SEC Network launching in August 2014 in a 20-year agreement between ESPN and the Southeastern Conference, which gives ESPN multiplatform rights to the SEC’s 21 sports through 2034.
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement for the SEC Network, a multiplatform network launching in August 2014. The announcement was made Thursday by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper. The new TV and digital network will feature:
- Around-the-clock SEC content, including more than 1,000 events in its first year
- TV coverage of 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games and 75 baseball games annually, plus other sports events
- Studio shows, original content, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage
- Hundreds live events available exclusively on the digital platform
- Digital and TV content created by students from SEC institutions.
With pay-TV costs rising, and sports rights fees and regional sports networks blamed for much of the increase, it will be interesting to see which providers hold out from carrying the network, which ones will try to put it on an extra-cost sports tier, and which ones offer it to their entire subscriber base and absorb the cost or pass it on to consumers. These carriage disputes between networks and providers can get ugly. Remember Time Warner Cable vs. NFL Network? The customer is usually the one that gets screwed by being blacked out from games on TV or being forced to pay a higher bill for a network they don’t want or watch.
AT&T U-verse is the first national distributor agreeing to carry the network. Bug your pay-TV provider to carry the network by going to GetSECNetwork.com.