Longhorn Network programming impresses fans

Lauren Giudice

The Longhorn Network has been a source of a lot of complaining and controversy for some football fans around the country. With Saturday’s game against Kansas only being available on the network, one has to wonder: What is actually good about the network? It turns out, subscribers have a lot of positive things to say.

“I think it has exceeded the hype that was made about it,” said Randall Scoggins, a class of ’82 Texas alumnus. “I had heard about it coming for awhile and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to be able to get it and I came home one day — I have Verizon FiOs — and it was just on. We started watching it and it has just been fantastic. All the programming is great.”

Grande Communications and Veriozon FiOs are the main providers that carry the network. Time Warner Cable, a major Texas network, does not.

Scoggins, who lives in Grapevine in the Dallas Fort Worth area, said the quality of the programming has continued to impress him and that he enjoys getting an inside look at Texas sports, especially football. He is one of the few lucky fans who will be watching the game on Saturday on the network.

Freshman government major Cody Wittman watches the network often and said the network is fairly compatible with ESPN.

“When they show insights on the team, I think that’s really interesting,” Wittman said. “With ESPN, you see the team on the surface, but with Longhorn Network, it goes deeper. I really enjoy getting that more in-depth look at our players.”

The network will have coverage of all 20 Texas sports and has been featuring volleyball, soccer and football games so far this year. The network will televise 12 of Texas’ basketball games.

Programs on the network include Longhorn Extra, Texas Football Overdrive, Texas Gameday and more.

Wittman particularly likes the show “Rewind with Mack Brown.”

“I really like the show ‘Game Plan’ with Mack Brown,” said senior journalism major Kyle Gregory. “I feel like it’s really insightful. We usually don’t get a lot of access to coach Brown so it’s cool to get a look at what he’s actually thinking about.”

Scoggins enjoys watching “Texas All Access” and classic football games.

“Last night I was watching Longhorn Network and an old Texas-Arkansas football game from 1969 was on,” Scoggins said. “Old games are always really fun to watch.”

Wittman believes that there are opportunities for the network to have more commentary on sports other than football. He has watched some volleyball games on the network and believes the coverage is strong, but there is little analysis post-game. But, overall, he believes the network provides a strong mix of sports.

“You can’t just be a football network if you’re called the Longhorn Network and I think the network does a pretty good job of balancing football with other sports,” Wittman said.

Gregory said that although the programming is football-dominated, he is excited for basketball and baseball to start.

“I think it really shows that we are a well-rounded athletic program,” Gregory said. “The athletes from sports other than football definitely deserve the recognition as well.”

As a Texas alumnus, Scoggins appreciates the programming on the network that goes beyond sports. He has watched segments about professors, the people who take care of the trees on campus and all the construction that is going on.

“Overall, everything has been great and it’s really a better quality product than I thought it would be,” Scoggins said.