Longhorn Network expands to U-Verse

Samantha Katsounas

UT picked up more than one victory this past weekend, beating the University of Wyoming in its first season match and scoring a triumph with its Longhorn Network distribution battle with cable providers.

ESPN announced the Friday morning AT&T U-Verse customers would be able to watch the opening game against Wyoming. The deal comes after months of negotiation between ESPN and various cable providers. UT President William Powers, Jr. said he was pleased the negotiations between ESPN and AT&T U-Verse were successful.

“This is a great day for the University of Texas, for Longhorn fans and especially for our viewers and our fans around the state and around the country,” Powers said at a press conference Friday.

According to a January statement by the company, AT&T U-Verse had six million subscribers nation-wide.

Previously, the only major local network to carry the Longhorn Network was Grande Communications, which covers about 25 percent of the Austin area. Verizon FiOS also carries the channel nationwide. The network has yet to reach a deal with Austin’s other major cable providers, such as Time Warner Cable, which only carries programs for national distribution.

Athletic director DeLoss Dodds said some of the most important benefits of the Longhorn Network’s increased reach will go to UT students.

“We are very excited about our student athletes having the opportunity to get this kind of exposure. This is why we started this exercise maybe 10 years ago,” Dodds said. “It was about the kids.”

Additional reporting contributed by Mary Ellen Knewtson.
Printed on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 as: Network finds new provider with AT&T