New 15-Year Deal With ESPN Officially Ends The Idea Of An All SEC Network

Monday, August 25, 2008

The conference signed a mega deal with CBS about two weeks ago, which virtually killed the idea of an all SEC network, but today the SEC TV dream has officially ended. There was still a slight chance though seeing as ESPN hadn't yet signed a contract of their own and in turn getting CBS' "leftovers", but yesterday the "Leader" inked a 15-year deal of their own. Thus ending an all SEC TV discussions....

The Southeastern Conference already has a new 15-year CBS contract in hand, and this week the league will announce a similar 15-year deal with ESPN (and its family of networks) to televise everything that CBS doesn't. Because of the maximum exposure provided by both networks, the SEC athletic directors decided this past week in Orlando that there won't be an SEC network. The ultimate conclusion was that each school has its own pay-per-view and re-telecast agreements, and that web was not worth untangling, especially after CBS and now ESPN has backed up the Brinks armored car to the SEC vault.
So there you have it. The SEC is in the hands of CBS and ESPN until the year 2023 and if you're a College Football fan, this isn't a bad thing at all. The games from arguably the best conference in the country will all be readily available to most, if not everyone and Verne Lundquist will be calling games until he's 94 years old. Good times.

Oh and does anyone want to know the grand total of the contract? A cool $2.25 billion. The deal should be announced by ESPN later this afternoon.

SEC drops idea to start own TV network; deal set with ESPN (Commercial Appeal)


Just for the record, the Big Ten has a similar deal where ABC has first pick, ESPN gets the leftovers and they still started their own network. Of course, that may be way the network had so much trouble getting started.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 10:19:00 AM  

Anyone have any idea if this means the deal with Lincoln Financial (formerly Jefferson Pilot) is dead? That was absolutely the worst coverage in the history of the sport.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

When I said "the sport" I really meant "sports."

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 12:46:00 PM  

@Anonymous2 - Lincoln Financial has been out of the picture for over a year. RAYCOM bought them out with hopes of landing the new contract:

ESPN SIgns 15-Year SEC Deal, Knocks RAYCOM Out"

Aug 25, 2008, 12:55:00 PM  

I'm gonna miss those Dave, Dave & Dave football broadcasts.

Aug 25, 2008, 1:02:00 PM  

No more Raycom? That sucks. I like Raycom.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 2:28:00 PM  

Though it sucks about Raycom, I'm glad the SEC Network idea is dead.

But then again, since I don't have ESPNU, where the Raycom games are likely to go, it will pretty much be the same as not having access to an SEC Network.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 2:48:00 PM  

@Anon 2:48:

From Tony Barnhart;

"The Business Journal also reported that later this year ESPN will strike a deal with Comcast Cable to put ESPNU in about 7 million Comcast homes. That number could grow to as many as 14 million. ESPN will also use its syndication arm, ESPN Regional Television in Charlotte, to handle distribution of games to local television stations."

Aug 25, 2008, 3:17:00 PM  

Maybe ESPN should launch a new network ESPNSEC. Who among us wouldn't want 24/7 coverage of the SEC?

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 5:24:00 PM  

So what about that Hawaii/Florida game that's on Raycom this Saturday? Will that be moved to an ESPN channel? I'm confused.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 5:51:00 PM  

@ifiok2567: The contract kicks in at the start of the 2009-2010 school year....

Aug 25, 2008, 6:36:00 PM  

Oh 2009. Whoops. I missed that. AA should have said that.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 6:48:00 PM  

Who gets the football championship?

jg said...
Aug 25, 2008, 7:36:00 PM  

Having Raycom and their high school production quality exit stage left is worth its weight in gold. They were absolutely the worst, no matter what they were called. Get a Dish and you don't have to worry about your cable outlets.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 9:04:00 PM  

@rick james bible owner

Anon 2:48 here.

I have Charter, not Comcast, so the ESPNU deal doesn't affect me, but it's good to see that ESPN will continue to syndicate games.

Anonymous said...
Aug 25, 2008, 11:37:00 PM  

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