ESPN has decided that if you can't kick the door down, coming in from the side door works just as well. Their parent company, Disney, made a long-term deal today with Cox Communications, clearing over 70 media services - including the Longhorn Network.
Cox is the 3rd largest cable provider in the U.S. with over 6.2 million customers. They have spotty coverage in Texas, but have a nice presence in the Houston area. The deal covers just about every media product Disney has , including the ABC and ESPN family of networks.
ESPN gets what it wants -- Cox customers will be able to access most of the ESPN networks across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions. The Longhorn Network is included in the overall package and will be available on the premium tier through Cox outlets outside of Texas and the surrounding states.
Haven't seen the full details, but I doubt the LHN will be available on all platforms, at least to begin with, but that is the endgame for ESPN.
Simply sliding the LHN into the back end of their channel package makes it more palatable to accept for Cox. I will be very interested to see if the reports that ESPN has been asking for 40cents per customer on the basic cable in Texas holds up with this deal.
No matter, it gives the LHN more exposure, which considering how this fall has gone, is a nice win.