SEC TV: Why?

Maybe it’s just the contrarian in me, but I’m not sure what the point of the SEC starting its own TV network is. Sure, the Mountain West and the Big Ten have their shiny new toys, but there’s a big difference between those two conferences and the SEC: only the latter has a national TV contract. Why give that up to migrate to pay TV? Especially when you consider that…

The league had 48 conference football games last season. All but nine were broadcast live by their current TV partners. [Emphasis added.] The SEC made $43 million from televised football last season.

Keep in mind that’s coming off of contracts that expire after this year. What do you figure the odds are that the new contracts blow past the $7 million per year each team in the Big Ten gets under their contracts?  Particularly considering that the you-know-what wants to get in the hen house, so to speak.

A number of suitors have indicated that they would be more than willing to help the SEC with its distribution issues. Atlanta-based FSN South, which also owns SportSouth, already has the infrastructure in place as it reaches 21 million homes in SEC territory.

“I will simply say that we are interested in discussing whatever TV model the SEC decides to pursue,” said Jeff Genthner, the senior vice-president of FSN South.

Slive is certainly in an enviable position – “stay tuned”, indeed.

On the other hand, the Orlando Sentinel’s Tim Stephens urges Slive to think bigReally big.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

2 responses to “SEC TV: Why?

  1. Derek

    My understanding is that the proposed SEC TV idea would not impact the national coverage that CBS and ESPN provide. The odd man out would be the SEC’s regional television partner, Raycom. I think the idea is to show all of the SEC football games at least regionally, i.e., no pay-per-view. In addition, they could then play all of the other SEC sports on TV year round. Doesn’t everyone want to watch the equistrian team? Anyway, the only concern seems to be making sure that all of the regional cable companies will pick the network up as part of a basic cable program. I think this will get done and in the end it will be a good thing for the conference and the fans.


  2. San Antonio Dawg

    I thought we already had SEC tv – isn’t it called CBS?

    Seriously, if CBS would just start a morning preview show like GameDay (which would obviously focus on the SEC) I would be in heaven. Then my only complaint would be our crappy games being on Comcast PPV.