UPDATE: Longhorn Network

As noted in our last update, we sent a proposal on Aug. 31 to ESPN, which is negotiating on behalf of the Longhorn Network. That proposal offered to give ESPN its own digital channel for the Longhorn Network, widely available to Suddenlink customers who wanted it. We told ESPN they could make this channel available for free or set whatever price they liked — and keep all revenues, including all advertising revenues. Under that proposal, Suddenlink would have made no money.

More than a month later, we finally received a written response from ESPN, rejecting that proposal and extending a different one. ESPN’s latest proposal — like their previous proposals — would force all Suddenlink TV customers to take and pay for the Longhorn Network, whether they want it or not. That is simply unacceptable.

Many broadcast and cable networks — especially sports networks — are already quite costly and those costs are often increasing faster than the rate of inflation. We will not force our customers to take another sports network. We are, however, ready and willing to negotiate an agreement that gives our customers a choice.

Comments

  1. Molly Prince says

    Good job suddenlink. Sounds like you guys were more then willing to let them expand their area at no real expense to themselves but they responded greedily. I don’t have an interest in the longhorn channel but I appreciate having a cable company look out for my interests in a fair and reasonable way. Thanks!

  2. Drew B says

    WOW. I wonder how ESPN/LHN expects to make any money off of this deal without any major providers picking it up. I’m a die-hard Texas fan, and would LOVE to get the LHN, but Suddenlink’s position is totally understandable. I’m sure similar deals are in place with other providers like Dish, DirectTV, etc. I’m on the LHN Facebook page, and many Suddenlink customers have asked about this. I’ll post this update. It’s a shame ESPN/LHN is doing this to the fans. I appreciate Suddenlink’s continued efforts.

  3. Greg B says

    Thank you Suddenlink. As an Oklahoma State supporter, If I was forced to pay for a network that directly supported University of Texas athletics, I would cancel my entire subscription. Nothing against UT – it’s a fine institution, but if I wanted to support UT athletics I’d buy a season ticket. Hopefully ESPN doesn’t pull the nuclear ‘all or nothing’ option on you. LHN would cost you more subscribers than you’d gain by having it.

  4. pot meet kettle says

    Gee Suddenlink, since you are taking such a hard stand on LHN, can you please do the same for all those other channels (shopping, religious, spanish, etc.) you force me to pay for and take, or would that be too hypocritical?

  5. Tabitha Hull says

    I agree with post #5 – I have to pay for numerous spanish channels of which I do not understand thier language, I have many music channels which I do not listen to, I never shop on any of the shopping networks, nor do I watch the religious channels – not that I am not a christian I just prefer my own church. Also, like Nicolodean I never watch that either – my child is 18 what do I need that for? Yet, I have to be extended cable that is higher just to get all of the ESPN’s and football channels. It is hypocritical maybe we should be allowed to choose just the channels we wanted and not all the nonsense.

  6. Tina Reagan says

    I am with 5 & 6… I too pay extra for alot of channels that we don’t watch or understand and would love to have the LHN so what is the difference???

    • FYI Publisher says

      First, the channels that we currently offer — and the way in which we offer them — are governed by contracts. Certainly, when those contracts come up for renewal, we will seek the best and most flexible terms and conditions possible. In the meantime, because the cost of the currently contracted channels is already increasing, on average, faster than the rate of inflation, we are sensitive about adding even more channels and cost, especially sports channels, which tend to be the most expensive channels.

      Second, we attempt to reserve our Expanded Basic package of channels for networks that have broad or national appeal. As you can see from some of the earlier comments on this post, Longhorn Network, while it appeals to many people, is not desired in all locations. In fact, many of our customers don’t want it at all.

      That’s why we’ve offered ESPN the opportunity to either (a) provide LHN to our customers as an optional stand-alone channel; or (b) place it on an optional sports and information package, similar to the agreement we reached with NFL Network. Both of those offers would give our customers who want the channel the chance to get it, while not forcing it on those who don’t want it and/or have threatened to cancel service if they have to take it.

      We don’t see any other approach that’s as fair and equitable as those outlined above.