Our own Hook ‘em Report was invited to this exclusive Longhorn Network Media Preview. I was very impressed with everybody we met and everything we saw at the Longhorn Network facilities, here in Austin, near the University of Texas. Go Texas Longhorns!
There is only one week left, before the launch of Longhorn Network. On Thursday Afternoon, the network opened it’s doors to the media, coaches, administrators, and University of Texas student-athletes for a behind-the-scenes media tour of its studio and working areas. The Longhorn Network’s headquarters is located right near campus. ESPN employee Keri Potts introduced the on-air talent to the media tour, along with the network logo. The Texas-themed studio is complete with vintage Longhorns memorabilia.
Longhorn Network – the new 24-hour University of Texas channel – continues to assemble a robust slate of programs for UT fans. The network will televise live athletics competitions as well as academic- and cultural-themed shows. Several new programs added to the schedule for September and beyond.
Longhorn Network will go live with a two-hour special from the South Mall of the UT campus on Friday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. Central. The network’s on-air team of Lowell Galindo, Samantha Steele and Kevin Dunn will be joined on the set by the Emmy Award-winning ESPN College GameDay crew featuring Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews.
Athletics Directors DeLoss Dodds and Chris Plonsky joined Dave Brown, Longhorn Network’s vice president for programming, and Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming, on a panel and entertained questions from the media. ESPN is still in negotiations with all cable and satellite providers regarding distribution. “I think there will be a lot of activity between now and the Rice game (Sept. 3),” Magnus said. “It’s not a great concern right now. I went through the launch of ESPNU a few years ago, so I am battle-scarred from the distribution wars. It comes with the territory. (Talks) are coming down to the wire.”
Burke Magnus, said they don’t worry about the network leading to any unraveling of the Big 12. “I sleep well knowing that Texas has been very open and transparent about this effort from the get-go,” Magnus said. “This did not sneak up on anybody … and the opportunity that Texas is taking advantage of with us is something that other institutions in the conference can take advantage of as well.”
“We are so proud to be associated with ESPN. They’re a class act,” DeLoss Dodds said. “This is going to be something really spectacular for Texas. For our coaches and kids, this is what it’s all about. It’s a wonderful thing. I’m very proud of it, and am excited about it. Dodds also stated, “the opportunities are just huge for each (Big 12) institution,” and “I think as time goes by we’ll all learn how to better use those opportunities and get past somebody having a network.”