SEC Network to broadcast 24/7
Southeastern Conference sports -- including football and basketball -- will have a 24-hour-a-day home when the SEC Network launches in August 2014.
The SEC and ESPN announced a 20-year agreement and rights extension on Thursday. The deal includes a new television network and digital platform that will show SEC sports 24/7, including more than 1,000 events in the first year.
Included in the programming will be 45 football games, more than 100 men's and more than 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games and selected events from the other 17 SEC sports. The network will also feature studio shows and coverage of special events such as signing day and football pro days.
The digital network, which will launch nationally with AT&T U-verse, will show hundreds of additional events. Each SEC school will have the opportunity to produce and develop content for various platforms. The network will be based in ESPN's offices in Charlotte, N.C.
The extension means the SEC will have its games on ESPN's family of networks, plus the SEC Network, through 2034.
"The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement. "We will increase exposure of SEC athletics programs at all 14 member institutions, as we showcase the incredible student-athletes in our league. The agreement for a network streamlines and completes an overall media rights package that will continue the SEC's leadership for the foreseeable future."
"The SEC is unmatched in its success on the field and its popularity with fans nationwide," said ESPN president John Skipper. "The new network's top-quality SEC matchups across a range of sports will serve all sports enthusiasts including the most passionate, die-hard SEC fans. Also, it will serve the needs of our multichannel distributors and advertisers by providing extremely attractive programming options across all platforms."