An old cigarette ad campaign once featured smokers with black eyes saying they’d “rather fight than switch.”
Texas Tech would rather not play than switch a game to the Longhorn Network, according to one report.
Citing an athletic department source, RedRaiderSports.com reported Thursday that Tech officials are weighing whether to cancel a Sept. 8 football game at Texas State if it is televised on the Longhorn Network, the ESPN-run cable channel dedicated to all things burnt orange.
To do so, Tech not only would be required to pay a substantial buyout, it would leave the Red Raiders with an 11-game schedule, one less than the norm.
Then again, the Big 12 has only 10 schools. And they called guys like Don Draper “Mad Men.”
But there’s no doubt Tech is mad about the possibility of a Red Raiders game being used to promote the University of Texas. Anger over recruiting and other advantages of the Longhorn Network eventually led to the departure of Big 12 member Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference.
It’s not a done deal that the Texas Tech-Texas State game will be scheduled for the Longhorn Network. Contractually, the Western Athletic Conference, of which Texas State is a member, can decide which ESPN affiliate can air the game.
The Longhorn Network aired the home games of fellow WAC member UT-San Antonio last season.
Texas State would lose the money and exposure of hosting a Big 12 team in San Marcos. If there’s a possibility of airing the game on another ESPN platform, Texas State officials could push for that and avoid angering Tech.
The game, however, probably has the most appeal to the Longhorn Network, which is struggling to get distribution over major cable and satellite carriers. Last season, the Longhorn Network televised just two Texas games; it likely will air no more than three UT games this season.