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Report: ESPN, SEC agree to $2.25 billion TV deal


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Report: ESPN, SEC agree to $2.25 billion TV deal

Multimedia giant purchases all TV rights not held by CBS for next 15 years

By TONY BARNHART

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, August 25, 2008

The SEC has called a 3 p.m. press conference to announce a blockbuster television deal with ESPN that will, according to one published report, pay the conference a staggering $2.25 billion over the next 15 years.

Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal reported this morning that the deal, which was agreed to during the SEC’s athletics directors’ meeting in Orlando last week, would pay the SEC about $150 million a year over the life of the contract. This comes on the heels of an announcement on Aug. 14 of a 15-year deal with CBS that will pay the conference about $55 million per year through the 2023 season. That deal would also triple the amount of television revenue from football that the league received under its old agreements, which end after the 2008 season.

This deal also eliminates the possibility of the SEC forming its own network. That’s because ESPN purchased all of the remaining television rights not held by CBS. This means that Raycom, which will show the 12:30 p.m. SEC game this season, will be shut out of the new deal.

ESPN will use all of rights to spread games throughout its various platforms: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360, ESPN’s various regional networks.

The Business Journal also reported that later this year ESPN will strike a deal with Comcast Cable to put ESPNU in about 7 million Comcast homes. That number could grow to as many as 14 million. ESPN will also use its syndication arm, ESPN Regional Television in Charlotte, to handle distribution of games to local television stations.

Exactly what all of this means to the consumer of SEC football remains to be seen. But this much is true. The big boys of television have decided that SEC football is a good long-term investment.

“The SEC has been great for 75 years and it’s not going anywhere,” said Mike Aresco, the Vice-President of Programming at CBS. “It’s only going to get better.”

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seemed like we were doing fine getting most of the SEC games between the 12:30 broadcasts with Lincoln Financial/MyNetworkTV or whatever they decide to call it this year, the CBS 3:30 games, and usually the SEC has one or two games on at night on ABC/ESPN. I don't think much is gonna change with this new deal as far as the number of games on TV.

What could be good for the SEC is more of a presence in the national media. If ESPN has a huge stake in the SEC like this, you know they're gonna promote it like crazy and always have good things to say about SEC schools. That's only going to help us with the voters and with recruiting. With all the other conferences running to make their own TV networks, this could work out well for the SEC on the national stage.

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In a way, I agree. I don't have ESPNU or 360.

Any SEC games shown on those channels is going to suck for me.

you have multiple head coaches and a few ADs who said that espn has too much power over college football so they sign this gigantic deal that pretty much makes espn THE network that controls college football.

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you have multiple head coaches and a few ADs who said that espn has too much power over college football so they sign this gigantic deal that pretty much makes espn THE network that controls college football.

Coaches don't like how ESPN can decide game times of games moving afternoon games to earlier in the day or late in the evening and such is most coaches biggest complaint.

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In a way, I agree. I don't have ESPNU or 360.

Any SEC games shown on those channels is going to suck for me.

I don't either but 1) I think it's probably a safe assumption that most SEC games are going to be on ESPN or ESPN2. 2) Those channels may become a part of most cable packages before too long. Remember when everyone did not have ESPN2? I imagine if they started airing the SEC games on those channels you'd have a lot of cable operators picking them up.

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I don't either but 1) I think it's probably a safe assumption that most SEC games are going to be on ESPN or ESPN2. 2) Those channels may become a part of most cable packages before too long. Remember when everyone did not have ESPN2? I imagine if they started airing the SEC games on those channels you'd have a lot of cable operators picking them up.

Yeah, but you would have thought that the NFL network would have had the same effect and I still don't get it here. <_<

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Coaches don't like how ESPN can decide game times of games moving afternoon games to earlier in the day or late in the evening and such is most coaches biggest complaint.

no coaches don't like how espn can also change the outcome of the polls with their commentary.. that has been commented on by tuberville among other coaches.. that is a big complaint as well. the bcs commissioner even said that after this past year regarding the voters being influenced incorrectly to change their vote. I listened to a number of harris poll voters who said they spoke to others who changed their vote solely on what espn's coverage had to say.. ESPN has a big control of stuff beyond just scheduling game.

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Yeah, but you would have thought that the NFL network would have had the same effect and I still don't get it here. <_<

well i am in georgia and there is a new cbsc station with great college football coverage and even though comcast offers it in other parts of the country they don't offer it in the south.. so sports fans are stuck with css repeats or the big 10 network/big 12/pac-10/another smaller conference replays in the south.. I mean how idiotic is that. i called to complain and I said you have every other network, but the one network that replays sec games for your sec fans.. they were like ummm what's the sec.. IDIOTS!!

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well i am in georgia and there is a new cbsc station with great college football coverage and even though comcast offers it in other parts of the country they don't offer it in the south.. so sports fans are stuck with css repeats or the big 10 network/big 12/pac-10/another smaller conference replays in the south.. I mean how idiotic is that. i called to complain and I said you have every other network, but the one network that replays sec games for your sec fans.. they were like ummm what's the sec.. IDIOTS!!

I got it with Directv, and it's awesome.

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