ESPN and SEC Announce TV Channel to Launch in August 2014
ATLANTA -- The Southeastern Conference and ESPN announced the SEC Network television channel will officially launch on August 6, 2014. ESPN President John Skipper and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive helped lead the Thursday announcement. The official SEC Network will be based out of Charlotte, North Carolina with the help of ESPN's main studios in Bristol, Connecticut.
"For the first time a conference will launch a network with its primary overall media rights partner," Slive said. "The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms. 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."
The SEC Network will also offer 1,000 live SEC events each year with 450 on the channel and 550 digitally. It will carry a total of 45 football games per season with three games a week for 13 straight weeks. The network will also carry 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games and much more.
CBS will still get first pick of football games each week, followed by ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU and then the SEC Network. The SEC Network will get three games on Saturday to fill the early morning, afternoon and evening windows.
AT&T U-verse is the first distributor to sign on to carry the SEC Network television channel when it launches. ESPN will also oversee the SEC's official corporate partner program and will run all the SEC's digital platforms.
President John Skipper noted that the SEC and ESPN have also extended their media rights contract through 2034.