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SBJ: progress made between ESPN, SEC on conference network

Mike Slive AP

Originally called “Project X” before being temporarily re-branded as “Project SEC“, the SEC’s third-tier television network with ESPN is reportedly closing in on the final stages of development.

The Sports Business Journal reports that “three issues are close to being resolved before the channel’s expected launch in August 2014.” Those issues include obtaining local TV rights and rehashing marketing rights. Local right equate to one football game per school and roughly six to eight basketball games, plus other nonrevenue sports.

IMG College currently holds marketing rights for the SEC, but ESPN will likely take over that responsibility once talks have ended, according to the SBJ. Additionally, ESPN reportedly will not partner with any other media channel on the network.

The projected amount of revenue an SEC network could generate still isn’t known, but SEC officials have stated before that it could be “every bit as big” as what the Big Ten Network brings in on a yearly basis. The SEC is still reworking its entire media rights package with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M.

If that’s the case, expect the SEC to jump back up to one of the richest conferences in college athletics.

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6 Responses to “SBJ: progress made between ESPN, SEC on conference network”
  1. southernpatriots says: Sep 18, 2012 1:17 PM

    No disrespect to the B1G or any other conference, but from an audience and from a success (and thus ranking) standpoint, it would appear that the SEC Project would exceed the B1G or others. Though not seeing the figures that ESPN and the SEC has and no knowing what they are exactly dealing with, I would expect this third tier network to be more lucrative than any others.

    Certainly, the expansion of the SEC with its two new schools and geographical audiences is a bonus, but the amount of championships which reside in the SEC and have over the past decades. Football is certainly the cash cow, but to fill the air time, there are a huge number of other highly ranked and championship teams in many sports which would be far too numerous to get into at this time.

    Just a few…if you want women’s gymnastics (the most popular sport at the Summer Olympics by far), it is Georgia and Alabama. If you want track, its TAMU and LSU. If you want baseball, its South Carolina and LSU, etc.

  2. hardballtalkusername says: Sep 18, 2012 1:48 PM

    Great so the coverage and bias of the SEC on the regular ESPN network’s will increase even more. Sigh.

  3. dgutley says: Sep 18, 2012 2:30 PM

    No disrespect taken, but from what I understand, the B10 markets are numerically larger — hence, more revenue. Yes, you put a beat down on us lately and we must do better; but the B10 markets are generally larger.

    Having said that, more SECSPN bias yet again with another network?

  4. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Sep 18, 2012 2:54 PM

    You know what people down South call those people that accuses ESPN of SEC bias?
    Haters and whiners and sore losers.
    Don’t demand for respect and attention, earn it!!

  5. normtide says: Sep 18, 2012 3:18 PM

    The third tier football games will still carry this network. If you rate markets by college football ratings, the SEC footprint is tops in the nation. In fact, B’ham is #1 across the country. Factor in that B1G markets are shrinking and southern markets are growing, and I can see the SEC Network surpassing any other. Not to mention, southern sport fans are more college biased.

  6. emeraldcityfan says: Sep 18, 2012 3:21 PM

    Southernpatriots
    Actually espn only wants the SEC for football. If you want womens gymnastics or track, you want the Pacific 12 Network. If the Pac were a country this past Olympics we would have placed 4th ahead of Germany with 45 medals. It’s not even close. Now SEC football, that’s a didn’t story.

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