Today I learned that Time Warner Cable has not yet reached a deal in which I will receive the Longhorn Network, ESPN's first regional-specific network dedicated to satisfying the sports needs of Longhorn fans. I am not kidding.
Kickoff for the first game of the 2011 season for UT is the traditional UT/ Rice game is 6:00 PM on September 3rd. As of today, TWC, which has a stranglehold on cable subscribers in Austin, has not yet negotiated a contract with ESPN, the mother-ship network for the LN. And, as you guess, only the Longhorn Network is carrying the game. This, people, is utter bull-hockey.
Because the market solves all, I turned to my benefactors at Time Warner, knowing my pleas would not fall on deaf ears.
I suspect "Pearl" may not be the actual identity of my liaison.
Pearl Smith: Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is Pearl. Please give me a moment while I access your account.
Pearl Smith: I understand you need information on Longhorn Network, am I correct?
Ryan_: I am hoping that TW will find an agreement with the Longhorn Network prior to August 26th.
Pearl Smith: Although we do not currently have an agreement to carry Longhorn Network, we do want to make the Longhorn Network available as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Longhorn Network refused our offer to bring the Longhorn Network to TWC customers.
Pearl Smith: There is some issue with the broadcasting rates.
Pearl Smith: The deal does not get finalized.
Ryan_: I am sure TWC cares more about me seeing UT football than something as silly as money.
Pearl Smith: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.
Ryan_: Pearl, nobody is blaming you.
Pearl Smith: Time Warner Cable regularly examines its programming line up with an eye towards providing the highest quality and widest choices available at reasonable and competitive prices. Although we do not currently provide the programming that you requested, we do keep track of the number of requests received and utilize this information to influence programming changes. Time Warner Cable is always concerned with the programming interests of our subscribers. This programming request will be shared with our Programming Department. It is this type of feedback that is vital as we strive to deliver the best variety of programming available to our customers.
Ryan_: But this is a nuisance. Please tell Mr. Warner and Mr. Time that I will take a network showing Longhorn football over 1000 channels showing me shows about baking cakes and/ or cupcakes.
Ryan_: I expect for the outrageous sums outlayed to the Time Warner Corporation, they can scrape together a few shekels and see to it that I get my football programming.
Ryan_: Even if it does mean that's one less private island for the super fortress they're obviously building for their secret private army.
Pearl Smith: I can transfer you to our sales team for more information on this.
Pearl Smith: They would be able to inform you the time of its launch.
Ryan_: That won't be necessary. I appreciate your patience and I look forward to having the Longhorn Network on my cable dial by August 25th.
Pearl Smith: Thank you.
Pearl Smith: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Ryan_: You can explain to me what vertical integration means.
Pearl Smith: I am sorry, I am unaware of this word.
Ryan_: that's okay, Pearl. I appreciate your time. Have a great night!