Longhorn Network No Closer To Reaching Carriage Deals With Comcast, TWC
ESPN Senior VP/College Networks Programming Justin Connolly on Thursday said that "no carriage agreements are imminent" for the Longhorn Network with either Comcast or Time Warner Cable, according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Connolly said of talks with Comcast, "The pace of conversation is slow right now." He noted that the net is available in "about 1.5 million households in Texas and about 4 million nationwide." However, Barron reported there are "more than 680,000 subscribers" to Comcast in the Houston area alone. LHN will air three Univ. of Texas football games this year -- New Mexico State (Aug. 31), Ole Miss (Sept. 14) and Kansas (Nov. 2). ESPN next year is launching the SEC Network, which has "led to speculation that the company could market the two together, using the SEC channel as leverage to convince distributors to carry" LHN. But Connolly said, "We don't tie our networks together" (CHRON.com, 8/22). Connolly said of signing a deal with TWC, the predominant cable provider in Austin, "With patience and hard work, I hope we'll be able to get there within the next year or future years." He added that ESPN "is in talks with Dish Network, and that it's possible a deal might be reached to add LHN to its lineup" (STATESMAN.com, 8/22).
RICKY DON'T LOSE MY NUMBER: LHN announced that former NFLer Ricky Williams, who won the Heisman Trophy in '98 while at UT, will join the net as an analyst during pregame, halftime and postgame coverage of the '13 football season. Also joining the net's roster are Kaylee Hartung, Kevin Dunn and former NFLer David Greene. Play-by-play man Dave Lamont and analyst Ray Bentley will call the Aug. 31 New Mexico State game, while Joe Tessitore and Matt Millen will call the Sept. 14 Ole Miss game (LHN).