Earlier today, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced the creation of The SEC Network, a 24-hour network dedicated to SEC sports and programming. John Calipari, Mark Stoops, and Matthew Mitchell were on hand for the press conference, which had all the pomp and circumstance of a presidential inauguration. Why all the fuss? Essentially, the SEC is about to be rich. Filthy rich.
What does that mean for you? Let’s break it down.
When does it launch?
How long will it be around?
At least 20 more years. In addition to the announcement of the network, Slive announced that ESPN and SEC extended their media rights agreement through 2034, which makes it the longest deal in television.
What will be on The SEC Network?
“An unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content,” is how Mike Slive phrased it. Fans can expect SEC programming around-the-clock, including games, studio shows, features, analysis, replays, original content such as the “SEC Storied” series, etc. Last week, I came up with some ideas for SEC Network original programming. If even one of them actually happens, I will be giddy.
Okay, but what about the games?
The SEC network will air 1,000 sporting events throughout the year (450 on the network and 550 digitally), including:
– 45 football games, with 3 games a week for 13 straight weeks
– 100 men’s basketball games
– 60 women’s basketball games
– 75 baseball games
There will also be a lot of secondary sports coverage, so if you’re a fan of tennis, wrestling, or track, get excited!
Will I get The SEC Network?
If you live in one of the 11 SEC states, then the SEC Network will likely be in your basic cable package, along with channels like ESPN and ESPN2. If you live outside the SEC footprint, it will be on a sports tier package, like ESPNU. ESPN will be in charge of negotiating these deals with cable companies, and AT&T U-Verse has already signed on to be the first national distributor. The network is estimated to be in approximately 30 million homes across the South. For more information, visit GetSECNetwork.com.
Where will the headquarters be?
Charlotte, North Carolina in ESPNU’s current offices, with additional staff located at the company’s Bristol, Connecticut headquarters
Will CBS still have a SEC football game of the week?
Yes. CBS will still have the first pick for their game of the week. Have no fear: this won’t mess with your weekly visits with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson, Tim Brando, Steve Beuerlein, and Marty Snider. From there, a board will decide what games will go on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network. The SEC Network will have three games in three time slots per Saturday.
What does it mean for Kentucky?
Money. Lots and lots of money. The network has an estimated value of $400 million per year in television revenue, which is around $28.5 million per team. Also, it’s safe to say that almost every UK football and basketball game will now be televised. No more pay-per-view!
Will there be a KSR show on the SEC Network?
God, I hope so.