The frothing continues
The Longhorn Network is on the air... somewhere... just not here
With just hours to go and Longhorn fans frothing at the mouth, the LHN announced deals with a group of small operators around Texas. No AT&T Uverse, no Grande, no Time Warner Cable. No one made nice, and they are not playing well in the sandbox together.
Consolidated Communications, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications, Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision and Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision join Verizon as the only places to see the Longhorn Network. Only four of those—Consolidated Communications (Conroe, Katy), Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision (El Campo, Edna), Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision (Pearland, Manvel)—will actually flip the switch tonight, the rest on September 1st.
If you really want to see it, do a quick search, figure out if you have a friend somewhere southeast near Houston and start driving. Unless you want to go stand on the South Mall and watch it live.
Otherwise, the Longhorn Network debuts at 6 p.m. to crickets. To get your blood really boiling, we added a little video preview courtesy of the Longhorn Network. It looks great if you're a Longhorn fan. Too bad you won't get to see it.
These negotiations are never easy. Multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations have a lot invested in Texas and have a lot to lose. Sports Business Daily reported last month that ESPN asked cable companies to pay 40 cents per subscriber per month for carriage on expanded basic cable. That means that while cable companies would be writing big checks, they would not be passing that cost along to their customers. At least not until their annual rate review next year.
So why not Time Warner Cable and the others? The answer appears to lie in High School football. High school games are valuable to local media companies. When the NCAA ruled that the LHN could not air any high school football—games or highlights—the value of the network dropped for them, unfortunately the price being asked did not. Officially everyone "is still talking," holding football fans hostage to greed.
What are you missing? Well, unless you're a huge volleyball fan, or really get jazzed for women's soccer... not much. Click here for the entire LHN weekend schedule featuring lots of old football games, replays of volleyball, and films. Or just look below for the highlights:
Friday, August 26:
6:00 p.m. — The Longhorn Network debut. Anchor Lowell Galindo, reporter Samantha Steele and analyst Kevin Dunn will introduce the channel, joined by ESPN's College GameDay crew — Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews. According to the LHN press release, this group will "preview the Longhorns upcoming football season and its September 3rd home opener vs. Rice which will air exclusively on Longhorn Network. ... Texas coaches, players and former student-athletes will also be on hand for the two-hour special."
8:00 p.m. — Volleyball — #4 Texas vs. Pepperdine in the Burnt Orange Classic live from Gregory Gym. ESPN's Carter Blackburn and Heather Cox will call the game with Steele reporting.
10:00 p.m. — Texas All-Access — Again from the LHN press release, "the documentary-style Texas All-Access show will debut providing unprecedented access to Coach Mack Brown and the Texas football team as it prepares for its September 3 home opener against Rice."
Saturday, August 27:
11:30 a.m. — Live Volleyball — #4 Texas vs. Mississippi
5:00 p.m. — Live Volleyball — #4 Texas vs. Israel's National team
Sunday, August 28:
1:00 p.m. — Live Women's Soccer — Texas vs. Cal State - Northridge