The launch of the SEC Network was widely expected to be a much smoother ride than almost any other sports network of its kind had traveled, especially the Big Ten Network. Aided by the support of ESPN, the SEC Network was given a luxury model to take on the sports network freeway, and some interesting numbers from one report suggest everything is paying off as expected for the SEC.
Clay Travis of FOX Sports crunched numbers related to sports television networks and the revenue they generate through monthly subscribers. According to the numbers shared by Travis, the SEC Network generates $547.3 million through subscriptions for the fifth highest total in the sports television industry. What about other conference networks?
The Big Ten Network pumps out a little less than $300 million ($290.2 million). The Pac-12 Network generates just $57.6 million as it continues its battles to get in more homes. ESPNU, ESPN’s college-themed network, brings in $198 million. The SEC Network alone almost beats out all three combined. Impressive.
For years Big Ten schools have been on the receiving end of some generous conference revenue splits in large part due to the Big Ten Network. Once SEC schools start getting their slices of the SEC Network pie, the balance of financial power will begin to swing in favor of the SEC.
This goes to show how powerful an ally ESPN can be when it comes to media rights and deals. ESPN got started with a more focused network approach in helping to launch The Longhorn Network. ESPN has the strongest connections in the cable game, which is why ESPN is at the top of the subscriber revenue list by a wide margin ($7.5 billion with NFL Network a distant second with $1.16 billion).