clear
Monday February 8th, 2016 3:15AM
5:27PM ( 9 hours ago ) Weather Alert

SEC's new network with ESPN to debut in 2014

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- The Southeastern Conference and ESPN on Thursday announced a 20-year agreement to operate a SEC network that is scheduled to debut in August, 2014.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the SEC network will produce 1,000 live events each year, including 450 televised on the network and 550 distributed digitally. Slive says the network will carry approximately 45 SEC football games each year "and a depth of content across all sports."

No financial terms were released for the deal, which continues through 2034.

The announcement came at a news conference attended by Slive, ESPN President John Skipper, 32 SEC coaches and each of the league's 14 athletic directors. The emphasis was this is to be a national network.

"We believe this conference has national appeal," Skipper said. "This is a national network. This is not a regional network. We understand that in the 11-state footprint is where the most passionate fans are, but there are a lot of SEC fans in California and Texas and New York and Connecticut and Virginia and Nebraska."

The league's coaches and athletic directors said having the national network will make all sports more attractive.

"In volleyball, we may want to go after players in California or in the Midwest," said Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity. "Now they can see the SEC is going to have a broadcast of Georgia-Florida volleyball match on ESPN on Tuesday night at 9 o'clock. That's the type of stuff you can only dream about. Now we have it unfolding.

"Football, obviously, that's already well-populated. What it does for your Olympic sports is just immeasurable."

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, who already has a national recruiting base, said the network will make all SEC schools more attractive to national recruits.

"Everybody's recruiting stretches out because they already may want to play against Florida and Kentucky and everybody here, but being in the SEC means if you come with us, you're not a regional player, you're national," Calipari said. "You don't have to worry you have to stay home because that's your fan base. Your fan base is national. You don't have to worry about regional fan bases. You can go out and create what you want to create."

Still, there was no doubt what sport drove the deal - football.

Calipari acknowledged he felt left out as he sat on the stage and heard only football-related questions. Asked where basketball fit in the SEC picture, Calipari said "I don't know. How many men's basketball questions were there today? Did we have any? No.

"In the room it was either they wanted to know about money, percentages or what it did with football. I was ready to stand up `Can I ask a basketball question?' I almost did it, just to do it. Then I said no, I don't want to embarrass anybody."

Georgia football coach Mark Richt said the network should be another empowering tool for the SEC, already the national power with seven straight national championships.

"I don't think there's any doubt," Richt said. "It's not a regional network. It's a national network. It's going to appeal to people of all ages, including the people we're going to be recruiting. My guess is there will be content there that will showcase our players, showcase our facilities and showcase our coaching staff and what we've done in recent past and what we want to do in the future. It can only help us."

Slive also would not discuss details of the ownership arrangement with the SEC and ESPN.

"We would not have done this if we did not believe it would be in the long-term benefit of the league, both in terms of distribution and in terms of revenue," Slive said.

"We're both happy," Slive said.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 also have established networks, but Slive said the SEC's partnership with ESPN is different.

"What's unique and never been done before is partnering with our primary rights holder, which will allow us to move events seamlessly between various platforms," Slive said.

The SEC signed a 15-year deal with CBS in 2008. CBS will still have the first choice of SEC football games.

ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly said AT&T U-Verse has signed on as the network's first distributor. He said talks are just beginning with other possible cable partners.

Connolly said the deal also gives ESPN rights to oversee the league's corporate partner program. In addition, ESPN will manage and run all of the SEC's digital platforms.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 2 years ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
Basketball: February frenzy starts in earnest as region tournaments get underway
If you're a high school basketball fan, then this week represents the zenith of the season...
By AccessWDUN Staff
4:28PM ( 13 hours from now )
Von Miller forced 2 fumbles to set up TDs and the Broncos defense frustrated Cam Newton to carry Peyton Manning to his second Super Bowl title with a 24-10 victory over Carolina
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A reborn Orange Crush might have sent Peyton Manning into retirement with a Super ending to his career.Von Miller and the impenetrable Denver defense harassed Panthers quart...
By The Associated Press
12:02AM ( 3 hours ago )
No. 15 Baseball Sweeps Eagles with 11-3 Win
Daniel McCrary pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-hit baseball and North Georgia put 11 runs on the board in just three innings as the No. 15 Nighthawks cruised to a series sweep of Carson-Newman with an 11-3 win Sunday afternoon.
By UNG Athletics Communications
11:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
Piedmont pitching sets tone in 7-3 victory over Guilford
Following a game with heavy offensive output on both sides Saturday, it was the pitching that set the tone in the Piedmont College baseball team's 7-3 victory over Guilford College Sunday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
Wrestling: Area wrestlers take down next step toward Traditional titles
Northeast Georgia area wrestlers took the next step toward possible state titles Saturday in Traditional Sectionals held around the state...
11:08PM ( 4 hours ago )