Case McCoy, D.J. Monroe, Darius Terrell

Report: Time Warner interested in picking up Longhorn Network?


The Longhorn Network is turning one year old in August and still looking for a home run carrier to pick up the channel’s content.

Time Warner Cable would be a pretty darn good start.

Per Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman, Texas and Time Warner are no closer to reaching a distribution deal, but…

But an industry source told me Time Warner is interested in trying to buy the Longhorn Network or at least partner with ESPN on the property, for which ESPN is shelling out $300 million over 20 years. Time Warner representatives at the corporate office have not returned phone calls for several weeks, and the cable provider won’t even disclose the last time it negotiated with ESPN. ESPN has failed to reach any distribution agreements with major cable providers or satellite companies.

In a statement Sunday, Time Warner said, “We had discussions with ESPN (about distribution), and we did not come to an agreement on terms for a contract that would allow Time Warner Cable to distribute the Longhorn Network. At this time, there aren’t plans to carry the Longhorn Network.”

Whether “at this time” means “just not right now” or “never”, having TWC a part of the deal would be a heck of a boost for the LHN, which  got off to a slow distribution start out of the gate last year. That shouldn’t have been completely unexpected — remember, there’s no template for running a third-tier network of this magnitude — but eventually the network is going to have to do something other than tick off other Big 12 members if it’s going to be a sustainable operation.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.

Temple announces rare football sellout

Jahad Thomas, Marcus Allen

In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.

This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.

It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.

The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.