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.



ESPN Reaches 12-Year Deal with SEC and Big 12 for Sugar Bowl

ESPN announced today it has reached a 12 year contract with the SEC and the Big 12 conferences for the Sugar Bowl.

The deal begins in January 1, 2015 with the inaugural game between the two conference champions, and includes rights to the Sugar Bowl across ESPN’s platforms through 2026. ESPN will have the rights to the Sugar Bowl each year no matter what is determined to be the exact post-season bowl rotation as part of the future format.

“Given the history of excellence by teams in the SEC and Big 12, we recognized the value in securing long-term rights to the Sugar Bowl,” said John Skipper, ESPN President, “The matchup will provide college football fans with a memorable way to start the New Year on ESPN’s many platforms.”
“The matchup between the SEC and the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN creates a new tradition for college football fans on New Year’s Night,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive,  ‘We are very excited about this new venture and look forward to competing against the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN.”
“ESPN has a rich post-season college football history, said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, “The long-term commitment of our partners from ESPN, the SEC, and the Sugar Bowl to this game assures its stature as a marquee event among college athletics.”
Paul Hoolahan, Chief Executive Officer, Sugar Bowl, said, “The Sugar Bowl is delighted to extend our partnership with ESPN to present this stellar game between top representatives of two perennial powerhouse conferences.”

ESPN Announces Schedule for Inaugural Big East/SEC Challenge

ESPN has announced the schedule for the first annual Big East/SEC Challenge.  The 12 game package will take place December 1st through 3rd.

Here is the schedule:

Date Game
Thu, Dec 1 St. John’s at No. 2 Kentucky
Georgetown at No. 14 Alabama
Providence at South Carolina
Mississippi at DePaul
Fri, Dec 2 No. 7 Vanderbilt at No. 9 Louisville
No. 12 Florida at No. 4 Syracuse
No. 19 Cincinnati at Georgia
Auburn at Seton Hall
Sat, Dec 3 Arkansas at No. 6 Connecticut
No. 17 Pittsburgh at Tennessee
West Virginia at Mississippi State
LSU at Rutgers

ESPN Takes The Wraps Off SEC College Basketball Schedule

Up next in the ESPN unveiling of its College Basketball schedule, the SEC:

Sat, Jan 8- 1:30 p.m. Tennessee at Arkansas SEC Network /
4 p.m. Kentucky at Georgia SEC Network /
Alabama at Mississippi State SEC Network /
5 p.m. Vanderbilt at South Carolina ESPN2 /
6 p.m. LSU at Auburn FSN /
8 p.m. Ole Miss at Florida CSS /
Tue, Jan 11- 7 p.m. Auburn at Kentucky ESPNU
9 p.m. Florida at Tennessee ESPN /
Wed, Jan 12- 8 p.m. Georgia at Vanderbilt SEC Network /
Arkansas at LSU SEC Network /
9 p.m. South Carolina at Alabama CSS /
Thu, Jan 13- 9 p.m. Mississippi State at Ole Miss ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Jan 15- Noon Vanderbilt at Tennessee ESPN /
1:30 p.m. South Carolina at Florida SEC Network /
Alabama at Arkansas SEC Network /
4 p.m. LSU at Kentucky SEC Network /
5 p.m. Georgia at Ole Miss FSN /
Sun, Jan 16- 2 p.m. Auburn at Mississippi State FSN /
Tue, Jan 18- 7 p.m. Tennessee at Georgia ESPNU
9 p.m. Kentucky at Alabama ESPN /
Wed, Jan 19- 8 p.m. Arkansas at South Carolina SEC Network /
9 p.m. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt CSS /
Thu, Jan 20- 7 p.m. Florida at Auburn ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Jan 22- 1:30 p.m. Ole Miss at LSU SEC Network /
4 p.m. Mississippi State at Georgia SEC Network /
6 p.m. Kentucky at South Carolina ESPN /
Alabama at Auburn CSS /
8 p.m. Arkansas at Florida FSN /
Tue, Jan 25- 7 p.m. Florida at Georgia ESPN /
9 p.m. Auburn at Arkansas ESPNU
Wed, Jan 26- 8 p.m. LSU at Tennessee SEC Network /
Thu, Jan 27- 7 p.m. Vanderbilt at Mississippi State ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Jan 29- 1:30 p.m. Auburn at South Carolina SEC Network /
4 p.m. Georgia at Kentucky ESPN /
Tennessee at Ole Miss SEC Network /
6 p.m. Arkansas at Vanderbilt FSN /
8 p.m. LSU at Alabama FSN /
Tue, Feb 1- 7 p.m. Kentucky at Ole Miss ESPNU
9 p.m. Vanderbilt at Florida ESPN /
Wed, Feb 2- 8 p.m. South Carolina at LSU SEC Network /
Mississippi State at Alabama SEC Network /
9 p.m. Georgia at Arkansas CSS /
Thu, Feb 3- 9 p.m. Tennessee at Auburn ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Feb 5- 1:30 p.m. Auburn at Georgia SEC Network /
South Carolina at Vanderbilt SEC Network /
4 p.m. Mississippi State at LSU SEC Network /
5 p.m. Alabama at Tennessee FSN /
6 p.m. Ole Miss at Arkansas ESPN or ESPN2 /
9 p.m. Kentucky at Florida ESPN /
Tue, Feb 8- 9 p.m. Tennessee at Kentucky ESPN /
Wed, Feb 9- 8 p.m. Florida at South Carolina SEC Network /
Arkansas at Mississippi State SEC Network /
9 p.m. LSU at Ole Miss CSS /
Thu, Feb 10- 9 p.m. Alabama at Vanderbilt ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Feb 12- 1:30 p.m. LSU at Arkansas SEC Network /
4 p.m. Georgia at South Carolina SEC Network /
Ole Miss at Alabama SEC Network /
6 p.m. Tennessee at Florida ESPN or ESPN2 /
7 p.m. Mississippi State at Auburn FSN /
Tue, Feb 15- 7 p.m. Mississippi State at Kentucky ESPN /
Wed, Feb 16- 7 p.m. Vanderbilt at Georgia ESPNU
South Carolina at Tennessee CSS /
8 p.m. Auburn at Ole Miss SEC Network /
Thu, Feb 17- 9 p.m. Alabama at LSU ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Feb 19- 1:30 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State SEC Network /
4 p.m. Vanderbilt at Auburn SEC Network /
South Carolina at Kentucky SEC Network /
7 p.m. Arkansas at Alabama FSN /
Sun, Feb 20- 1 p.m. Florida at LSU ESPN or ESPN2 /
Tue, Feb 22- 7 p.m. Ole Miss at South Carolina ESPNU
9 p.m. Tennessee at Vanderbilt ESPN /
Wed, Feb 23- 8 p.m. Kentucky at Arkansas SEC Network /
Auburn at Alabama SEC Network /
9 p.m. LSU at Mississippi State CSS /
Thu, Feb 24- 7 p.m. Georgia at Florida ESPN or ESPN2 /
Sat, Feb 26- 1:30 p.m. Vanderbilt at LSU

Sports Media Weekly Podcast #34- Rob King,

Sports Media Weekly After a welcomed week off on vacation we are back with another edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I talk about the growing ratings for Versus during this year’s NHL Playoffs, rumblings that Fox may move some of its Saturday MLB games to prime time, ESPN’s new 12-year deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference, and what ESPN has in the pipeline as unveiled to advertisers and the media this week in New York.

Speaking of ESPN, our guest this week is Rob King, Vice President and Editor-in Chief of ESPN Digital Media.  We talk to Rob about the evolution of ESPN online, specifically it’s expansion to the local media markets in Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York.  We also ask Rob about whether Bill Simmons will be staying with and the controversy last year over the WWL’s Twitter and social media policy.