Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Longhorns Online`

Inferred in my last Longhorn Network Post (LHN) was the possibility that the programming would soon be available on the Internet. In a Wednesday, November 30, 2011 news release, that inference is now reality. I don't have time to edit and research it right now. So, here's the release:


November 30, 2011

Verizon FiOS and Longhorn Network Launch New Online Service Broadband Service Offers Live Streaming of University of Texas Sports Programming to FiOS TV Customers Nationwide

AUSTIN, Texas and NEW YORK – Verizon has launched a live online simulcast of the Longhorn Network – the 24/7 channel devoted to athletic programming and related activities at the University of Texas – and is making it available to Verizon FiOS TV customers across the country. Verizon FiOS is the first provider to launch the online broadband companion of the Longhorn Network.

FiOS TV customers who receive Longhorn Network as part of their video subscription service will be able to enjoy the network’s exclusive live events and content on their laptops or personal computers – at home or away – using any broadband connection. Using their Verizon Online user names and passwords, FiOS customers can access a live stream of the network online at either or

“No question, Texas Longhorn fans are some of the most enthusiastic in college sports, and we’re providing another option to catch the latest developments on the field – anywhere, anytime,’’ said Terry Denson, vice president, global strategy for Verizon. “This enhancement builds on Verizon’s commitment to bring the best in sports and entertainment and overall video content to our customers.”

David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks added, “With this launch, Verizon FiOS customers will be able to watch UT content from the convenience of their PC. It’s a great new way for students, alumni and UT fans everywhere to access Longhorn Network around-the-clock.”

Upcoming programming highlights include a robust slate of men’s and women’s basketball games, the nationally ranked women’s volleyball program, and content-rich studio and original programming such as “Longhorn Extra,” “Game Plan with Mack Brown,” “Texas All-Access,” as well as “Texas GameDay” and “Texas GameDay Final.” Verizon FiOS and Longhorn Network expect to extend online streaming to tablets and smartphones sometime next year.

This new content joins Verizon’s high-quality, online video entertainment, which the company has been delivering since 2005. FiOS also offers a broad collection of programming on TV, with more than 540 all-digital channels including more than 130 HD channels, and 30,000 monthly video-on-demand titles. FiOS also provides next-generation interactive services based on a long series of innovations, including Flex View and FiOS TV Online, which extend FiOS TV beyond the home to the Internet and a range of mobile devices; an advanced interactive media guide; free interactive applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others; Media Manager, which allows customers to access on their TVs personal photos, music and videos from their computers; and more.

For the latest news, updates and information about FiOS TV, visit and

Consumers can obtain more information on the FiOS TV plans available in their area by visiting or calling 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966).

About Longhorn Network

ESPN has a 20-year agreement to own and operate a year-round, 24-hour network dedicated to the University of Texas in partnership with UT and IMG College. Longhorn Network will offer a variety of content, highlighted by more than 200 exclusive events annually from 20 sports, original series and studio shows, historical programming and academic and cultural happenings. Additionally, the broadband companion to the TV network will offer extensive content, particularly live games not carried on the linear TV network due to scheduling conflicts.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 107 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $106.6 billion in 2010 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 195,000. For more information, visit

(c) Jim McNabb, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NewsMcNabb Investigates

Which News Medium Really Does Investigative Journalism?

KXAN TV (NBC) proclaims in its promotional spots that it has the only investigative team in town. Anchor/reporter Chris Willis Monday (November 21, 2001), became the new leader of the news department investigative efforts.

That distinction did belong to Nanci Wilson, an award-winning investigative reporter who, along with Keith Elkins, formed the core of the investigative team at KEYE TV (CBS) years ago. Elkins now heads a lobby group advocating open government. Wilson came to KXAN in 2009, but left a few months ago after winning two Lone Star Chapter Emmy Awards for her investigative work.

Willis, who has been with KXAN since 1999, has strong investigative credentials. The station is making good use of his talents by taking him out from behind the morning and noon anchor desk.

“His experiences in the field and from behind the anchor desk have allowed Chris the opportunity to develop unmatched relationships with our audience and the newsmakers of Austin,” KXAN news director Michael Fabac said in a statement.

Is KXAN the only “investigative” news medium in the Austin market? Hmmmm.

Have you seen the teamwork of KVUE TV (ABC) and the Austin American-Statesman on a series of recent stories? Under the title, “Statesman Investigates”, Statesman reporter Tony Plohetski worked with KVUE on a series of stories appearing both on the air and in the paper about the City of Austin’s costly use of outside attorneys. Keli Rabon is now KVUE’s Chief Investigative Reporter.*

Rabon, who grew up in Schulenburg and attended Texas Lutheran University, lists multiple investigative awards in her relatively short career including a Murrow Award. She returns to Central Texas after two years in Mississippi and three years in Memphis, Tennessee. “The Defenders” is the moniker for KVUE’s investigative efforts.

Teaming with Plohetski at the newspaper is really a plus. It is sort of a shame taking Plohetski off of the streets for intensive investigative work when it seemed that every daily story he did was investigative.

Some news managers believe that every reporter on the staff is an investigative reporter. It’s redundant to say otherwise. If any reporter came to me with a cool idea, I would give that reporter the extra time and resources to develop it.

So, KXAN’s slogan is “In-Depth. Investigative”. KVUE calls its time the “Defenders”. KEYE’s Chris Coffey was the investigative reporter for KTBC-TV (Fox), but he does more general assignments reporting now. The Austin American-Statesman prints the slug “Statesman Investigates”.

So, does KXAN really have “Austin’s only dedicated investigative team.” You decide.

(*For the most part I’ve stopped trying to keep up with all the comings and goings of reporters in Austin news media. While the anchors at all the stations have been stable for years, it’s another story with the reporting staffs. Yes, over the years many reporters decided that Austin was their destination. Now, however, it seems like I see a new face every day, and Austin is a weigh station. Perhaps that’s a future post.)

© Jim McNabb, November, 2011

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