ESPN's “College GameDay” crew will be on the University of Texas campus when the Longhorn Network launches at 5 p.m. Friday to a slim viewing audience.
The network landed its first national carrier on Thursday when Verizon announced it will carry the ESPN-backed network for its FiOS TV subscribers. The Verizon distribution deal puts the network within reach of about 4 million viewers nationally, but only a small portion of those are in Texas.
Texas and ESPN have yet to announce any major cable or satellite carriers. The school is receiving $300 million in the 20-year deal.
For the launch, Longhorn Network's on-air team of anchor Lowell Galindo, reporter Samantha Steele and analyst Kevin Dunn will debut alongside ESPN's “College GameDay” team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews. The two-hour show will preview the Longhorns' football season and its home opener against Rice, which will air 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, on Longhorn Network.
The first event at 7 p.m. will be a women's volleyball match between No. 4 Texas and Pepperdine. At 9 p.m., the documentary-style “Texas All-Access” show will debut, providing unprecedented access to the Texas football team.
* ESPN's “Baseball Tonight” roadshow, 6 p.m. Sunday, will make its first appearance in Arlington, Texas, before the Angels-Rangers telecast. Host Steve Berthiaume will be joined by analysts John Kruk, Barry Larkin and Valentine on the set outside the ballpark.
* Cox 3 has picked up the Bedlam women's soccer match from Stillwater at 7 p.m. Friday and the Tulsa Shock at Los Angeles Sparks WNBA game at 9:30 p.m.