SBD/August 30, 2012/College Football Preview

AT&T U-verse Reportedly Close To A Deal To Add Longhorn Network For Start Of Season

Bill Powers said he is optimistic Longhorn Network will have wide distribution
A deal between ESPN and AT&T U-verse "to carry Longhorn Network should be done by Friday," allowing U-verse to air Saturday's Wyoming-Texas game, according to a source cited by Chip Brown of ORANGEBLOODS.com. The deal would be the "first major carrier of the Texas-centric sports network and could put pressure on other cable and satellite providers to also carry LHN." AT&T indicated that U-verse at the end of '11 had 3.8 million customers and "was available to 30 million households in 22 states" (ORANGEBLOODS.com, 8/29). Univ. of Texas President Bill Powers on Tuesday said that he “remains optimistic” ESPN will reach a distribution agreement with a major cable carrier or satellite company for the Longhorn Network. Powers said, "We're working very, very hard. We want to get it right. I'm optimistic. We would like wide distribution." In addition to Saturday's game, the Sept. 8 New Mexico-Texas game "will be shown only" on LHN. UT men's AD DeLoss Dodds said there is "still a possibility" that a third Longhorns game could be picked up and shown on the net this season. Dodds: "It will be worth it, what we're going through. We're going to win in the end" (Kirk Bohls, AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/29).

SATURDAY IN THE PARK: In Austin, Gary Dinges notes LHN will “take over Republic Square this Saturday, broadcasting the Texas-Wyoming football matchup on a multi-story video wall.” LHN will also have a “similar set-up" for the New Mexico game next Saturday. The net's video wall “will be 8 feet tall and 18 feet wide,” and a 30-foot-by-40-foot tent “will be constructed at the park, with four more TV screens.” A beer garden "is planned, as well.” Meanwhile, LHN announced that Grande Communications subscribers will be able to watch the net “online using laptops and other devices” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/30).
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