Besides, they are not the first. Notre Dame has NBC for football and BYU is now independent and has its own channel.
I don't think that an OTA football deal and a largely religious based channel are similar to what Longhorn Network will be. My main concern with it is the lack of content. Two football games aren't going to cut it. The closest thing out there that's similar to this is the Fighting Sioux Sports Network in North Dakota. Obviously, that's on a smaller scale but it's the only college regional network that I know of and I believe that it's only a part-time channel.
They probably could have made a Big 12 Network but UT would have to share. They want it all to themselves.
I think some other schools might want to go this way but very few are have the market, alumni base and the national rep that UT has.
This was a concession to teams to keep them in the Big 12. The conference strongly considered their own network but to make them happy, they dropped the idea. It's all about the money and holding the conference together. They gave back a minimum of two football games to each school to sell as their own and make money from. This way, each school keeps the money for themselves and doesn't have to share the pot.