On Thursday, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and ESPN officially announced they have signed a 20-year deal to partner on a multiplatform SEC television network that will launch in August of 2014.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper said the “new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year.”
The new network will also “televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually.”
While CBS will still get the first choice of every SEC game on Saturday, the network will no longer have a window of exclusivity.
The SEC has won the last seven national championships in college football, and the revenue the conference will potentially make from this deal will be massive, and it make the conference into even more of a powerhouse than it is now.
“The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms,” Slive said. “We will increase exposure of SEC athletics programs at all 14 member institutions, as we showcase the incredible student-athletes in our league. The agreement for a network streamlines and completes an overall media rights package that will continue the SEC’s leadership for the foreseeable future.”
ESPN’s Skipper noted that the “SEC is unmatched in its success on the field and its popularity with fans nationwide” and the “new network’s top-quality SEC matchups across a range of sports will serve all sports enthusiasts including the most passionate, die-hard SEC fans.”
AT&T U-verse will be the network’s national distributor and “subscribers receiving the live linear network via a multichannel subscription will also have access to the network on PCs, tablets, smartphones and select gaming devices like Xbox.”