FAQ: The Longhorn Network


With Kansas State’s next basketball game at Texas set to be televised on the Longhorn Network, Wildcats fans naturally have questions about how and where they can watch it.

The game won’t be available in many mainstream formats (No DirecTV or Dish Network) but the Longhorn Network is carried by major TV providers Cox Cable (channel 272) and AT&T U-Verse. It can also be found on Verizon and Grande Communications.

On twitter, some have asked if the game will be available on ESPN3. It will not. I spoke with Rob Carolla, the Big 12′s Director of Communications for basketball, this morning, and he confirmed that the game will be televised exclusively on the Longhorn Network. He said it is up to each school to decide how to distribute games that are played on its third-tier TV network, and the only institutions in the Big 12 that allow their third-tier games to be shared on ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court are Kansas and West Virginia.

In the past, football games shown on the Longhorn Network have also been carried by a TV platform of the visiting team’s choosing (think Kansas at Texas when the game was easier to find in the Sunflower State than the Lone Star State) but that does not occur in basketball. Texas Tech and TCU also played exclusively on the Longhorn Network when they visited Texas this season.

Another good twitter question revolved around the TV revenue from this game. Will K-State receive any of it for playing on the Longhorn Network? It will not. Carolla said all revenues from third-tier games belong to the host school.

Perhaps the most basic question about the Longhorn Network is how the Big 12 decides which games it will broadcast. Carolla said the conference has a standard selection process with its TV providers. First, ESPN chooses the games it wants to broadcast nationally or sell to CBS, then the Big 12 Network selects games to be aired regionally. Inevitably, there are a few games left over. Those are spread out among the many third-tier networks across the league, not just Texas.

“Every year we have a handful of conference games that are on those third-tier packages,” Carolla said.

Texas claimed three of those games for the Longhorn Network this year. TCU will host Oklahoma on Fox Sports Southwest, its third-tier provider, later this season. K-State has also hosted conference games on Fox Sports KC in the past.

Playing on another school’s third-tier network isn’t unusual, but finding the channel isn’t normally this hard.