The Longhorn Network reached an agreement to broadcast on campus just in time for the first game of the season against Rice University today at 7 p.m.
Randy Porter, residential facilities director, wrote in an email that the broadcasts began this morning.
“I can confirm that Grande Communications will be broadcasting the Longhorn Network on the residence hall and University Apartments cable TV systems,” Porter wrote.
Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer, said the agreement also includes about 140,000 Austin households that use Grande Communications. Hegarty said he entered the negotiations a few days ago after talks between ESPN and Grande Communications stalled.
“We reached out to see if there was anything we could do,” Hegarty said.
Much of Central Texas does not receive the broadcasts because contracts have not yet been made, but Hegarty said he expects the agreement will push Time Warner in their own negotiations with ESPN.
Adjunct journalism professor Michael Whitney said he has watched every UT football game for the past five years, but as a Time Warner customer he will not be able to see tonight’s game.
“It’s not that I don’t understand that they’re still going through negotiations,” Whitney said. “But I don’t understand why they let it get to this late in the season.”
Whitney said it should be in ESPN’s interest to show the first football game on Time Warner so fans will want to subscribe to the channel.
“It’s not good if it’s a network that no one can watch,” Whitney said.