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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ESPN, SEC Announce New SEC Network

From SEC release...

ESPN Regional Television, the new over-the-air syndication home for Southeastern Conference programming, and the SEC announced today a regionally syndicated college sports package that will air in more than 73 television markets, along with the branding of the syndication package as the SEC Network – all part of the groundbreaking 15-year agreement between ESPN, Inc., and the SEC.

Within the nine-state SEC footprint, the SEC Network will be delivered in markets by the local over-the-air carrier of SEC events. In markets outside the SEC footprint, the syndicated programming will air on either local, over-the-air television stations or regional sports cable networks.

Coverage will feature extensive football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball telecasts, produced by ESPN Regional Television.

“As ESPN moves forward in this landmark agreement with the SEC, ESPN Regional Television is thrilled to provide our viewers with a consistent window for Southeastern Conference football and basketball,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president & general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “With ESPN’s multimedia platforms, we anticipate SEC sports will touch an unprecedented base of college fans nationwide.”

The SEC Network will feature an SEC football Game of the Week regionally for 13 consecutive Saturdays, beginning Sept. 5. Those telecasts will kick off at noon ET/11 a.m. CT with the live SEC Studio show, followed by the matchup, generally determined 12 to six days in advance. The new kickoff time for the Game of the Week will be 12:21 p.m. ET.

Longtime SEC announcer Dave Neal will call the weekly SEC Network game on Saturdays, along with analyst Andre Ware and reporter Cara Capuano.

The SEC Studio show is produced by ESPN Regional Television at their headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., also the home of ESPNU. The SEC show will kick off Saturday coverage with host Rob Stone and analyst Matt Stinchcomb in the studio.

The regular-season SEC men’s basketball package on the SEC Network beginning in January will consist of Wednesday and Saturday games, including doubleheaders. The SEC Network will also offer regional coverage of multiple rounds from the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament as well as SEC women’s basketball games on Sundays, also beginning in January.

Two notes from me...

-- I'm thrilled to see Matt Stinchcomb attached to this. He'll be fantastic, as you can probably tell from the "Catching Up With..." feature he did with me last year.

-- Here's the info for the markets in Georgia that will carry the programming:

Albany, WALB (NBC)
Atlanta, WPCH (IND)
Augusta, WRDW; My 12 (CBS; MNT)
Macon, WGXA (FOX)
Savannah, WTGS (FOX)


Scott said...

Great to get some details on this, and even better to learn that Stinch is going to be such a big part of it!

Gen. Stoopnagle said...

Cara Capuano is no Erin Andrews.

the anonymous suckup said...


Do you know if those broadcasts will be in high definition?

ArchDawg said...

You're right General, but thankfully we'll see her in the nightcap.

David Hale said...

Good question, Suckup. I'm not sure, but I'll see the SEC's media relations guy in about 2 hours and I'll ask him.

the anonymous suckup said...

According to David's Twitter page:

"ESPN rep: All games will be produced in high definition."

Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks, David!

the anonymous suckup said...


Here's one more qestion about the new SEC Network, and then I'll leave you alone.

I assume this network will be very much like the old Jefferson Pilot network. By that, I mean the Macon station (WGXA) will carry Georgia games and not much else. Is that right? Or is this a deal where those local stations will be carrying all of the games - even if that means WGXA is carrying a game between Arkansas and some FCS team?

David Hale said...

The way I understand it is, with ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and ESPNU broadcasting SEC games, that there will only be 2 or 3 games not being carried by the larger provider. Whatever the best regional matchup is among those games will run on the "SEC Network" game. So, yes, you may get Arkansas vs Northwest Mississippi Tech if that's regionally the top non-big network game.