Oklahoma and FOX Sports have agreed to a long-term multimedia programming partnership featuring “Sooner Sports TV Powered by FOX Sports,” a multi-platform network that provides for immediate and wide distribution of at least 1,000 hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.
“SOONER SPORTS TV’s” programming blocks will be distributed on FOX Sports Networks reaching approximately 9 million TV homes serving Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Outside of this four-state region, select programming from “Sooner Sports TV” will be made available nationally, either on FCS via cable providers or on outer market regional sports packages offered by satellite providers.
Additionally, the partnership between Oklahoma and FOX Sports will include a comprehensive online component featuring extensive “all-access” content not televised on FOX Sports networks, including live streaming, archived games, and additional content created exclusively for the web.
Learfield Sports, Oklahoma’s multimedia rights holder, participated in the agreement and will serve in a marketing and development capacity for a portion of the programming sponsorships.
“The programming agreement between the University of Oklahoma and FOX Sports marks the beginning of a terrific opportunity to engage our entire university community in athletic, academic, and cultural events all across our campus,” said OU president David L. Boren. “By providing unprecedented access to many areas of our university, millions of people across our state and nation will be able to see all of the truly great developments happening at OU.”
Oklahoma vice president and director of athletics Joe Castiglione said the university’s primary goals were satisfied in this agreement.
“As we began this process, our goals were to develop a network that was widely distributed and sustainable,” Castiglione said. “We accomplished those goals by placing Oklahoma programming on visible platforms and in a model that allows us to remain strong and viable for a long period of time. We’re excited to take this very significant step with FOX, a leader in sports and digital media, and we’re invigorated to seek more challenges while tapping into the vast media opportunities that seem to blossom every day.”
“We’ve made significant investment in SoonerVision to prepare for this day. With an eye on the future, we put in place an infrastructure that gives us almost limitless possibilities from a production standpoint. That state-of-the-art facility has paved the way for us to not only launch this venture, but look ahead with dynamic creativity.”
FOX officials lauded Oklahoma’s tradition and brand at the time of the announcement.
“We’re excited about our new partnership with one of the preeminent collegiate athletics programs in the country,” said FOX Sports Southwest senior vice president/general manager Jon Heidtke. “We look forward to showcasing OU programming to Sooner fans not only in Oklahoma but across the Southwest region on all of our distribution platforms. OU is one of the most storied athletics programs in the nation and having access to the vast and never before seen archival footage from the Sooners’ proud past will be fascinating to all college football fans. We’re confident Sooner fans will enjoy the wide assortment of programming we have planned and the exposure it will bring to their university.”
“Sooner Sports TV” programming blocks will also showcase a variety of original programming and studio shows, including coaches’ shows, weekly magazine shows, and press conferences. The school will also tap into its extensive vault of historical archives and give fans the opportunity to relive some of the great games and moments in Sooner history.
“It’s an exciting time for OU fans everywhere,” said Learfield’s President and CEO Greg Brown. “Joe and his team have had a desire to provide exclusive OU content to the Sooner faithful for years, and we’re excited to play a part in this becoming a reality and showcasing to sponsors a new avenue for them to connect with diehard Sooner fans.”
Nearly all of the content will be produced by the SoonerVision production unit, which has expanded significantly over the last five years. SoonerVision currently employs a staff of 95.
The SoonerVision facility, located at Gaylord Family–Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, already houses two control rooms that make possible the simultaneous distribution of content to the department’s five in-venue video boards and television. SoonerVision has covered recent OU Athletics events with up to 12 cameras and last year produced 65 events for television distribution.
Visiting national and regional networks have picked up portions of its feeds for use during live telecasts. The upgrades helped pave the way for the launch of this project.
• Football: Encore presentations of Oklahoma games originally televised on Fox and other networks, as well as the annual spring game
• Men’s basketball: Approximately eight exclusive Sooners games per season, plus select encores
• Women’s basketball: Select exclusive games, plus encores
• Olympic sports: Exclusive events and encores of select events, including baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, and men’s and women’s gymnastics
Original Programming and Studio Shows
OU Football Press Conference OU – Review (weekly encore) Sooner Football with Bob Stoops Sooner Sports Game Day (pregame show) Sooner Sports Overtime (postgame show – home games only) Sooner Sports Pad Coach’s Corner Sooner Sports Talk Sooner Basketball with Sherri Coale Sooner Hoops with Lon Kruger Rounding Third (baseball/softball) Sooner Sports Weekly (spring sports)