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Slive: SEC Network announcement coming in April

Mike Slive AP

Talked about and speculated on for a year or more, the SEC Network is about to take its biggest step yet toward becoming a reality.

Commissioner Mike Slive confirmewd to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports Thursday that a formal announcement regarding the creation of the SEC Network is expected to be made in mid-April.  Slive stated that the conference’s focus right now is on the league’s and the NCAA’s basketball tournaments, after which details regarding the highly-anticipated network will be unveiled.

It’s believed that the SEC Network will officially launch in August of 2014 — “after the expiration of current third-tier TV rights contracts” Forde writes — although a more definitive timeline will likely be detailed next month.  It’s also believed that ESPN — as in the Big Ten/FOX marriage — will be a heavily-invested partner in the venture.

In the most recent update to what’s previously been labeled “Project X,” the Sports Business Journal reported there were three issues that were close to being resolved, including obtaining local TV rights from current conference members.  Those rights are currently held by the likes of IMG College, Learfield Sports and CBS Collegiate Sports Properties.

Last September, the SBJ wrote that “[t]he Pac-12 had to go through similar negotiations with the rights holders when it started its networks. The league eventually agreed to pay $100 million over eight years to get those local TV rights back.”  The website predicted that the SEC would have to shell out even more to obtain the local rights than did the Pac-12.

Regardless of the amount of money the SEC must fork over on the front end to obtain those rights, the back end will likely be flush with cash.

In May of last year, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork was quoted as saying that “the SEC Network will be every bit as big as the Big Ten Network” financially, a projection with which most analysts agree.  The past two years, each member of the Big Ten outside of Nebraska — as a “new” member, the Cornhuskers are not yet entitled to a full share — received $7.2 million and $7.9 million from the conference’s network alone.  That number is expected to at least double to the neighborhood of $15 million annually per member by 2027.

Thanks to the increased conference footprint with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, being on par with the Big Ten Network might be setting the bar a tad low for the SEC’s version.  Come next month, though, we may have a better idea exactly how far into the financial stratosphere the SEC Network will climb.

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32 Responses to “Slive: SEC Network announcement coming in April”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Mar 14, 2013 3:19 PM

    The SEC Network will eclipse the B1G Network for many reasons, but that will be proven soon enough. From this and other revenue sources, SEC schools should not be in financial difficulty if they exercise just a little wisdom.

  2. Deb says: Mar 14, 2013 3:26 PM

    Conference networks are moneymakers, and I’m sure Slive has made a profitable deal for the SEC. Beyond that, I don’t pay much attention to this stuff. But if it might mean some relief from Gary Danielson … yeehaa!

  3. cometkazie says: Mar 14, 2013 3:35 PM

    C’mon Deb, we’re just bored there is no real news, just this off-season stuff.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Mar 14, 2013 5:43 PM

    Are the AGGIES going to bolt from the conference….again?

  5. Deb says: Mar 14, 2013 6:17 PM

    @cometkazie …

    What’d I say? Just pointing out why I can’t make some deeply thoughtful comment on this issue … because I don’t keep up with this stuff.

    Hey … it’s like the newsiest time of the year for NFL fans … and the time when Steelers fans are most likely to beat their heads bloody on their keyboards. Enjoy Keenan Lewis, who just left us to sign with the Saints. Very fine corner. Wish we could have kept him. Sigh.

  6. cometkazie says: Mar 14, 2013 7:12 PM

    Deb, I liked it better when college sports, esp football, were sports and not businesses.

    As I grow older, the bottom line becomes more and more apparent, that bothers me, and I spend less time in front of the boob tube.

  7. Deb says: Mar 14, 2013 8:05 PM

    Ah, cometkazie, don’t kid yourself. They were always businesses.

  8. drummerhoff says: Mar 14, 2013 9:14 PM

    I smell a conference expanding in the near future.

    If Missouri makes you money image what North Carolina and maybe Virginia will do for the SEC’s coffers. I bet Slive is the first to 16…. And that’s the moral of this TV network story. Don’t ya think?

  9. cometkazie says: Mar 14, 2013 9:49 PM

    Deb says:
    Mar 14, 2013 8:05 PM
    Ah, cometkazie, don’t kid yourself. They were always businesses.
    +-+-+

    Not when Pepsodent Paul and Cholly Mac were coaching. ;)

    Mebbe so, but it wasn’t so blatant.

  10. alligatorsnapper says: Mar 14, 2013 9:52 PM

    Good point, drummerhoff, about maybe NC or VA. There are some other teams that may be able to do well for the SEC.

    I think economics is the biggest factor, but not the only factor. It appears Slive is also interested in getting schools having superb academic research departments and such. Maybe I am reading too much into the addition of the Aggies and Tigers, but they are both in the AAU.

  11. drummerhoff says: Mar 14, 2013 9:59 PM

    @ alligator

    I agree. It wouldn’t surprise me if Slive goes after UNC or Duke and UVa.

  12. sssjim7 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:21 PM

    Nah… with the money the SEC will be raking in, I think they will go after OHIO STATE and MICHIGAN and crush the B10… ROFLMAO:)

  13. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Mar 15, 2013 12:19 AM

    Hey Deb,
    Thanks for K. Lewis to the Saints !! Love it.

  14. deadeye says: Mar 15, 2013 1:06 AM

    @drummerhoff

    You are quite right to list UNC, UVA, and Duke as possible SEC targets. Unfortunately for Slive, UVA will most likely go to the BIG10, so the most desired combo of UNC/UVA will not materialize. However, Slive still has a shot at UNC/Duke.

    Delany will take UVA when the Maryland lawsuit is resolved.

  15. sssjim7 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:25 AM

    The SEC should crush the B1G now…

    The SEC announced they are bringing their new SEC network on-line in August. They expect to make at least as much as the B1G to start, and will probably make more. Honestly, the B1G is two teams… Ohio State and Michigan. If the SEC offered membership to Ohio State and Michigan, the SEC network would own the B1G footprint as well. I doubt very few cable subscribers will pay extra for the SEC network and the B1G network, so most will make a choice. If the SEC took Ohio State and Michigan, the B1G would be gutted. How many people would pay to watch Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Rutgers, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Penn State*? Now how many people would pay to watch Ohio State and Michigan play LSU, Alabama, Florida, SC, Georgia, Texas A&M, Auburn, etc?

    I know which network I would subscribe to. But why would Ohio State and Michigan join the SEC? The money would be equal or better, for one thing. The football SOS would increase dramatically. The schools main rivals are each other (which is why they would be taken as a pair – they loose practically nothing).

    The SEC TV contracts would jump by leaps and bounds. The B1G TV contract would fall like a rock. Ohio State and Michigan would benefit from the growing southern demographics, be able to schedule warm weather games in November, keep their main rivals, and make a lot more money. The SEC would gain penetration to the cable TV sets in Ohio and Michigan (the majority of the B1G’s revenue base).

    The B1G would then be the third or fourth strongest conference. Only Nebraska and Penn State* would remain as power programs. The SEC would have their 16 teams and be set.

    This seems like the smart thing for the SEC to do. I honestly see no downfalls…???

    Comments?

    Just my .02
    Jim

  16. sssjim7 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:25 AM

    Oops… SEC network in April, not August… not sure what I was thinking there… sorry!

  17. alligatorsnapper says: Mar 15, 2013 8:45 AM

    sssjim7:

    You sure have an interesting and thought provoking suggestion about the Buckeyes and Wolverines. I know the patriarch in southernpatriots has been working on the LSU AAD about scheduling Michigan and with Ohio State on the upsurge that would be good schedule as well. However, those two schools are traditionally associated with others in that region, even when the other schools aren’t performing so well in football. These conferences involve far more than football, and even far more than football, basketball, and baseball. There is a lot of academic co-operation, faculty relationships, etc.

    The SEC would have to change its name, which I know the original schools will not easily do. It has been one of the most consistent and constant, secure associations for several generations now. They will approach further expansion with great care.

  18. alligatorsnapper says: Mar 15, 2013 8:49 AM

    thecrazyasianinseccountry:

    Lewis is a good pickup. The Saints need all the help they can get, especially on the worst defense in NFL history last season. Ugh. It almost makes me sick to post that. It is nauseating.

    By the way, what do you think about Coach Miles getting his old time buddy and office mate, Cam Cameron to be LSU OC?

  19. idratherbeinsouthbend says: Mar 15, 2013 10:47 AM

    I’ll admit that I’m going to enjoy watching all of the football and some of the basketball…hopefully we get a good selection of SEC baseball too.

    What will i hate? Probably the 30-40 Honey Boo Boo promos per day and the “We’re sorry we keep spilling oil” commercials from BP

  20. darkbluegarage says: Mar 15, 2013 12:23 PM

    On the SEC expanding to 16 teams:

    The obvious choice in the East would be Clemson, large stadium, rabid fans, and a great game day atmosphere.

    The West, that’s a little tougher since most of the likely candidates are in the East (would hate to see the SEC get geography convoluted like other conferences). perhaps Ohio State if we could get them. But I think Meyer may want to stay in the BIG10 where he has a better chance of going undefeated!

  21. alligatorsnapper says: Mar 15, 2013 2:05 PM

    darkbluegarage: I think you have a great point about Meyer. Meyer definitely first hand knows the difficulty of the SEC schedule. I don’t think he will like or allow rejoining that gauntlet.

    Clemson seems to be a choice being advanced by some. Some nuts back at the SEC state there is a gentlemen’s agreement not to allow 2 teams from one state, but that is stupid. They have done it throughout the history of the SEC, but don’t want to do it now. They have Alabama and Auburn; then Georgia Tech and Georgia; they have Vanderbilt and Tennessee, and Miss. State and Ole Miss, and had Tulane and LSU. Another group of schools quote this agreement in opposition. Usually, those opposition voices are from one or more of the schools who currently face another SEC school in their state.

  22. deadeye says: Mar 15, 2013 7:42 PM

    “Clemson seems to be a choice being advanced by some. Some nuts back at the SEC state there is a gentlemen’s agreement not to allow 2 teams from one state, but that is stupid. They have done it throughout the history of the SEC, but don’t want to do it now.”

    ======================

    @alligatorsnapper

    It’s not stupid for the SEC to ignore Clemson, their revenue model is based on having one large university from each state. Yes, Bama/Auburn, Tennessee/Vandy, and Ole Miss/Miss State all share their state, but they are long standing members who joined during a differrent era. Going forward it’s all about the TV revenue.

    The two states Slive wants into are Virginia and North Carolina. If the ACC dissipates, the SEC will take one of UVA/VT and one of UNC/NCST. If UNC insists on having Duke, the SEC would most likely comply and take UNC/Duke.

  23. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 15, 2013 7:44 PM

    ACC is solid as long as ND is in the league.

    UVA is very viable as an option. I do not see NC and NC State going to the SEC unless a package deal. Clemson doesn’t bring anything to the table that the SEC already has, TV market share.

    The Big 12 has nothing that the SEC already has, and the SEC doesn’t need any team from the Big 12. Given the recent conference TV contract that inhibits movement,I cannot see a school such as OU leaving their TV rights behind w the Big 12.

    It will all shake out over the next 18 months.

    Let’s just say that the money to be made by the SEC will make conference commissioners do a double take. Even Deloss will envy what the SEC will command.

  24. sssjim7 says: Mar 15, 2013 9:35 PM

    I still think the B1G is vulnerable… Ohio is contiguous with Kentucky (it is only a 3 1/2 hr drive from Lexington to Columbus).

    Looking at demographics, the B1G is desperate to expand into growing regions. The schools in the south will have all the advantages in 10-20 years (population growth, jobs, economy). Right now, Ohio State and Michigan are carrying their conference and putting in WAY more than they are getting back. If you read the comments of their fans, they desparately want to compete with the Alabamas and LSUs… they are past the point of being satisfied with beating the illini 70-3. They WANT to compete and be recognized as being among the best. They can’t do that being tied to an 8 game conference schedule that only has 2-3 legitimate national contenders each year. They were besides themselves when Rutgers and Maryland were added… two more lower BCS teams they will roll over.

    Losing in those big bowl games really upset them. They weren’t even competitive after running through their conference. Their fans want to play with the best.

    I don’t believe it is such a stretch to think they wouldn’t jump to the SEC. The only real rivalry they have is Michigan, and if Michigan came with them, the B1G would be in serious hurt.

    The ACC is too weak and a long way from starting their own network. It is in the SEC’s interest to leave them alone (or partner with them for scheduling). If the SEC added ACC games to the SEC network, they would own the entire south and east part of the country. They would make plenty enough to give the ACC teams some cash and keep them happy. No competition. No way would any team leave either conference. The PAC is too far away, and the Big 12 is not a threat to them.

    By taking Ohio State and Michigan, all the SEC states would be contiguous (touching each other). They would form an upside down T running from the center of the south upward and east/west from Alabama (the center of the SEC). If they did a 4 pod system, Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky would make a nice, tight North pod. USC, Georgia, Florida and Auburn would make a close East Pod. Alabama, Vanderbuilt, Mississipi and Missouri could be the South or Central pod, and LSU, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Arkansas could be the West Pod. All close enough together to make for nice, easily traveled away games for the fans.

    ESPN would make a lot more money. The SEC would make a lot more money. Ohio State and Michigan would make a lot more money. ALL of the teams would up their SOS for the coming playoffs.

    And any threat of the B1G expanding would be eliminated. ESPN’s investment in the ACC would be safe.

    I still think this would be what I would do if I were in charge of the SEC.

    Still interested in other comments…

    Just my .02
    ~Jim

  25. John Taylor says: Mar 15, 2013 10:50 PM

    I don’t normally like interjecting myself into these types of discussions, but…

    “I still think the B1G is vulnerable…”

    You didn’t type that on purpose, did you? Or with a straight face?

    I mean, my goodness.

  26. suprmous says: Mar 16, 2013 3:16 AM

    In mentioning Gary Danielson you’ll have to add his sidekick as well. Those 2 are about as biased as they come and never in the history of the game has there ever been anybody else so easily able to be picked out of a crowd of predjusticed announcers than those 2. Even with all of his excitement Bob Neal in Atlanta doesn’t rank compared to Vernie and Danielson. God forgive me but I’d like to think they’d bring somebody else in to do play by play.

  27. imaduffer says: Mar 16, 2013 12:08 PM

    The real losers will be the SEC fans that don’t subscribe to cable or dish networks. The games they use to watch with the rabbit ears won’t be on their local channels.

  28. apmn says: Mar 16, 2013 12:15 PM

    “These conferences involve far more than football, and even far more than football, basketball, and baseball. There is a lot of academic co-operation, faculty relationships, etc.”

    Wrong, alligatorsnapper. Academic co-operation and faculty relationships have NOTHING to do with athletic conference alignment.

  29. waynefontes says: Mar 16, 2013 1:10 PM

    Clemson is really a school who is SEC at heart but is in the ACC. They would be a great addition to the conference.

  30. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 16, 2013 3:46 PM

    UNC and UVA makes the most sense. Are UVA and UNC enjoined from leaving a conference by VT and NC St?

  31. Deb says: Mar 16, 2013 4:07 PM

    Yep, suprmous, Danielson can take Verne along with him. Gary just gets on my nerves more because he never shuts up. At least Verne pauses to take a breath occasionally.

    @thecrazyasian …

    Lewis is a good player and should be a benefit to the Saints. But I expect your defense overall will improve this season regardless. Last year was an anomaly for the Saints. Payton will right that ship.

  32. takingbovadasmoney says: Mar 19, 2013 6:28 PM

    Let’s not forget the after hours programing, 6 hours of Incest is Best!

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