UT to update regents on Longhorn Network status

Bobby Blanchard

UT President William Powers Jr. and Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds will provide a Longhorn Network status update to the Board of Regents at a meeting Thursday, according to an agenda book posted online Friday.

The agenda provided no other information about what kind of updates the president or athletic director might present to the regents. Gary Susswein, a UT spokesperson, said he did not have any information in advance on what Powers would say.


ESPN, which operates the network, will exclusively air the season's first two football games live on the LHN. Unless another cable provider picks up the network, fans in Central Texas that do not have Grande Communications will not be able to watch the game.


Last fall, Grande Communications charged each room on campus an additional $1.50 to cover the LHN. The Division of Housing and Food services dipped into its reserve funds to pay a $69,280.50 increase in subscription fees to Grande Communications. Laurie Mackey, director of DHFS, said the University would continue to carry the LHN on campus.

"We contract with Grande and they carry the Longhorn Network," Mackey said. "To our knowledge we will continue to have the Longhorn Network in the residence halls."

This year, Mackey said the subscription fee was included in the room rates and that DHFS will not have to use its reserve funds to pay for the LHN.

Since the LHN’s launch last August, ESPN has struggled to score a deal with a major Central Texas cable provider like Time Warner Cable to broadcast the UT sports orientated channel. Grande Communications, the company UT contracts for television on campus, is the only cable provider in Central Texas that offers the network. Seven other providers throughout Texas, including Verizon’s FiOS TV in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, carry the LHN.