Longhorn Network, the ESPN channel dedicated to University of Texas sports, will now be carried by cable provider Charter Communications, as the provider and Disney, the powerhouse behind ESPN and the Longhorn Network, have come to an agreement for the new year. According to Burnt Orange Nation, a blog covering Longhorn sports, the Longhorn Network will be available in Texas, Louisiana and Virginia by the beginning of the 2013 football season.
Here is more from Burnt Orange Nation:
Allen Singer, the Senior Vice President of Programming at Charter, had this to say about the deal:
This agreement enables us to offer our customers additional value, choice and convenience. More and more content is being enjoyed on tablets and other Internet-connected devices, and today’s viewers are sharing their TV experiences in new ways. Our agreement with Disney enables more robust ways to enjoy and socialize TV.
When the Longhorn Network launches on Charter, customers will have access to programming on a variety of devices, which appears to be a major reason that Charter reached the deal with Disney.
And while Time Warner, DirectTV, and Dish Network remain significant carriers that have not yet picked up the Longhorn Network, the news about Charter does certainly expand the network’s reach in several important states.
Maybe there will even be a time in the near future when all those jokes about no one being able ot watch the network becoming incredibly stale, instead of just sort of stale.
While many conferences have developed their own networks, like the Big Ten Network and the Pac-12 Network, the Longhorn Network is the first nationwide cable network to focus on the sports teams of just one school. Its success could very well point toward a future when many of the schools with top football programs have their own channels.