The Longhorn Network has officially added its second University of Texas football game during the 2011 college season.
Longhorn Network, which will televise UT's opener versus Rice on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. (CT), now has Kansas vs. Texas, a Big 12 intra-conference matchup on Oct. 29, on its lineup.
The contest could provide another selling point for ESPN as it tries to augment Longhorn Network's affiliate base, which thus far counts eight distributors and some 4 million subscribers, mostly via Verizon FiOS TV both within Texas and nationwide. Within the Lone Star State, ESPN has also concluded carriage contracts with Grande Communications, Consolidated Communications, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications, Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision and Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision.
ESPN has yet to score carriage deals for the dedicated UT network, which bowed on August 26, with the nation's top four distributors, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable, the largest multichannel video provider in Texas.
After running into some delays, the Texas-Kansas game was approved by Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe based upon the approval process that the conference's board of Directors determined last month. ABC will maintain first selection for the Big 12 games on Oct, 29, ensuring that all Big 12 games that day will be distributed by national carriers.
Longhorn Network will be the exclusive national distributor for the matchup with the exception of in the state of Kansas, where the game will also be televised on select over-the-air stations to be determined at a later date. Kansas and Texas have met just 10 times since 1901. The Longhorns lead the series 8-2 heading into this season.