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SEC Network

SEC Network
Launched August 14, 2014 (2014-08-14)
Owned by ESPN Inc.
(The Walt Disney Company, 80%; Hearst Corporation, 20%)
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV sets)
Slogan Take It All In
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina
Replaced SEC TV
Sister channel(s) ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNU
Longhorn Network
Website .com.secnetworkwww
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 611 (HD/SD)
Overflow:
611-1 (HD/SD)
Dish Network 408 (HD/SD), 404 (Hopper)
Overflow:
596-599 (HD/SD), 404.1 (HD/SD), 404.2 (HD/SD), 404.3 (HD/SD) (Hopper)
Cable
Comcast Check local listings
Time Warner 384 (HD/SD)
Charter Check local listings
Cox Check local listings
Brighthouse Check local listings
Suddenlink Check local listings
Grande 877 (HD), 77 (SD)
Mediacom Check local listings
IPTV
AT&T U-Verse 1607 (HD), 607 (SD)
Overflow:
1608 (HD), 1609 (HD), 608 (SD), 609 (SD)
Verizon FiOS 575 (HD) FL & TX only, 75 (SD)
Overflow:
332 (SD), 832 (HD)
CenturyLink 1607 (HD), 607 (SD)
Google Fiber 216 (HD/SD)
Streaming media
WatchESPN Watch live
(U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from pay television provider to access content)
Sling TV Internet Protocol television

SEC Network is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network, through its 80% controlling ownership interest) and the Hearst Corporation (which holds the remaining 20% interest). The channel is dedicated to coverage of collegiate sports sanctioned by the Southeastern Conference (SEC) including live and recorded event telecasts, news, analysis programs, and other content focusing on the conference's member schools.[1][2]

The network's coverage serves as the successor to an eponymous syndication package (later renamed SEC TV), which was produced by its syndication arm ESPN Regional Television.[1] SEC Network is operated out of ESPNU's facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina. While Charlotte is not an SEC market itself, it is in close proximity to universities that are members of the conference and shares a television market with the northern part of South Carolina, which is part of the South Carolina Gamecocks' television market.[3][4]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Programming 2
  • On-air talent 3
  • Availability 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History

On May 2, 2013, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN president John Skipper formally announced that as part of a long-term, 20-year agreement lasting through 2034, ESPN would launch SEC Network, a network devoted to the conference and an accompanying digital platform, in August 2014. The network would aim to provide "unparalleled content from one of the most competitive conferences in the country with the highest quality, most innovative production partner in the sports industry", and joins the Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Network as cable television networks devoted entirely to a single college athletics conference.[3][4]

During the announcement of the SEC's football schedule for the 2014 season, Mike Slive officially announced that SEC Network would launch on August 14, 2014. Its first live regular season football games aired on August 28, 2014, between Texas A&M and South Carolina,[2] and Temple and Vanderbilt.[5]

SEC Network officially launched on August 14, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. ET with the premiere of its news program SEC Now, which featured live broadcasts from each SEC school, highlights from football training camps, and live look-ins of an exhibition women's soccer game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and Creighton Bluejays (which was broadcast in its entirety via WatchESPN as the first live event produced by SEC Network).[6][7][8]

Programming

SEC Network airs events across the 21 sports that are sanctioned by the conference; within its first year, the network and its digital outlets planned to broadcast at least 1,000 live events, with at least 450 on television. Annually, the network will broadcast about 45 football games, 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, and 75 baseball games. For football, SEC Network airs three Saturday games per week in early, afternoon, and evening windows. While CBS maintains its first pick of games for its afternoon telecast, it no longer has an exclusive broadcast window for SEC football games, allowing ESPN's outlets and SEC Network to air games alongside CBS.[3] In all, SEC Network plans to broadcast football games featuring all fourteen of the conference's member schools within the first month of the 2014 season.[9]

Events not broadcast on television will be streamed online through SEC Network's website and the WatchESPN service under the SEC Network Plus branding. ESPN staff worked with each SEC member school to ensure that they have in-house production facilities capable of originating programming and live events for SEC Network.[10][11]

Original content on SEC Network includes studio and analysis programs, along with programs produced by the SEC's member institutions.[3] Paul Finebaum signed with ESPN Radio to host The Paul Finebaum Show, which is simulcast by SEC Network, along with Finebaum's previous flagship station WJOX-FM.[12][13] During college football season, it airs SEC Nation, a travelling pre-game show similar to ESPN's own College GameDay, hosted by ESPN commentator Joe Tessitore.[14] The network also airs encore presentations of SEC events, along with classic games involving its members.[3][6]

On-air talent

On December 30, 2013, ESPN announced that former University of Florida, Denver Broncos, and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow had signed a multi-year deal with ESPN to serve as a college football analyst. Tebow also will make appearances on SEC Nation.[15]

On March 12, 2014, ESPN named Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer as lead game announcers for SEC Network's football telecasts. As a result, Musburger will no longer call Saturday Night Football or post-season bowl games, but will remain a commentator for Big 12 basketball games aired on ESPN.[16][17] Musburger did make a one-off return to ESPN to call the 2014 Iron Bowl game.[18]

On March 24, 2014, it was announced that former University of Alabama and New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy was hired as a college football analyst for the SEC Network on a multi-year contract.[19]

Availability

AT&T U-verse was announced as the first television provider to agree to carry SEC Network. On January 13, 2014, Sports Business Journal reported that ESPN was seeking a carriage rate of $1.30 per-subscriber per month in SEC markets, and $0.25 in non-SEC markets; in comparison, Big Ten Network charges around $1 per subscriber in Big Ten markets. It was also noted that SEC Network's opening doubleheader may had been intended to put pressure on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications to carry the network, as they predominantly involved teams located within their service areas.[20]

In March 2014, Dish Network reached an agreement to carry SEC Network as part of a wider carriage deal with Disney–ABC Television Group for its ABC owned-and-operated stations and cable television networks.[21][22] On April 30, 2014, Google Fiber was added as a carrier.[23] In June 2014, network head Justin Connolly expressed concern for the lack of carriage deals for SEC Network beyond those with AT&T and Dish Network, and considered the situation to be "alarming." However, he also noted that the network may successfully negotiate more carriage deals closer to its launch.[24]

On July 9, 2014, Cox Communications, whose subscriber base includes five SEC markets, reached an agreement to carry SEC Network. Exact terms were not disclosed.[25] Nine days later, ESPN also reached a deal with Comcast to carry SEC Network; in SEC markets, the provider will pay a carriage rate of $1.40 per-subscriber per month.[26] On July 25, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks reached deals to carry SEC Network,[27] followed by Cable One and Wide Open West on August 1.[28][29] On August 2, 2014, Suddenlink Communications announced that it had reached an agreement to carry the network on the launch date.[30] On August 4, 2014, DirecTV,[31] and C Spire Wireless both announced agreements to carry the network (the latter deal was made through the National Cable Television Cooperative, in which C Spire would provide its Fiber to the Home HDTV subscribers with access to the SEC Network App).[32] These announcements were followed by an agreement with Charter Communications on August 6, 2014. Mediacom reached an agreement to carry the network on August 14, 2014.[33][34]

With the Mediacom agreement, the two major television providers that did not reach a carriage deal prior to launch were Verizon FiOS and Cablevision.[35] However, on August 21, 2014, Sports Business Daily reported that Verizon FiOS had reached a deal to carry the network in its Texas and Florida service areas (which are within the SEC footprint). Cablevision does not have any markets within the SEC footprint.[36] NASA has arranged for the SEC Network to be made available on the International Space Station.[37]

References

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  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ [3]
  34. ^ http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/08/sec_network_adds_mediacom_to_r.html
  35. ^ http://www.goodbullhunting.com/keegan/2014/8/11/5989935/sec-network-coverage-update-verizon-fios-mediacom-cablevision
  36. ^ http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Morning-Buzz/2014/08/21/verizon.aspx
  37. ^ [4]

External links

  • Official website
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