SBD/June 16, 2011/Media

ESPN Announces New Shows, Sets Launch Date For Longhorn Network

ESPN yesterday at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association Cable Show announced several daily and weekly shows slated for the forthcoming Longhorn Network, which now has an official launch date of Aug. 26. “Longhorn Extra,” a news and information show dedicated to Univ. of Texas athletics, will air every Monday through Friday night. In addition, Longhorn Network will feature two shows with UT football coach Mack Brown during the season, on Monday and Tuesday nights. A complete schedule of programs will be released later this summer (ESPN). In Ft. Worth, Jimmy Burch wrote viewers of the "Texas All Access" show should “expect a lot more internal editing of the final product than what goes into the presentation of HBO’s Hard Knocks when those camera crews visit NFL training camps.” Burch noted the rest of the shows detailed yesterday “sound like basic, must-have, highlight/feature fodder” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 6/15). In San Antonio, Mike Finger notes the Longhorn Network “does not have any official cable or satellite carriers yet.” UT AD DeLoss Dodds earlier this month said that those agreements “aren’t expected to be completed until August” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/16).

 A GIANT AMONG MEN: SI.com’s Frank Deford wrote, "One name in sport still stands above the rest: ESPN.” The network "always bestrides the athletic world like a colossus, but in the astrology of sport, this June has even more so been under the sign of the behemoth.” Deford: “First, and most revealing, is what ESPN didn’t do. It didn’t buy the U.S. rights to the four Olympics beginning in 2014. … The fact that ESPN didn’t buy a ticket to ride the Olympics tells me the Olympics are now a silver medal in the United States.” In addition, the “monster new tell-all history of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales promptly hit No. 1” on the N.Y. Times bestseller list. June also saw the introduction of Grantland.com, the ESPN-owned website operated by Bill Simmons (SI.com, 6/15).

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