Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Want My LHN ...

If You Can’t See It, You Don’t Miss it

It’s obvious. The Longhorn Network’s (LHN) reasoning is that the viewing public doesn’t know what it’s missing because they’ve never seen it. So, if the potential users/consumers/viewers in Austin and elsewhere could see it, they’d clamor for it. They’d raise holy hell with Time-Warner and other carriers to get it.

So, the LHN announced Wednesday, November 09, 2011, Longhorn Network for All-Access Weekend. Beginning Friday, November 11 at 9.a.m. CT and running through midnight Sunday, Nov. 13, a broadband simulcast of Longhorn Network will be available to fans nationwide as part of All-Access Weekend presented by Grande Communications and Verizon FiOS. During this time, fans with a broadband connection, regardless of their provider may access the network in real time.

Just go to

Buried in the news release is a revealing sentence indicating that the LHN may be hatching a plan to circumvent cable providers while creating a cash flow from a subscription service. “Longhorn Network will be available online at, on tablets and on smartphones to fans with an affiliated video subscription in the near future.” No other details were offered.

For the coming weekend, however, the gateway opens for free. The news release reads:

“All-Access Weekend coincides with several high profile UT sporting events, including men’s and women’s basketball season tip offs and a Big 12 matchup of the school’s No. 8-ranked women’s volleyball team. Additionally, fans will see the network’s content-rich studio and original programming such as Longhorn Extra, re-airs of Game Plan with Mack Brown and Texas All-Access, as well as Texas GameDay’s pre-game women’s basketball show and exclusive pre- and post-game and halftime football shows.”

The focus of the all-access hype is mainly about the beginning of UT’s basketball season. While LHN only telecast two football games, several round-ball games are on the schedule. “We urge all Texas Basketball fans, and really college basketball fans in general, to call your cable provider and ask that they carry Longhorn Network,” said UT’s basketball coach Rick Barnes. “It should provide great insight into how hard our guys work, both on and off the court, and the pride they have in representing The University of Texas.”

Women’s head basketball coach Gail Goestenkors echoed Barnes plea for fans to call their programming providers saying, “Longhorn Network provides an in-depth view of our program that makes fans of the game feel like they're on our bench, in our practices and truly a part of our program.”

Here’s what to expect online this weekend:

Time (all times CT) - Show/Sport - Teams

Fri, Nov. 11

Noon & 5 p.m. - Game Plan with Mack Brown

6:30 p.m. - Texas GameDay - Stanford vs. Texas

7 p.m. - Women’s Basketball (Rebecca Lobo & Andrew Monaco) - Stanford vs. Texas

9 p.m. - Texas All-Access

10 p.m. - Longhorn Extra

Sat, Nov 12

9 a.m. - Texas GameDay - Texas vs. Missouri Halftime - Halftime Show - Texas vs. Missouri Immediately following game - Texas GameDay - Texas vs. Missouri

4 p.m. - Women’s Volleyball - Kansas State vs. Texas

8 p.m. - The Season: 2005 Texas Longhorns

Sun, Nov 13

5:30 p.m. - Longhorn Legends: Texas Basketball Roundtable

6 p.m. - Men’s Basketball (Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Followill, Samantha Steele) - Boston University vs. Texas

Longhorn Network women’s basketball

A half hour prior to tipoff of Stanford vs. Texas women’s basketball on Friday, Nov. 11, Texas GameDay will be aired live from the Frank Erwin Center to preview the matchup. Fran Harris, a senior on the undefeated 1986 UT national championship team, will host GameDay with analysts Jody Conradt, former UT women’s basketball coach, and Clarissa Davis, also from the undefeated 1986 UT national championship team. At 7 p.m., Andrew Monaco, team broadcaster for the San Antonio Spurs, will provide play-by-play commentary for the game alongside analyst Rebecca Lobo, women’s basketball analyst and reporter for ESPN.

Longhorn Network men’s basketball

A special edition of Longhorn Legends – a basketball roundtable featuring Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, T.J. Ford, D.J. Augustin, Chris Mihm and coach Rick Barnes – will air Sunday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m., just prior to the Boston University vs. Texas men’s basketball game. Former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy will call the game with Mark Followill and Samantha Steele reporting.

How much basketball will be on LHN? By the numbers:

• 12 men’s basketball games in 2011-12, beginning Sunday, Nov. 13 • 14 women’s basketball games in 2011-12, beginning Friday, Nov. 11 • 52 total hours of live UT basketball games on LHN • 9 Big 12 match-ups • 10 incoming freshman players (6 on men’s team, 4 on women’s team).

Meanwhile a University of Texas Exes LinkedIn forum still steams with scorching comments from fans unable to receive LHN from their programming provider. “Creating the LHN will prove to be a poor decision. I will not pay an incremental cost to see UT games on television. Good luck on that concept. Also, it's an embarrassment how it is resulting in the undoing/downgrading of the Big 12,” writes one.

“Frankly, as time goes by, I have come to the realization that while it would be nice to have LHN, I have survived without it for this long, I figure I can survive without it for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of other games on any given Saturday and a lot of them are far batter matchups,” writes another. “UT is making boatloads of cash off its football team without my help, the cost of going to a game is insane, especially if you want to take your family, and I don't see the need for any fan to jump through hoops in an effort to bring them even more revenue.”

The University of Texas teamed with ESPN creating the Longhorn Network. Reportedly, LHN wants to be on a basic tier, while cable providers are balking at both the cost per viewer and the location in the programming line-up.

Jim McNabb

© November 9, 2011

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