Update: 9/2 In an expected first of hopefully more distribution dominoes to tumble in the last days before opening day kickoff, ESPN announces a formal distribution agreement with Grande Communications. For those in Texas with this service, congratulations, you will be able to watch the game from your barcolounger. And those in the Austin area with the service, be prepared for all of your cousins, brothers, and their collective wives to invite themselves over to your man caves.
ESPN and Grande Communications announce that the Longhorn Network (LHN) will be available to University of Texas fans across the state of Texas in time for the Rice vs. Texas game on Saturday, Sept. 3, when the Owls take on the Longhorns from Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. CT (with a re-air at midnight CT). Grande Communications serves the Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Midland/Odessa, Waco, Corpus Christi and Dallas markets.
“As a Texas based company, Grande understands the passion our customers have for Texas sports,” said Matt Murphy, President, Grande Communications. “We are pleased and very excited to make Longhorn Network available as part of our cable television offerings.”
Added David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, “Grande customers across the state of Texas will have access to more Longhorn content than ever before.”
Many a Longhorn fan is fit to be tied that as of this writing they are not able to tune to the most sought after channel on their HD service and find ESPNLHN. All but a few are not able to enjoy what has been reported as great insider content.
ESPN has issued a statement on the matter as if this is going to tighten the ongoing provider negotiation screws, "We’re disappointed that operators are choosing to deprive Texas fans of valuable content, including this weekend’s Rice vs. UT game."
The current list of providers carrying LHN and locales served are Verizon FiOs, Consolidated Communications, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications, and Mid-Coast Cablevision/Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision/Bay-City Television).
And not one on this list services Central Texas.
MackBrown-TexasFootball.com has issued a plea to fans to contact their respective cable or satellite provider and register your displeasure.
Here is a list of cable providers and contact information:
TIME WARNER 1-800-TW-Cable
AT&T U-VERSE 1-800-288-2020
DISH NETWORK 1-800-333-3474
COX COMMUNICATIONS 1-877-206-4210
GRANDE COMMUNICATIONS 1-512-220-4600
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS 1-888-438-2427
Not sure what good that will do at this point if all you really want is to watch one of maybe two total football games.
If you are in the majority and unable to either attend the game live or view on one of the limited outlets, then the next best option will either tune in to the game on your old Wilco radio (Longhorn Radio Network), or if out of the area you can stream via XM Radio channel 202 (30 day trial) or CBSSports.com (ie. TexasSports.TV). I subscribe to the latter to receive the Craig Way streaming broadcast. However, there have been times when the service has failed and CBSSports shrugs their shoulders. The only way to reach them is via email and they are not a rapid reply type of company.
I hope ESPN pulls a fast one by avoiding a fanbase meltdown and at least offers on pay-per-view Game Plan or on ESPN3 broadband stream at the last minute. But my gut tells me this will not happen.
About the only thing left to do is get on the phone and razz the cable company.
So I guess you could say this whole situation falls under the category of best laid plans of mice and men. Ho-hum.