Jon Solomon has a detailed breakdown of what’s coming down the turnpike with the launching of the SEC Network here. Key paragraphs:
Bevilacqua said he believes the SEC missed a big opportunity several years ago by negotiating longterm deals with ESPN and CBS that everybody now knows were fairly under-market deals.
“At the time, they looked like they were fully-valued deals,” he said. “But it’s fair to say the market accelerated forward and has changed quite dramatically. As a result of those deals, the SEC has to deal with ESPN in a non-free agency matter. It’s very difficult because ESPN has the leverage of 15 years worth of future rights to have the preferred structural outcome.”
Which is why history is about to repeat itself with the SEC signing another long-term broadcast deal with the WWL. The conference may have the product, but the networks have the contracts.
Considering what the last set of deals brought us – a round of expansion that the conference is currently struggling with on the scheduling front – who knows what we’ll wind up with this time around. Just remember Mike Slive’s hole card.
“The SEC is noted for the loyalty and support from its fans, who are a passionate audience,” Pilson said.
It’s a comfort to know we’ll always be there for him.