By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
When Ole Miss and Texas played football in Oxford last season, Longhorns fans were able to view the game on ESPN.
At this point, Ole Miss fans must travel and have a ticket to be guaranteed to see the Sept. 14 rematch in Austin.
ESPN officials informed Ole Miss at last week’s SEC meetings in Destin that the Texas game will air on The Longhorn Network, which lacks agreements with some of the biggest outlets in cable television including Comcast.
According to the Ole Miss news release, TV distribution for the game was determined by the Big 12 Conference.
The release implies that the SEC and ESPN – which owns the Longhorn Network along with the University of Texas and IMG College – had no bearing on the decision.
Within minutes after the game’s television status was announced, Ole Miss responded on Twitter saying that it and ESPN are jointly seeking viewing options for Ole Miss fans.
There are no specifics at this point.
An emailed response from Keri Potts with ESPNPR said, “We are working with Ole Miss on getting the game distributed to their fans. Details TBD.”
Longhorn opponents from the state of Texas and from the Big 12 Conference must agree for a game to be aired by the network.
All others, the umbrella that covers Ole Miss, have no voice in the matter.
Bjork’s comments were limited to the news release. He praised the relationship between Ole Miss, the SEC and ESPN and the school and ESPN immediately began discussing “potential programming solutions” for the game.
“Because this is a University of Texas home game and part of the Big 12’s TV agreement, ESPN is not obligated to give us advance notice of the decision or to provide alternatives, so we appreciate their willingness and desire to work with us.”