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Monday, August 25, 2008

SEC, ESPN Reach 15-Year Pact

ESPN and the SEC reached an historic 15-year agreement that will significantly increase the conference's national coverage in football, basketball and the olympic sports beginning in 2009-2010.

For the past few years, the SEC has considered two options: either adding a deal such as this or launching its own channel, similar to what the Big Ten did with the Big Ten Network. SEC commissioner Mike Slive said this agreement fulfilled all the conference's desires without the risks of launching its own network.

"The Southeastern Conference has entered into an historic 15-year agreement with ESPN ... that makes the SEC the most widely distributed conference in the country," Slive said.

The agreement will result in broadcast between CBS, local cable outlets and ESPN of every football game, as well as all conference basketball games. The agreement ends the SEC's relationship with Raycom beginning one year from now, but will bring the SEC out of the nine-state SEC footprint to other areas of the country. There will still be significant regional cable broadcasts (such as Sports South, etc.), Slive said, for all sports.

"We'll show over 5,500 events over the next 15 years, including every football game, every conference men's basketball game, as well as unprecedented numbers of women's basketball games and Olympics sports," said John Skipper, ESPN's executive vice president of content.

Among the important unsettled details is just how many homes ESPNU will be available in, but ESPN execs said talks are under way with Comcast and several other operators to increase distribution of the channel.

Read the full story from MediaWeek here, and get the thoughts of Georgia Sports Blog here.

Here are the football-related details, courtesy of the SEC's news release:

ESPN has acquired rights to every SEC home football game (excluding those on the network broadcast package) and will serve as the exclusive national cable home and the syndication rightsholder for the conference.

ESPN and ESPN2: The networks will increase coverage by combining to televise a minimum of 20 SEC games annually, including Saturday night and two primetime Thursday matchups.

ESPNU: The 24-hour college sports network, which launched in March 2005, will present a package of SEC football for the first time, with a Saturday game-of-the-week (generally in primetime and a minimum of 13 games annually).

ESPN Regional Television (ERT): The nation s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, becomes the official over-the-air syndication home for the SEC and will feature a game-of-the-week package (generally at 12:30 p.m. ET), with a minimum of 13 games each season throughout the SEC footprint and beyond. In addition, ERT will produce and distribute a studio show. Simulcasts of SEC game telecasts will be offered on the broadband network.
ESPN Mobile TV: Live games will be simulcast on mobile phones.
ESPN International: The agreement includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations.
ESPN Deportes: ESPN has acquired domestic Spanish-language rights for SEC football on the 24-hour, U.S.-based network.
ESPN GamePlan: The out-of-market college football pay-per-view service, will offer SEC action.
ESPN Classic: The network may telecast select SEC live games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations. Extensive SEC content, including highlights, will be presented online.

1 comment:

Jim Ludes- Grundy/ Will County REALTOR said...

FifTEEN years? Shoot, I would have made if fifDEEE....there is no other college football in the world....watching anything Big 10 or 12 is like watching reverse AFL2 with all their slow athletes.