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Longhorn Network gains clearance on top 10 cable carrier -- Charter Communications

ESPN continues to expand the clearance of the Longhorn Network among the state's cable and satellite providers.

Erich Schlegel

ESPN, relying on help from it's parent company, Disney, continues to slowly but surely expand the exposure of the Longhorn Network. The latest carrier to come on board is Charter Communications.

The deal continues the negotiation tactic that attaches the Longhorn Network to the entire network of Disney content. The deal encompasses a total of 70 services, including products for ABC, ABC Family and ESPN. The contract also includes the On-Demand Features for all these products, and ensures that they will also be available to Charter TV customers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions.

While Charter Communications has 5.3 million customers across the nation, the Longhorn Network will be made available only to those in Texas, Louisiana and Virginia. It will be on basic cable in Texas and Louisiana and part of a premium sports tier in Virginia.

Charter has less than 175,000 customers in Texas, but they are primarily in the Metroplex and Houston, strong fan bases for the Longhorns.

This deal does mean that Disney (and ESPN) now have agreements with six of the 10 largest cable providers in the nation. The top three holdouts are Time-Warner, the Dish Network and DirecTV.