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LHN releases list of carriers; TWC, DirecTV nowhere in sight

Longhorn Network Logo

Well, it’s here.

The much-anticipated — and much-despised by some — Longhorn Network makes its television debut today. One of the main questions for the network, besides whether or not high school games and/or highlights would be played, was a matter of exactly who would carry the 24/7 channel.

Yesterday, we noted that the LHN had reached a deal with Dallas/Ft. Forth provider Verizon FiOS, which at least allowed the LHN to keep pace with that media market.

However, in a press release sent out by the LHN, it’s become evident that Verizon is far and away the biggest media catch.

And that’s not a good thing.

Consolidated Communications, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications, Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision and Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision* are the carriers who have signed on with the LHN.  Consolidated Communications, Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision and Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision will launch the network this evening; Verizon, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications will launch the network next Thursday.

(*writer’s note: to answer your question, no, we don’t know who any of those carriers are, nor are we ready to dismiss the possibility that they are operated in/around somebody’s basement)

Noticeably absent from that list of carriers, though, is Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Dish Network and DirecTV. Any one of those can sign on at a later point — for all we know, they’re playing the role of early/late majority more than innovators/early adopters — but it has to be disappointing for the LHN not to have landed Time Warner or a major satellite provider.

Especially given the heavy push marketing campaign they’ve enacted.

The network is likely going to be operating in the red anyway for the first couple of years, so we’ll withhold judgement on the success of the LHN during that time. In fact, there’s still a very, very good chance that the LHN will be a huge hit.

But right now the LHN is struggling to get off to a fast start, and there’s really not benchmark in place for how a network of this magnitude will do right away.

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19 Responses to “LHN releases list of carriers; TWC, DirecTV nowhere in sight”
  1. bender4700 says: Aug 26, 2011 5:59 PM

    Why is it surprising no one outside of Texas wants to pick up a network that is specic to Texas?

    i wouldn’t expect the Nebraska Network, Michigan Network, or even the USC Network to be a huge draw nationally. There’s a difference between a team being a ratings draw and having cable systems deal with ESPN on this.

    ESPN and Cable companies are not friends. They ALL hate ESPN. Many rate hikes are direct results of ESPN charging more for their channel, so carrying a channel that is run through ESPN is not likely to go over well without a strong upside for the cable providers.

  2. vegasrobert says: Aug 26, 2011 7:33 PM

    Texas has fans nationwide. WE WANT it but can’t get it outside of Texas. I’m still waiting for my chance.

  3. florida727 says: Aug 26, 2011 9:04 PM

    NBCSports article title reads, “Longhorn Network looks to be a flop”. Then Ben says, “we’ll withhold judgment on the success of the LHN”.

    So which is it?

    By the way, “bender” is absolutely right. I have a friend that works for a regional carrier, pretty high up in the organization, and he said ESPN holds them hostage every time negotiations roll around. They almost always wait until well past the eleventh hour before approving a deal. If they didn’t have what everyone wants, and everyone knew how they ran their business, they’d be boycotted by every sports fan on the planet. They internally call themselves the “gods of sports”. Can they be any more arrogant?

  4. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 26, 2011 9:32 PM

    florida, I can see where that’s confusing. Unfortunately, I have zero control over the headlines NBC creates.

  5. spartytime says: Aug 26, 2011 10:32 PM

    Texas fans should read this…

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/44257343

    They are screwing other schools for their greed…not a good thing if you want a healthy rivalry and save your conference

  6. overratedgators says: Aug 26, 2011 10:47 PM

    Far too early to judge the performance of LHN. Anyone calling LHN should look back to what people were saying about the Big Ten Network four years ago. It was declared a flop, for largely the same reasons, and now makes money hand over fist:

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/20503542/

  7. ukeone says: Aug 27, 2011 12:51 AM

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah…(whew!)…giggle, giggle, oh, oH, OH…OHH…OHHH…OH…aha…AHA…Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahaha…LOL…lol…LOLAUGHS!!!…when will it stop? My sides hurt (I’m LAUGHING SO HARD!!!)!

  8. spartytime says: Aug 27, 2011 1:21 AM

    @ overratedgators:

    The difference between the B10 network and LHN is HUGE…firstly B1G network doesnt just appeal one school. B1G shows constant games of ALL the schools, and yes even the sucky ones like Indiana and Purdue. Not only that but they have specials on the schools too and features rivalry programming.

    LHN on the other hand is all about the longhorns. People outside of texas and texas alumni base dont care about the longhorns. How long do you think its gonna take for regular joes to get tired of seeing the same commentary about longhorns?

    Secondly B1G has wayyy bigger market base than the LHN. B1G has cities like detroit, chicago, GB, Minn, the whole state of Ohio (there is no other schools other than OSU, that people care in Ohio), IN, whole state of WI, and Pennsylvania to support that. on the other hand no one will support the LHN outside of Dallas/Austin area. Heck when you have 3 in state rivalries and more informal rivalries (SMU, Rice, UTEP, etc etc), people will knock LH and LHN even more when given the chance. And even that, the market is held on to by the cowboys. There is a difference between supporting a school and supporting a state. Yes there is rivalries between say MSu-UM or OSU-UM, but they still associate with the B1G Network and B1GN will be supported no matter who wins and losses. On the other hand people from UTEP, Houston, Rice, SMU, TCU will be FORCED to watch the LHN when they play you and it will be a huge knock on LHN.

    Thirdly the B1G not only supports sports, but its academic research ability is what generates a lot of school’s revenue. And because of that, it can care to sustain some of the money out of its own pocket. B1G schools such as NW, ILL, MSU, UM, OSU, Wiscy, gets BILLIONS in research fund and those money’s leftover, after the research and helping out its own institution, go on to support the B1G network. On the other hand, Texas could not generate enough revenue out of its academic funding, when, not if, LHN falters to generate its own money

    And last but not least, B1G has a HUGE alumni base anywhere. Texas’ alumni alone does not compare to UM, MSU, NW, OSU, PSU, alumni base. Not only that but even ND alums keep close tabs with the B1G because of its hisorical and academic rivalries with its school. ND has rivalries with UM, MSU, IN, Purdue, and HAD rivalries with NEB, PSU, and NW. Thus it can be said that ND is almost like an informal member of the Big 10. Not to mention even ESPN chicago covers ND football because of its proximity to chicago.

    Also Dont forget LHN is partnered with ESPN. ESPN already charges doubles of what other channels charge to the provider to pay the channel. So I doubt the providers are too happy to force LHN to non texas LH members as it will create a large backlash from other in state fanbase, that they cant watch their games, but have to pay increase bill amount to watch urs.

    I on the other hand can sit on my couch and watch my SParty kick the crap outta UM, or watch the NW-IL game for the bragging rights of Il (Im from chicago). So you see no matter who wins or loses the battle in the football game, in the end the war was won by the fans (as they get to watch their fav. teams no matter who they are), big city markets, and B1GN.

    This was a detailed reason why B1GN was successful and the LHN will not be. In short the B1GN appeases mass media, while LHN will only appease the texas longhorns, and wont even appease the state of texas as a whole. Greed will be the downfall of Texas, and eventually the B12 when ur schools go to SEC or PAC12 (They wont go to B10, other than maybe Mizzou or Kan). Then You will be forced to go independent and good luck with that LMAO. Not every team has a tradition and history that of ND.

    Remember this:

    “A man’s survivability is its need, its power its feed, and its downfall, the darn greed”
    - Spartytime

  9. spartytime says: Aug 27, 2011 1:29 AM

    I forgot to mention that ALL the schools in the B1GN get EQUAL revenue sharing…LOL. cant be said that about LHN and the B12

  10. gorilladunk says: Aug 27, 2011 8:34 AM

    @sparty…I think many of your comments are right on but here are some facts you failed to mention (I’ll also add here that I hope UT never wins another football game) UT generates more revenue in licensed apparel sales than ANYONE in college football. They have the second largest alumni base in the nation. Their university endowment is second only to Harvard, at well over a BILLION dollars. Believe me, money is NEVER a problem at UT and their “t-shirt nation” is twice as large as anyone else’s, including ND. As I said, I wish nothing but bad things on the football program at UT, but they are a financial juggernaut that has no match in Division I, on the field of play and in the research labs and classrooms.

  11. sportsinhd says: Aug 27, 2011 12:16 PM

    The biggest difference between the Big 10 Network and the Longhorn Network is that the Big 10 shows sports, lots of them. If you are a fan of a team in the Big Ten there is going to be a basketball game you WANT to watch and it’s only going to be on the Network. If you are a fan of a second-tier team like Michigan State (and I’m one of them), they are going to play an important conference game in football only on the Big 10 Network. The Longhorn Network is currently a vanity project and will never have the reach of the Big 10 Network.

    Maybe this will work out for Texas, but it would have made more sense to go all in with a Big 12 Network.

  12. overratedgators says: Aug 27, 2011 12:46 PM

    Sparty,

    I’m not arguing with a single point you made. I’m just saying that it’s WAY too premature to call LHN a flop. It may very well turn out to flop eventually – but right now, declaring it DOA is jumping to conclusions.

  13. burntorangehorn says: Aug 27, 2011 1:57 PM

    sparty–that article doesn’t say a word about any detriment to other programs. Did you even read it? That article says the obvious: Texas doesn’t really make out like bandits immediately; they “only” get the guaranteed minimum of approximately $11M/yr., with 3% annual increases, until the network revenues reach a certain milestone ($295M). Once that milestone has been reached, Texas will get the minimum plus 70 center per dollar beyond the milestone. At any rate, you don’t seem to have read the article, so you’re probably not bothering with reading anything else.

    Can anyone name a single program in the NCAA that wouldn’t sign up for this, if offered?

  14. spartytime says: Aug 27, 2011 4:13 PM

    @gorilla, I dont wish bad on any school…not even tje sec, though I do hope karma gets them for cheating and paying their players. My response was to sayhow the B1GN survived. And I said that all those schools contribute to B1GN and combined they can more than
    suffice if B1GN shall it falter. I dont doubt texas has a huge fan base, but it still cant beat the revenue gemerated by merchandise by UM, OSU, and even USC. S for academic funding, I doubt it comes in par with NW.

    @ burntorange my response waa to gators. He said big 10 network was successful and why cant lhn, so I just gave some reasons to that question. If u think ut isnt giving thr shaft to other teams then u need to rethink. Stop being a homer and look at it unbiased way. Again,i dont care for any big 12 teams but I do feel UT is screwing them over and feel bad for them.

  15. bender4700 says: Aug 27, 2011 4:24 PM

    “vegasrobert says:
    Aug 26, 2011 7:33 PM
    Texas has fans nationwide. WE WANT it but can’t get it outside of Texas. I’m still waiting for my chance.”

    Yes, Texas, like many schools, have fans nation wide. But not enough to warrant National carriers to pick their network up. THAT’s THE POINT!

    If Texas fan stopped trying to argue how much better of a school or fan base they are and actually listened to the discussion they’d be able to contribute, instead you get people like this, who think that because they want it, others do too.

    Majority rules, and the majority doesn’t want the LHN, not if it costs. If it’s free, screw it, put it on, wont watch.

  16. imaduffer says: Aug 27, 2011 6:32 PM

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the Longhorns are an independent within the next two years.
    You see the problem isn’t Texas, it’s who Texas plays. OU and A&M are really the only two draws that most football fans would want to watch.

  17. squackduckhawk says: Aug 28, 2011 3:35 PM

    First, I would like to point out that the Pac 12 networks (yeah that’s plural) are going to make your B1G look like Skippy the Punk. As a fellow Vegas resident I feel obliged to back up Robert’s statement. There are a lot of hook ‘em stickers on cars out here. LHN has what I like to call Sega Syndrome. They come up with this awesome idea, and launch it at the worst possible time. UT has a student body of 60,000 students, and has had that number for some time. The only thing that most people are mad about is that they didn’t (or don’t have the capacity to) think of it first. The biggest problem that it faces is that A&M has a massive superiority complex, and hence the Big 12 is in jeopardy.

  18. squackduckhawk says: Aug 28, 2011 3:37 PM

    and of course by superiority complex I meant inferiority complex.

  19. jjman6666 says: Aug 31, 2011 7:07 PM

    All you have to do is look it up, it’s not a opinion, it’s a fact that UT sells more merchandise than any other college ever, they have never been outsold. UT isn’t just a college it’s a brand, their marketing has been brilliant. And as far as yearly college revenue non sports related the only school that makes more money a year is harvard. The thing is you can hate Texas all you want but these are facts not opinions.. And UT has a huge following not only the majority of the state other than college station and Lubbock … It has a huge national following, just like the Cowboys are Americas team so is UT.. Again these are facts not opinion… People just hate the fact that they don’t have a large enough following to offered their own network. Everything in Texas is bigger and better.. The LHN proves that.

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