It really begs the question about, how are we going to get our sports in the years ahead? If technology changes in the next five years as much as it’s changed in the last five years, we’re not going to be getting our sports by cable TV. I don’t know what it’ll be. But increasingly, we’re using mobile devices … Google Network and Apple TV and things like that are coming into play. … I’m not sure the world needs another exclusive college cable network. Rather than trying to do what everybody else has done, I would much rather try to figure out what tomorrow’s technology is and get on the front side of that and be a part of what happens going forward and monetize that.
-Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame’s Leadership Luncheon, asked about how the Longhorn Network affects his long-term TV plans (read: how it keeps him from starting a conference network).
It’s hard to say whether or not he’s just saying this to try to save the appearance of being behind the eight ball because he can’t get on the conference cable network gravy train the way the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 have. It’s also hard to say what trying to “get on the front side of tomorrow’s technology” would entail, certainly beyond what’s already covered by the conference’s contracts with ESPN and Fox (color me skeptical that it would involve “Google Network” or Apple TV in any significant way). But just the fact he knows enough about these things to make these points is very encouraging. Of course, if “tomorrow’s technology” is what I think (or at least hope) it is, I’d say the ACC is further ahead than the Big 12, which seems to have gone backwards on that front.