Report: The SEC is looking to start its own network
SEC will begin restructuring its media rights deal with CBS and ESPN in a few weeks, and the launch of the SEC Network is on the agenda.
As you'd expect, given the television deals that have gone to the Pac-12 and the Big 12 in the last year, the SEC will be looking for more money from both ESPN and CBS for the right to broadcast games, though that's not the end goal here.
According to Sports Business Daily(subscription), the SEC is once again looking into the idea of starting its own SEC Network, much like the Big Ten currently has.
The 14-team conference has been negotiating with both networks this year after the SEC expanded with TNow while the SEC seems determined to have its own network, what we don't know is what kind of role the conference will play in the television station. With the Big Ten Network, the Big Ten itself owns 49% of the network and shares the revenue with Fox.
exas A&Mand Missouri. That triggered a clause in the SEC’s deal that allows the league to go back to the negotiating table with its partners, just as the ACC recently renegotiated its media contract with ESPN after its own expansion with Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The bigger negotiation is with ESPN, and talks appear to revolve around an SEC-branded cable channel that could launch as early as 2014. ESPN’s current arrangement with the SEC — negotiated in 2008 — pays an average of $150 million a year over 15 years.
It's unknown whether this is the model the SEC would like to pursue with ESPN, or if the SEC would sell all it's rights to ESPN, much like Texas did with the Longhorn Network. Then there's the way the Pac-12 went with its television deal, where the conference owns all of its regional networks.
Whatever path the SEC chooses, the network can't begin before 2014 because that's when ESPN will get back the syndication rights of SEC games it sold to regional sports networks.
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