SEC Network

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For the syndication package formerly named SEC Network, see SEC TV.
SEC Network
SEC Network Logo.png
Launched August 14, 2014
Network ESPN
Owned by ESPN Inc.
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area United States
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina
Sister channel(s) SEC TV, ESPNU
Website Website
Availability
Satellite
Dish Network Yes 8/14/2014
Cable
Comcast Yes 8/14/2014
Cox Yes 8/14/2014
IPTV
AT&T U-Verse 1607 (HD) 8/14/2014
607 (SD) 8/14/2014
Google Fiber Yes 8/14/2014

SEC Network (also known as the SEC ESPN Network) is an upcoming cable college sports network dedicated to coverage of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), scheduled to launch on August 14, 2014. The network will be operated by ESPN as part of a 20-year partnership, and feature coverage of SEC sports, along with news/analysis programs and other content focusing on the SEC's member schools. The network's coverage will also succeed an identically-named syndication package (since re-named SEC TV) which was produced by ESPN's regional arm, ESPN Plus.[1][2]

History[edit]

On May 2, 2013, SEC commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN president John Skipper formally announced that as part of a long-term, 20-year agreement lasting through 2034, ESPN would launch SEC Network, a network devoted to the conference and an accompanying digital platform, in August 2014. The network will aim to provide "unparalleled content from one of the most competitive conferences in the country with the highest quality, most innovative production partner in the sports industry", and will join the Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Network as television networks devoted entirely to a single college athletics conference. SEC Network will be operated out of ESPNU's facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina—while Charlotte is not an SEC market itself, it is close in proximity to them.[3][4]

During the announcement of the SEC's football schedule for the 2014 season, Mike Slive officially announced that SEC Network would launch on August 14, 2014. Its first live regular season football games will air on August 28, 2014, between Texas A&M and South Carolina,[2] and Temple and Vanderbilt.[5] In all, SEC Network plans to broadcast football games featuring all fourteen of the conference's members within the first month of the season.[6]

Programming[edit]

SEC Network will air events across the 21 sports that the conference sponsors; within its first year, the network and its digital outlets plan to broadcast at least 1000 live events, with at least 450 on television. Yearly, the network will broadcast approximately 45 football games, 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, and 75 baseball games. For football, SEC Network plans to air three Saturday games per week in early, afternoon, and evening windows. While CBS will maintain its first pick of games for its 3:30 p.m. ET telecast, it will no longer have an exclusive broadcast window for SEC football games—allowing ESPN's outlets and SEC Network to air games alongside CBS.[3]

Original content on SEC Network will include studio and analysis programs, programs produced by the SEC's member institutions, along with encore presentations of SEC events.[3] In May 2013, Paul Finebaum signed with ESPN to host a daily radio show based out of Charlotte, which will be simulcast by SEC Network.[7] On December 6, 2013, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced SEC Nation, a travelling pre-game show similar to ESPN's own College GameDay, which will be hosted by ESPN commentator Joe Tessitore, and will also feature analysis from Paul Finebaum.[8]

The channel is in negotiations with Conference USA to carry selected men's soccer games featuring Kentucky and South Carolina. Although the SEC does not sponsor the sport since four teams are needed for sponsorship (only two offer the sport), both schools play in Conference USA, allowing C-USA, which has an ESPN contract, and ESPN to negotiate allowing the two schools' matches, including the annual SEC Derby, to be televised on SEC. [9]

On-air talent[edit]

On December 30, 2013, ESPN announced that former Denver Broncos and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow had signed a multi-year deal with ESPN to serve as a college football analyst. Tebow will also make appearances on SEC Nation.[10] On March 12, 2014, ESPN named Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer as lead game announcers for SEC Network football. As a result, Musburger will no longer call Saturday Night Football or post-season bowl games, but will remain a commentator for Big 12 basketball on ESPN.[11][12] On March 24, 2014, it was announced that former University of Alabama and New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy has been hired as a college football analyst for the SEC Network on a multi-year contract.[13]

Availability[edit]

AT&T U-verse was announced as the first television provider to agree to carry SEC Network. On January 2014, Sports Business Journal reported that ESPN was seeking a carriage rate of $1.30 per-subscriber per-month in SEC markets, and $0.25 in non-SEC markets; in comparison, Big Ten Network charges around $1.00 per subscriber in Big Ten markets. It was also noted that SEC Network's opening doubleheader may have been intended to put pressure on Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications to pick up SEC Network, as they predominantly involve teams located within their service areas.[14]

On March 2014, Dish Network reached an agreement to carry SEC Network as part of a wider carriage deal with Disney for its television networks.[15][16] On April 30, 2014, Google Fiber was added as a carrier. [17] In June 2014, network head Justin Connolly expressed concern for the lack of carriage deals for SEC Network beyond those with AT&T and Dish Network, and considered the situation to be "alarming". However, he also noted that the network may successfully negotiate more carriage deals closer to its launch.[18]

On July 9, 2014, Cox Cable—whose subscriber base includes 5 SEC markets—reached an agreement to carry SEC Network. Exact terms were not disclosed.[19] Nine days later, ESPN also reached a deal with Comcast and Xfinity to carry SEC Network; in SEC markets, the provider will pay a carriage rate of $1.40 per-subscriber per month.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SEC And ESPN Announce New TV Network". SEC. 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  2. ^ a b "SEC Releases 2014 Conference Football Schedule". SEC. 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  3. ^ a b c "SEC Network announced: Launching in 2014, AT&T already on board". SBNation. Vox Media. May 2, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ "SEC Will Start TV Network in 2014". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "SEC Network Unveils Brand Campaign". Multichannel News. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "All 14 teams to play on SEC Network in early season". Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Bishop, Greg (May 21, 2013). "Radio Host Paul Finebaum joins ESPN". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "SEC Football: Tessitore to host SEC Nation pre-game show on SEC Network". Montgomery Advertiser. Gannett. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "(University of Kentucky) shoulders heavy load for promise of SEC Network riches". Lexington Herald-Leader. McClatchy. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tim Tebow joins ESPN as analyst for SEC Network". ESPN.com. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer lead SEC team". ESPN.com. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer named SEC Network's lead team". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Wilson, Aaron (March 24, 2014). "Greg McElroy hired by SEC Network". National Football Post. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ "SEC Network’s cost will top that of other college nets". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Liebermann, David (3 March 2014). "Dish And Disney Finalize Output Deal That Ends Their Ad-Hopper Dispute". Deadline.com. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Disney, Dish Network reach truce on ad-skipping AutoHop". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing Company. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Google Fiber to Carry SEC Network for August 14, 2014 Debut". SECDigitalNetwork.com. SEC. April 30, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "SEC Network leader 'alarmed' more carriers haven't signed up to carry channel". Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "SEC Network lands deal with another cable provider". Birmingham Business Journal. July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ Tucker, Kyle (2014-07-18). "Comcast Xfinity signs on to carry SEC Network". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]