Texas asks fans for patience

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In a joint statement last week, Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds and women’s athletics director Chris Plonsky asked Texas fans for patience and understanding as the Longhorn Network continues to be available with limited cable operators only.

“We ask our fans for patience and understanding,” they said. “Distribution will happen, but the business negotiations process is painfully slow.”

Texas fans have been waiting to be able to view this coverage since the 20-year, $300 million partnership was created. The deal happened a year ago and has since led to a shuffling of teams in the Big 12. Texas A&M and Missouri left the conference and were replaced by TCU and West Virginia.

“We continue to have active discussion with distributors to secure as wide a distribution as possible,” ESPN said in a statement.

LHN has caused controversy within the Big 12 conference and around the nation since its conception. But, fans with distributors such as Time Warner Cable Inc., Comcast Corp. and DirecTV still do not have access to the network.

Most Texas fans still don’t have access to LHN. Verizon is the largest carrier of the network at this point.
“It’s frustrating because the University made a big deal about the network and A&M and Missouri left the Big 12 because of it,” said history senior Joshua Downes. “So we are facing a lot of consequences because of a network that barely anyone even gets.”

Downes does not get the network, which frustrated him much more at the beginning of the year.

“The only sports I really follow here are football, basketball and baseball,” Downes said. “Now that football season is over and I can easily go to basketball and baseball games, it isn’t that big of a deal anymore that I don’t get the network.”

Biology junior Helena Wayt says she believes UT students have just accepted that they don’t get the network.

“I’m not too concerned that I don’t get the network,” Wayt said. “I’ve lived for years without it and I only really want it during football season.”

She said fans have been patient enough and have moved on from LHN. The network broadcasted two Texas football games this season and by the end of the season, will have broadcasted 26 men’s and women’s basketball games. More than 60 baseball and softball games will be on the network. 

But now that football season is over, fans appear to be losing interest in the highly anticipated network. 

Printed on Friday, February 17, 2012 as: Officials ask for patience as LHN talks continue