CBS Gets To Keep The SEC For Another Fifteen Years

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Television deals rarely even get over a handful of years, let alone ten. That's why it came as a such a surprise that CBS and the SEC agreed to such a long one today. The two sides inked an uncommon 15-year deal to keep their current arrangement going when the deal runs out in 2008. Via the AJC....

In an unprecedented deal between a national network and a college athletic conference, the SEC and CBS on Thursday announced that they have agreed to a 15-year contract extension to televise that league’s football and men’s basketball games. Financial details of the deal were not released.

The current contract between the SEC and CBS was scheduled to end after the 2008 season. The two parties have been negotiating for the entire year.

“This is a great day for CBS,” said Mike Aresco, the Vice President for programming at CBS. “The SEC is the gold standard for college athletics. It has been a great conference for 76 years and that will never change. We love the enthusiasm and the way the fans support the game.”

Aresco said that CBS and the SEC talked about several different options when it came to the length of this contract.

“But at the end of the day the comfort level is so great and the trust is so great that we decided to lock this in for the long haul,” Aresco said. “This is a great deal for both sides.”
That's a heck of a long time, and I don't think there's been a contract this long in the history of College Sports. With this news it also seems highly unlikely that the SEC would still be considering a network of their own, but it's not entirely out of the question.

SEC signs landmark TV deal with CBS (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 12:58 PM

12 Comments:

As a graduate of South Carolina, it's good to see the SEC staying on CBS for the next decade and a half. I think they cover the games really well, and nothing beats their college football theme music. It would have been a little upsetting if they lost the SEC to FOX, who shouldn't be covering the BCS.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 1:29:00 PM  

Hopefully Verne Lundquist hangs in there for most, if not all, of the fifteen years. Let's just hope he doesn't become an old codger like Beano Cook. Looking forward to more CBS college football...

TomahawkFlop said...
Aug 14, 2008, 1:38:00 PM  

To me, this makes it MORE likely that the SEC will be getting it's own television network.

CBS has CSTV (now known as the College Sports Network) just sitting in the sattelite world, with little dedicated programming and no definitive niche. Such a long partnership could potentially cause CBS to roll the network into a SEC Television Network. This will give SEC many of the benefits of increased exposure and ad revenue without the dramatic upstart and negotiation costs the Big Ten went through.

This arrangement would also be beneficial for CBS as it can now ask CSTV to be carried on Cable Carriers similar to a Big Ten network package.

All hypothetical, of course, but plausible?

alienaub said...
Aug 14, 2008, 1:47:00 PM  

I tend to go along with the thinking of alienaub. The Big Ten, for instance, didn't move any games at all off of ABC or ESPN when it started the Big Ten Network (and in fact announced a larger and expansive long-term deal with ABC/ESPN at the same time of its annoucement creating the BTN). The BTN basically took the games from the syndicated ESPN Plus package (with some caveats in their TV contracts where the BTN could pick ahead of ESPN a couple of weeks each season). We'll need to see the details of the CBS contract, but I doubt that the the SEC would be prevented from moving their Jefferson Pilot(?) games to its own network.

frankthetank said...
Aug 14, 2008, 2:17:00 PM  

I hope the SEC Network idea is dead. It would inevitably have distribution problems, meaning the majority of fans would be unable to watch it and miss their team's games.

The way the tv situation is currently, all games are available for viewing in some form or fashion. Whether it's CBS, Raycom, ESPN, or FSN.

Some schools have seperate tv deals, such as Tennessee with SportSouth and Florida with FSN Florida, I wonder how that would jive with an SEC Network.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 2:23:00 PM  

Before they fix it, click on the ajc link AA gave and look at the headline. It says "Sample hedline goes here."

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 2:52:00 PM  

Hahaha. Great catch. It definitely wasn't like that before.

Aug 14, 2008, 3:04:00 PM  

I thought Tony Barnhart took a buyout from the AJC.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 3:25:00 PM  

Nothing is worse than the Big Ten Network...the SEC would be making a mistake by following their footsteps.

GMoney said...
Aug 14, 2008, 4:06:00 PM  

@gmoney:

Any network that employs T-hom Brennaman, Tom Hamilton, Charles Davis & Butler By'not'e has to be worth the year-plus of saber rattling & vitriol, right?

/will find out tomorrow

Aug 14, 2008, 4:45:00 PM  

Well, rjbo, when you live in the one of the biggest markets in the region and still don't get the channel after over a year of bickering, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

GMoney said...
Aug 14, 2008, 5:40:00 PM  

I'm with you 100%, gmoney. This BTN garbage with Time Warner & Mediacom has to stop. Although it will probably only be on basic cable for 1 year, having Comcast will actually be a good thing when the BTN gets added tomorrow.
If CBS thinks they can transform CBS College Sports into the SEC Network, they just have to look at the problems the BTN & NFL Network have gone through trying to squeeze extra nickels out of every customer.

Aug 14, 2008, 6:10:00 PM  

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