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.