AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - The Longhorn Network has hooked AT&T U-verse, and it is now in the channel lineup as of early Friday morning.
It will be available for U-verse customers in Texas with the U100 package and above -- on channel 1609 in HD and channel 609 in SD. Outside of Texas, fans subscribing to the U-verse TV U450 package will have access to the exclusive programming.
That means Longhorns fans scored a big win even before the kickoff of the much-anticipated college football season that opens with a home game at UT on Saturday against Wyoming.
"Happy Friday, AT&T U-verse subscribers!" the UT Ex-Students' Association posted on its Facebook page. "You'll now be able to get Longhorn Network on channel 609 and in HD on 1609—just in time for tomorrow's game against Wyoming!"
As part of the agreement, AT&T will also launch a live feed of Longhorn Network online to subscribers via computers, smartphones and tablets. While that is not available now, it is in the works for the future.
Meanwhile, financial terms and other details of the agreement were not disclosed.
The network that centers around lucrative University of Texas at Austin sports is a 20-year, $300 million partnership between Texas and ESPN.
"We know fans are passionate about watching Longhorn football, and we're thrilled to offer Longhorn Network to U-verse TV customers in Texas and nationwide," said Jeff Weber, president of Content and Advertising Services with AT&T Home Solutions. "This is another example of how we continue to deliver the content customers want."
The network, still in its infancy, has struggled to reel in most major national distributors -- and before Friday was reportedly only available to 2.1 percent of the Austin television market.
Because of that, many fans in Longhorn Country have been disgruntled, deprived of watching several football games each season -- unless, of course, they're in one of the 100,119 seats at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium.
Longhorn Network carriers
- Before AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS was the only national provider to carry LHN.
- Several small cable systems in Texas have also added the channel: Consolidated Communications, Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision, Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications and Grande Communications.
Major Texas providers that do not carry network
- Time Warner Cable
- Charter Communications
- Dish Network
The network aired two Texas games when it debuted last year, including a Big 12 game against Kansas.
It will also televise two Texas State home games to welcome the university's inaugural season as a member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. Those games will be Sept. 29 against Nevada and Nov. 10 against Louisiana Tech.
The Longhorn Network announced it would carry two Texas football games again this season, though it hasn't announced any Big 12 contests on its schedule.
ESPN said Wednesday that the Longhorns' first two games — both at home — will be televised on the network, which at that time still hadn't struck deals with most major national distributors.
The opponents are Wyoming in the season opener Sept. 1 and New Mexico on Sept. 8. Both games will start at 7 p.m. Central time.
Other original Longhorn Network programming includes Longhorn Extra, Game Plan with Mack Brown, Texas All-Access, Texas GameDay and Texas GameDay Final.