UT network set to launch despite lack of industry deals

Victoria Pagan

Less than four days before the Longhorn Network is set to launch live from the South Mall, the station does not have a contract with a cable or satellite provider.

Network Vice President of Production Stephanie Druley said the network, a collaboration between the University of Texas and ESPN, is not concerned about the fact that it has yet to be picked up.

“I think you’ll see deals get done sooner rather than later,” Druley said. “Everyone will tell you this is how the business works. Negotiations in any industry go up to the last minute with companies trying to get the best deal.”

Druley said she is excited to get the network rolling because she is ready to start seeing the results of planning and rehearsing. ESPN College GameDay and the volleyball game against Pepperdine University will be the first two programs the network will air.

“I’ve told a lot of people that I look forward to a year from now so that we can make the mistakes that are bound to happen and then learn and be better because of them,” Druley said. “With television, there’s always evolving that happens, and you are always striving to be better.”

Longhorn Network Production Coordinator Brittany Horine said she is proud of the team of 70 that was put together for and by the network.

“There are a small number of us, but everybody kind of comes from a different background,” Horine said.

Horine said the network has been able to be successful so far because of the great lengths the University has gone through to accommodate the network’s needs. She said she is glad the network has been allowed access to many events that have been previously kept hidden.

“Our all-access show is getting footage of the football team that has previously been kept very private,” Horine said. “We also have a UT tradition show where we went around and interviewed the gentleman that came up with “Hook ‘em Horns,” the people who actually take care of Bevo and the gentlemen that are in the chaps at the football games.”

Printed on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 as: UT network set to launch despite lack of industry deals.