Postponed last month due to the bombing in Boston, ESPN and the Southeastern Conference today announced a long-term agreement for ESPN to create and operate a multi-platform network, which includes the SEC Television Network and online properties.
The networks will launch in August of 2014 with the agreement running until 2034.
From ESPN PR:
In its first year the multi-platform operation will run 24/7 and produce more than 1,000 events. The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. The network and its digital extensions will connect with each SEC institution and create opportunities for each school to produce and develop content.
“The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms,” stated SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “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.”
ESPN President John Skipper said, “The SEC is unmatched in its success on the field and its popularity with fans nationwide. 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.”
Along with the development of the networks the two sides have also extended their current rights agreements until 2034.
ESPN will also oversee oversee the SEC’s official Corporate Sponsor Program.
ESPN’s Justin Connolly, formerly senior vice president, ESPN affiliate sales and marketing, will oversee the network’s day-to-day operations.
Also announced today was that AT&T Uverse has already signed on as the the network’s first national distributor.