It’s an exciting time to be a Longhorn. On Friday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m., the Longhorn Network, the nation’s first network partnership devoted to a single university, goes live.
First things first: we need a big crowd on the South Mall Friday afternoon because our first moments on the air will be a live broadcast of College GameDay, and our partner, ESPN, is pulling out all the stops for the big launch. So come out by 5:00, wear burnt orange, get rowdy, and you’ll be able to say you were there for the first hour of the Longhorn Network.
For those of you who can’t make it to campus, hopefully you’ll be watching from home. It’s customary for distribution negotiations to continue until the last possible minute, and ours has been no exception. Deals are still being finalized, and to find out whether your provider is carrying the network check http://www.texassports.com/multimedia/tv-network-aggregate.html. If your provider is not yet listed, we encourage you to contact them and request the Longhorn Network.
This partnership is a huge development in the life of the University. Although UT’s 20 sports will be its mainstay, you will see a substantial amount of programming shining the spotlight on UT’s intellectual life. Game Changers will feature live-in-studio talks by UT’s most engaging professors. You’ll also see expertly produced segments on research and discovery, teaching, campus life, and cultural performances as well as films and documentaries by students.
The network will also carry live broadcasts of many annual campus events, starting with my State of the University Address on Sept. 14. I know the quality and breadth of coverage we’re about to see will make you even prouder of our amazing university.
In addition to all that, the revenue that the network will generate – $300 million over 20 years – will help support academic programs. Already we have endowed five chairs, in physics, philosophy, mathematics, art history, and African and diaspora studies.
Concurrent with the network launch, you’ll be seeing the roll-out of UT’s new promotional TV campaign, filmed on campus earlier this month. These spots are amazing, and I want to thank our longtime agency partners GSD&M for their imagination and hard work.
My thanks, of course, go to Women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky for her tireless work and to Men’s Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds, who had the vision for the Longhorn Network and made it a reality.
These events are just the most recent examples of UT changing the game. We’re not afraid to do things differently here, and we’re not afraid to do them first.