ESPN’s Longhorn Network will make its much-ballyhooed debut in August, and the No. 1 thing to monitor will be whether or not any broadcasters are critical of the school or program. Because if they are, the University of Texas is likely to have them “replaced,” according to the contract the school signed with the network.
The Statesman got the contract through an FOI, and here’s some language that might make a broadcaster skittish:
“in the event that UT reasonably determines that any on-air talent does not reflect the quality and reputation desired by UT for the Network based on inappropriate statements made or actions taken by such talent and so notifies ESPN, ESPN will cause such talent to be promptly replaced (and will in any event no longer allow them on air following such notice).”
So if a Texas football player is arrested, will we hear the gory details on air, or will we just hear that he’s been suspended for a game? If the offense is struggling, will announcers have the ability to be critical of a QB or coordinator? Can’t wait.
UT TV network: ESPN handles hiring, but UT, in some cases, can fire [Statesman]