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What does the SEC Network mean for you?


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?

August 2014


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


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.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

51 Comments for What does the SEC Network mean for you?

    1:05 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    WELL, doesn’t that just butter your biscuit!

  2. jwild
    1:05 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Will the HD signal blow? like it does now

  3. CableGuy
    1:09 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    SEC Network will not be on a sports tier in the 11 SEC states. They said it would have similar distribution as the mothership ESPN. It will be in a sports tier outside the SEC footprint. Whether your provider is willing to pay the big bucks to carry it is a different question.

  4. Daryl Dixon
    1:11 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    1) this is awesome
    2) guess I’ll keep Uverse
    3) if this buries the bbsn and we are forever free from rob bromley, dave baker, kyle macy, and that other dude i couldn’t be more for it

  5. Kyle-sp
    1:11 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    LIVE KSR TV SHOW! Can this happen now so we can see Ryan’s tattoo happen on air!!!

  6. Mc
    1:13 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Maybe it’s time to give the athlete’s a stipend?

  7. Cable Company Owner
    1:14 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    It means higher cable bills, if you really want to know, especially if ESPN doesn’t allow it to be paired with ESPNU on a higher tier. Sports programming is both keeping traditional video alive and killing it at the same time.

  8. CableGuy
    1:17 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    8 – The number I’m hearing is upwards of $2/mo/subscriber. Enough to make it the second or third most expensive network in your lineup from day one.

  9. Cable Company Owner
    1:24 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    9 – That number wouldn’t shock me. The Fox Sports regional channels are crazy as well, ranging from $1.50-$1.80 depending on the cable co. The really bad part is that they require the channel to be positioned in the “expanded basic” tier which is defined as most widely distributed…meaning that my customers who have never seen a sporting event are paying for the channel.

  10. bigwig
    1:29 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    9… ESPN is #1 at $4.69 a month

  11. Cable Company Owner
    1:34 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    11 – who has that rate? I pay $4.84

  12. Heisenberg
    1:36 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    What no, Wiggins post?? I am tired of that crap, KSR acts like he is the second coming of Christ. Our team right now is not too shabby, I don’t really care if he comes here or not. I am going to take a break from KSR…

  13. Scott41
    1:36 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Will SEC Network games be available on the WatchESPN app?

  14. CableGuy
    1:36 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    11 – I would say most Cable Ops pay more than that. All I’m saying is most operators can’t eat an extra $2/sub/month without raising rates on ALL their customers.

  15. Cable Company Owner
    1:38 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    15 – truth

  16. Reality
    1:42 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    For all you morons that wonder why Kentucky should stay in the SEC because we are a basketball school. THIS IS WHY!!

  17. Otis
    1:47 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    All this money will make 2-10 a lot easier to take

  18. butteredup
    1:49 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    chances are, insight will throw it in a package with 29 other channels nobody will watch and then charge out the wazoo for the package.

  19. Cable Company Owner
    1:53 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    19 – If by “out the wazoo” you mean a reasonable profit for providing you with a service you asked for, then yes. They probably will. Supply and Demand, bub.

  20. butteredup
    1:56 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    20. bub this.

  21. Joey
    2:02 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Missouri is the only SEC wrestling school….

  22. CableGuy
    2:05 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    19 – if you read the article, cable operators in SEC territory will be required to carry it on basic cable which means everyone (regardless of whether they watch it or not) will be paying for it.

  23. Matt
    2:09 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    20. Cable companies would be better if they started offering each channel “a la carte.” Rolling one channel everyone wants into a package with a bunch of garbage channels just to be able to charge $10 or $15 a month instead of $2 for the one channel people want is a big ripoff. This would also create competition and make the bad channels bring a better product to the table to hold their market share instead of riding the coattails of popular channels like ESPN.

    I could cut my channels down to about 10 that I watch with enough regularity to pay 3-5 dollars a month for. Also, there should be an option to activate a channel for one day for a small fee if there is a channel you only want to watch one show on once a week.

  24. butteredup
    2:13 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    23. I did read the article, but the launch date is over a year from now and it also says “LIKELY will be in your basic cable package”. That word “Likely” is worth a lot of money.

  25. robroy
    2:15 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    23. since when does likely mean required?

  26. Cable Company Owner
    2:17 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    24 – We would LOVE to do a la carte pricing. The programmers won’t allow it and they own the content we are bringing into the house. So, really we are at their mercy. That all could change very soon though!

  27. SalsaKat
    2:17 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Was the thought that providers within the SEC footprint states would offer this as part of their non-premium service ever stated in the presser or is it speculation? I will be a little surprised if they don’t try to get people to pay for an entire extra package just to watch their team, but pleasantly so.

    Can anyone who lives in a Big Ten footprint state tell me if the BTN is premium or basic/expanded where you live?

    (I also assume that which “tier” to offer the channel is up to the individual providers. Not sure if that’s correct.)

  28. Mc
    2:19 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    #24) This is why the wife and I are cutting the cord shortly. I’ll have to figure something out regarding sports, but it’ll be worth the $100+ a month I spend for 5 channels.

  29. DT in DC
    2:20 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Ok so besides the cash UK gets, why is this better than having just about every game on ESPN, which is, more than likely, on every recruit’s basic cable package?

  30. DT in DC
    2:22 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    #28, I live in VIrginia, so not a Big 10 state, but it’s part of my non-HD Verizon FIOS 2nd tier package.

  31. Matt
    2:26 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    27. I hope you are right! There has to be a way that programmers could figure out to still make money with an a la carte pricing model. I think they will have to make some big changes soon or risk losing even more money to services like Netflix/Amazon Instant/Hulu.

    I know alot of people who have given up on cable completely and only use these services and the basic channels you can pick up with an antenna because of how expensive cable is getting and the reputation for poor service that most cable and satellite companies have earned. I will probably join that group soon until some kind of a la carte offering comes out.

  32. Lori M
    2:36 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    #28)I live in Northern Ohio and the Big Ten is part of TimeWarner’s basic package and is included in the HD tier. Regardless of the price it will take TimeWarner years to negotiate for the SEC channel like it did for NFL Network.

  33. Jay
    2:37 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    (32) Matt, that is interesting. Are you saying that ESPN could charge $5 per month and Travel Channel charge 50 cents. When I thought of Al la carte I just assumed it would be the same price for each channel. I never thought about different prices for each channel. You would think a company could make that work. Maybe that is what Apple is trying to do.

  34. CableGuy
    2:43 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    The reason programmers (ABC/ESPN, Fox, Scripps, Discovery Nets, Viacom, etc) don’t want to offer a la carte pricing to cable companies or to users directly is because they make a whole lot more money by forcing cable operators to take every network in their family and making the cable ops be the ones to collect all the $$$ for it. A majority of networks available are owned by one of 8 media conglomerates and they leverage that to force carriage of lesser rated networks (the ones you don’t want to pay for).

  35. Bob
    2:43 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    #34) I’d say based on supply and demand smaller channels would have to charge more and some would become obsolete. ESPN could still obviously charge more and get away with it due to demand. The difficult thing would be if channels started buying other’s out, marking up the price of one channel to offset the cheap cost of another to continue to profit. Wait, that’s probably how it is now.

  36. Bob
    2:45 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    *channels meaning programmers

  37. Matt
    2:45 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    34. That is how I think a la carte could work, though it might not be logistically possible for the cable companies to have such an infinite amount of possible channels to provide to any single customer.

    It just makes sense that each channel could set their own price and let the market dictate what it is worth. Then maybe channels could offer a premium price to have ad-free programming too. There are a ton of possibilities but in general, competition is always good for the consumer.

  38. Matt
    2:53 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    35. You are exactly right. I realize my hope for a la carte pricing might never happen, but hopefully all of the people dropping cable completely will force these big companies to give us a more consumer-friendly product soon. It would only take one or two of the big companies you mentioned to get the ball rolling.

  39. bluesman
    2:54 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    I have Direct TV and buy ESPN FULL COURT so I get watch all UK Basketball on ESPN ESPN2 ESPNU WILL THE SEC NET.keep me from seing some of these games because SEC NET. is for SEC STATES ANDNOT FOR STATES like INDIAN?

  40. CableGuy
    2:56 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    36 – That’s exactly how it works.
    Viacom – MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, Nick, TV Land, Comedy, Spike, Nick Jr, Teennick, Nicktoons, Centric, Mtv2, MTV Hits, VH12 Classic, VH1 Soul, CMT Pure Country.
    NBCUniversal – USA, MSNBC, Syfy, Weather, E!, Bravo, CNBC, Golf, G4, Style, Chiller, Sprout, NBC Sports. Discovery – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Plant, ID, OWN, Dest America, Science, Military, Fit & Health, The Hub, BBC America.
    ABC – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, Disney, ABC Fam, Disney Jr, Disney XD, ESPNU, ESPNews, Soap.

  41. Mc
    3:21 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    41) So essentially there is no a la carte pricing because it would be extremely difficult to determine a valuation on each station should they switch to this model. They’d almost have to adjust the pricing frequently until they reach optimization. USA could cost $8 whereas Chiller cost $1 p/m. Station turnover would occur more frequently and it would be hard for them to keep up. I like the idea of a la carte pricing, but can also see why we don’t have it. As long as they’re profiting with the approach now, nothing will change. However, if larger %’s cut the cord, they would potentially have to adapt and evolve; which I’m sure they will.

  42. garyyates2001
    3:28 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    I live n rural Eastern KY, hopefully Suddenlink will give me the opportunity to purchase the SEC Network. As of right now they’re one of the worst cable companies in the state of Kentucky. Love the show Matt can’t wait to see Ryan in a Hooter’s uniform.

  43. DrSayre
    3:53 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    If I was in charge of the SEC Network, I would have a late night show hosted by The Truth and Shannon The Dude

  44. CableGuy
    4:30 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    42 – There is valuation of each network. They each cost different. But the problem is the media companies won’t let you pick and choose which ones you want, you have to take all of them. Honestly, the only way it changes is when people’s bills get high enough that the government gets involved.

  45. raekwon
    5:23 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    With all this money coming in, I guess ticket prices will plummet.

  46. UKBlue1!
    5:49 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hopefully with all of the money coming. Please spend it on the football program which is truely providing the money.

  47. Dee W.
    5:50 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Will it mean even fewer games being broadcast on local networks?

  48. Dee W.
    5:52 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Matt – a la carte pricing could negatively effect economies of scale which brings down the price per channel.

    I don’t have cable anyway so I pay zero. If worse comes to worse I just listen to the games on the radio if I’m not able to watch elsewhere when the games are not on a local station.

  49. JB
    6:55 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Since they’ll be in the same building, will the talking heads on the new SEC network slobber over every ACC basketball team like they do at ESPN?

  50. JB
    6:57 pm May 2, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t know if “slobber” is spelled correctly. Don’t think I ever had to spell it before that post.