Verizon has launched a national online simulcast of the Longhorn Network's University of Texas-related sports programming.
Verizon FiOS customers who receive the Longhorn Network channel as part of their video subscriptions can now access the live programming nationwide with a broadband connection. Verizon FiOS is the first provider to launch the online broadband companion of the Longhorn Network.
The content is available across personal computers and laptops both inside and outside of Verizon FiOS subscribers' homes. Verizon and the ESPN-backed Longhorn Network said they expect to offer online streaming to tablets and smartphones sometime next year.
"No question: Texas Longhorn fans are some of the most enthusiastic in college sports, and we're providing another option to catch the latest developments on the field – anywhere, anytime," said Terry Denson, vice president of global strategy for Verizon. "This enhancement builds on Verizon's commitment to bring the best in sports and entertainment and overall video content to our customers."
Upcoming programming highlights from the University of Texas sports programs include a slate of men's and women's basketball games; the nationally ranked women's volleyball program; and original programming such as "Longhorn Extra," "Game Plan with Mack Brown" and "Texas All-Access," as well as "Texas GameDay" and "Texas GameDay Final."
"With this launch, Verizon FiOS customers will be able to watch UT content from the convenience of their PC," said David Preschlack, executive vice president of Disney and ESPN Media Networks. "It's a great new way for students, alumni and UT fans everywhere to access Longhorn Network round-the-clock."
ESPN launched the Longhorn Network earlier this year after reaching a 20-year, $300 million deal with the University of Texas.
To date, Verizon has been the only large video service provider to strike a deal with the Longhorn Network after launching it system-wide on Sept. 1.
The network has been a sore spot for other members of the Big 12 athletic conference, who maintain that it gives the University of Texas an unfair advantage in revenues and recruiting efforts.
There have also been concerns that ESPN's backing of a single university compromises its journalistic integrity.