FYI: SEC and ESPN unite in a big way

The SEC minutes ago announced a 15-year deal with ESPN which gives the league greater exposure than any conference in the country.

“The conference has entered into a historic 15-year agreement with ESPN, the most extensive college conference agreement ever. This makes the SEC the most widely distributed conference in the country,” Slive said.

Terms were not disclosed.

Slive said this was considered to be a better path than the creation of an SEC television network, similar to the Big 10’s, that was studied at length.

In short, the agreement allows for greater exposure across the board, but that’s especially true for men’s basketball where some regular season games and the SEC tournament semifinals and finals will be shown on ABC.

Slive stressed the importance of the academic initiatives included in the deal.

  • They are:
  • Two 1-hour programs per season dedicated to the academic achievements of students.
  • As part of “Campus Connection,” SEC students will produce, direct and serve as talent for a live event on ESPN.
  • Each year a student from each school will be hired as an intern at ESPN.
  • A weekly one-hour program on ESPNU will be dedicated to SEC sports with one feature per episode focusing on academics.

ESPN will provide the technology to create an online SEC academic network.

The deal spells the end of the league’s relationship with Raycom, the regional syndicator for football and basketball, one year from now. All regional syndication will be handled by ESPN. The regional syndicator handles the 11:30 a.m. SEC football game.

Without specifics ESPN officials said that regional syndication for the SEC will increase across the board.

It isn’t clear at this time how that will affect markets that don’t carry network stations ESPN Classic and ESPNU.

In the Northeast Mississippi market, WCBI of Columbus has traditionally carried the regional package.

— PA

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7 Responses to “FYI: SEC and ESPN unite in a big way”

  1. donttouchatwire Says:

    those of us that do not get espnu or classic need to hammer comcast by all means necessary.

  2. djrebel Says:

    Absolutely. I would imagine that this will be taken care of in some fashion, but you never now.

    — PA

  3. bookdawg Says:

    According to one source (I think EDSBS?), part of the deal is that Comcast will carry ESPNU as part of their basic cable package.

  4. no_handle Says:

    I have no faith in Comcast to give us any additional ESPN channels. Right now, there M O is to take away, not give. I am so close to going with the dish. Any one out there that can give a quick break down of costs, number of channels, number of TV’s that can be hooked up, etc.?

  5. Jeff Jolly Says:

    No Handle,
    I have Direct TV. I’ve forgotten how many channels I get….too many. But I buy the ESPN gameplan every year. I get that for $125 a year. With that, I get 12 extra games each weekend that aren’t on the other ESPN’s.

  6. jason Says:

    i’m a comcast customer and my parents are directv but they don’t get espn U with their package. i hope something works for the both of us.

  7. djrebel Says:

    No-Handle, I agree. I’ll be surprised if Comcast floats me the necessary ESPN channels. It may be a deal where those games end up on other channels on the cable. More likely, some cost will be handed down in some way. ESPN is going to recover its money somehow.

    — PA

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