The voice of the SEC is staying home, according to a report. Dan Wolken of USA Today reports Paul Finebaum will sign a new contract with ESPN to remain a fixture on SEC Network and a contributor to ESPN’s college football coverage.
Finebaum was already expected to be on hand at SEC media days next week in Atlanta as the future of Finebaum’s media career was in some question. While ESPN may be looking for ways to trim the budget where it can over the years, it was never likely to let the possibility of Finebaum leaving the network to become a reality. Finebaum is a major asset to the SEC Network and ESPN, and letting him go to a competitor in the industry would have been a tough blow to the SEC Network’s weekday programming.
Fox and the Big Ten Network were previously reported to be looking to make a major sales pitch to Finebaum. Landing Finebaum from ESPN and the SEC Network would have been a tremendous victory for FOX, FOX Sports 1, and the Big Ten Network. But in the end, Finebaum just seems to belong where he is today.
Per Wolken, the official announcement of Finebaum’s contract could be made sometime on Friday. It would certainly make sense to have this announcement made before the SEC media days get started on Monday.