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.
A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.
Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”
Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”
“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.
The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.
Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.
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.