The SEC and ESPN officially announce new network

sec-network

Mike Slive and the SEC continued its stronghold on college athletics by announcing the SEC Network today in Atlanta.

“The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms,” stated Commissioner Mike Slive. “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.”

Here are some crucial details from the announcement:

  • SEC and ESPN reached a 20-year agreement through 2034, which will launch August 2014.
  • AT&T U-verse will distribute the network launch.
  • The network will air SEC content 24/7, including more than 1,000 events in the first year.
  • Slive wouldn’t say how big of a stake ESPN and the SEC each have in the network. Most would speculate 51% ownership for the SEC, leaving ESPN 49%.
  • Slive also would not speculate on the “revenue” possibilities, but that the network wouldn’t have launched if it wasn’t a significant amount of revenue.
  • ESPN’s John Skipper said it’s not a regional network; it’s a national network.
  • CBS no longer has a window of exclusivity for SEC games. SEC Network games in early, mid-afternoon and evening window.
  • Slive: “We are a Saturday league.” Two annual Thursday night games ‘won’t change’.

In case you missed the announcement, you can watch it here. Fast forward to
the 23-minute mark:

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