The SEC officially unveiled its new television network Wednesday, as commissioner Mike Slive announced details at a press conference in Atlanta. The SEC Network will launch in Aug. 2014.
For complete coverage of the announcement, head on over to Team Speed Kills, but here are some of the highlights:
- ESPN extends its media-rights agreement with SEC through 2034; it was previously through 2024. That's a long time.
- The official name is the "SEC ESPN Network," but it will be known as the "SEC Network."
- 1,000 live events each year on the network and digitally. 450 will air on TV; 550 will be broadcast digitally.
- The Network will air 45 football games per year, three each week for 13 weeks. All will be on Saturday's in morning, afternoon and night time slots. The conference will still play two Thursday night games on ESPN.
- CBS still has the first pick of games, but it no longer exclusively holds the 2:30 p.m. CT time slot. The Network's content board will decide the rest of each week's schedule across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network.
- The Network will air 100 men's basketball and 60 women's basketball games per year
- It will broadcast 75 baseball games annually. (Baseball fans, rejoice!)
- In addition to live content, the Network will air original conference-related programming (like the SEC Storied series), in addition to specific school-related content
- AT&T U-verse has already inked a distribution deal, and the Network is in "the early days of" discussions with other potential distributors, according to ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly.
- ESPN will be in charge of running all of the digital platforms.
- Pay-per-view games will be "in the mix" to be broadcast on the network. Not sure how many pay-per-view games we'll have going forward.
- When asked about a possible nine-game conference schedule, Slive was evasive, but it sounds like something that eventually will be implemented: "I do anticipate additional discussion about scheduling. People have asked me what my view is; I've said I'm open-minded, and I expect that our coaches, our athletic directors and our presidents will engage in a significant conversation about future scheduling in the months ahead." So, maybe those talks will happen at the upcoming coaches meetings in Destin.
Did you miss the announcement and want to catch up on all the excitement? Check out the video below.