SEC Network

Sports Media Digest- May 23, 2012

Sunday Night Football Top Rated Program for the 2012-2013 TV Season–  The 2012-2013 television season is over and Sunday Night Football has been crowned the top-rated prime-time program for the year.  NBC has earned that honor for the second straight year.  Over the course of the 19 telecasts Sunday Night Football earned an average audience of 21.5 million viewers.

TNT Nets a 5.3 Rating for NBA Eastern Conference Finals Opener–  Turner Sports reports that last night’s opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals register an average rating of 5.3 with 8.2 million viewers.  The rating was up 10% over the network’s coverage of the first game of the Western Conference  Finals last year.

Finebaum Joins ESPN and SEC Network–  ESPN has announced that it has hired long-time sports voice Paul Finebaum to host a radio show which will eventually be simulcast on the SEC Network.  The radio show will debut this August with the simulcast on the SEC Network to begin in August of 2014.  Finebaum will also appear on a variety of other shows and outlets, including SportsCenterCollege Football LiveCollege GameDay and in ESPN The Magazine.

Coca-Cola 600 This Weekend on Fox– Fox Sports continues its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday evening with the Coca-Cola 600 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Coverage begins at 5:30p.m. ET with pre-race action hosted by Chris Myers with Darrell and Michael Waltrip.  When the race begins Mike Joy calls the action alongside analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds while Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops. FOX Sports’ Jeff Hammond serves as the network’s roving analyst.

ESPN, SEC Announce SEC Network

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.



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.