Providers work to finalize deals with SEC Network
COLUMBIA - The SEC Network is scheduled to launch on August 14 and mid-Missouri cable companies are finalizing plans to carry it. On Monday, KOMU confirmed both CenturyLink, Charter Communications and DirecTV have agreed to terms with ESPN to carry the SEC Network.
A CenturyLink sales representative says the channel information is still being finalized but the company released the news internally on Monday so their team could start sharing the news with SEC fans. Senior Manager of Communications for Charter Wes Shirley told KOMU 8, "Charter has an agreement and currently finalizing details with ESPN for the Aug. 14th launch."
An official announcement for both providers including channel numbers is expected sometime this week.
Just before 5 p.m. on Monday, DirecTV and ESPN announced the two had reached an agreement to carry SEC Network for its launch. In a statement Dan York, DIRECTV's Chief Content Officer said, "The SEC boasts powerhouse athletic programs, especially in football, representing deeply loyal communities, many of which do not have any professional teams. The depth of SEC competition and the quality ESPN brings to game production and complementary programming makes SEC Network a valuable addition to our sports programming lineup, and we're excited to bring it into our customers' homes and on their devices."
DISH Network will also carry the SEC Network when it launches. The provider announced it had agreed to terms with ESPN back in March.
Mid-Missouri fans with Mediacom could have to wait until after the August 14 launch date to get the network. Mediacom Communications Director Phyllis Peters told KOMU the provider is still in negotiations with ESPN to carry the network. "We are working hard to get things finalized so football fans will have one less thing to worry about," Peters said.
Peters says she is not sure if the network will be available in time for the launch date but they are focusing on having it in time for the first SEC football game on Aug. 28.
The Missouri Tigers first game is scheduled for August 30 at 2:30 p.m. and will air on ESPNU. The team will play on the SEC Network for the first time on Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. against UCF.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the latest information on the SEC Network from DirecTV.]