Iowa State did just that, because the Cyclones are pushing their own media venture - Cyclones.TV. It's exactly what the name suggests - an Iowa State multimedia venture available on television and over the Internet.
Just like Iowa State's visit to Austin in 2012, the Cyclones-Longhorns tilt will show on LHN nationwide and on Mediacom, a cable provider in the state of Iowa. For fans that don't subscribe to Mediacom, they can pay $9.95 a month to stream Cyclones.TV online. (The Toledo game played the week prior will also be shown exclusively on Cyclones.TV.)
“We want to be able to give those people that bought into cyclones.tv more bang for their buck,” Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard told the Ames Tribune. “We thought this was a really good way to do that.”
So, Iowa State has just as much incentive to move this game from the Big 12's mainstream media partners (ESPN and Fox) here.
Many schools have subscription-based streaming services like this. Not many use them for football games, though. Not ones that have better alternatives, anyway.
“We didn’t view this as a right of refusal,” Pollard said. “We viewed it as something we wanted to do.”
As for fans that aren't okay with forking over $10 for something that could have come to them for free, or live outside the state and are precluded (via Big 12 rules) from streaming Cyclones.TV? Hey, Longhorn Network is now on DISH Network.
“That is part of growing the brand,” Pollard said. “I want them to do that. If watching the game isn’t worth $10 do they really want to watch it?”
That whooshing sound you hear is every Iowa State message board ignitng.