“We could have a 3:30 ABC game and a game on SEC Network at 4 and a game on ESPN at 4…”

Say goodbye, folks.

ESPN and the SEC announced Thursday that they have reached a 10-year deal beginning in 2024 that will make the network the exclusive rights holder of SEC football and men’s basketball.

The deal provides the network, including ABC, up to 15 premier football games, including the SEC championship game and rivalry games such as AlabamaAuburn and FloridaGeorgia.

… Beginning in 2024, ABC will air an SEC game every week, including a regular late-afternoon kickoff, and will have the option to feature an SEC game on ABC’s Saturday Night Football for the first time.

“So Saturday night, prime time on ABC is the highest profile window, the biggest stage in terms of college football. And we love the fact that we can now bring the ABC platform into the mix, starting in 2024,” Pitaro told The Associated Press.

So, looks like we’ll be swapping Gary for Herbie.  Be still, my heart.

Anyway, we know why this deal is going down.

The SEC’s 10-year contract with ESPN/ABC will allow member schools to make an even larger financial investment in athletics and trigger the next round of battles between the Big Ten and SEC for dominance of the college sports landscape, increasing the possibility the two leagues leave the rest of the Power Five in the dust.

ESPN/ABC will pay the SEC “in the low $300 million range” annually, according to Sports Business Journal, a significant increase on the $55 million the league makes per year from its contract with CBS.

“More money for buyouts,” thought Jimmy Sexton, as he headed off to bed last night.

48 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

48 responses to ““We could have a 3:30 ABC game and a game on SEC Network at 4 and a game on ESPN at 4…”

  1. The Saturday night spot on ABC isn’t the highest profile spot. Whenever the SEC game off the week is will always be the biggest game of the week.

    What’s the incremental revenue over the current contracts? That’s the number to focus on.

    I doubt we get Fowler and Herbstreit as often as you think (not that I want them). I bet Todd Blackledge is going to be coming back.

    Does this mean we may get a Cocktail Party and an Iron Bowl in prime time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      Todd Blackledge would be good. I’m just about over that dagger he gave us in NO. Joe Tessitore is pretty good and he has zero cares to give about what he says in the booth.

      Can’t really stand smug Chris Fowler and Herbie is the definition of verbal diarrhea. Just constantly talking. Won’t shut up.

      Liked by 2 people

    • godawgs1701

      I really, really don’t want the WLOCP to be an automatic 8:00 PM game every year. It’s pretty much a perfect day when it’s at 3:30.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gaskilldawg

    Interesting question as to the Cocktail Party. The 2002 game was an ESPN night game. After that weekend the City of Jacksonville and the 2 University presidents agreed to not play another at night.
    Interesting to see if 22 years later different administrations have different views.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The reason they played at night, Gaskill, was ESPN. Mickey doesn’t give a damn about what the presidents say. If Mickey wants them to play at night or at noon, Morehead and Fuchs will say, “Yes, boss.”

      Just my thought, but Disney isn’t shelling out this money to be told by the presidents when they’ll play or not.

      Like

    • 79dawg

      I doubt it. I don’t think the issue is what happens immediately adjacent to the stadium, as much as it is about what happens a little further out – where we park northeast of the stadium, there are almost no street lights, and we have seen some extremely volatile/potentially very dangerous situations walking back to the car after the game – could not imagine doing it at midnight….

      Liked by 2 people

      • You could make the case what you’re describing is every major professional sports venue in the country. It isn’t just Jacksonville.

        By the way, I don’t think the game will be in prime time annually. Mickey is going to consider putting the game in prime time at some point.

        I think it’s funny that $ankey is saying the league will have more leverage over game times earlier in the year. No way will Mickey agree up front to that.

        Like

        • 79dawg

          Eh, I think the fact that there are two large fanbases there (and lots of people partying without tickets), most people are out-of-towners, and people have been drinking non-stop all day, are things you don’t have at most other venues. I’ve parked west of Northside at the Dome/Benz plenty of times, but never had any issues or been even moderately scared or concerned…

          Liked by 1 person

    • Teacher Martin

      Let’s move it home and home.

      Like

  3. Get used to the idea that you will be paying a additional monthly subscription specifically to watch premium SEC football games.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 79dawg

      Already moving a non-con game to ESPN+…
      The market is going backwards – I can remember watching lots of games on PPV back in the last ’80s/early ’90s…

      Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      Yep. As a fan of the EPL, we went from needing to have NBC Sports Network to watch a full weekend of matches to needing NBCSN and NBCSN GOLD to now essentially needing Peacock and getting 1 game on each of Sat/Sun/Mon on NBCSN. Peacock is something like $10/month. Last year the North London Derby would have been the centerpiece of NBCSN’s EPL Weekend – now with one of the teams (me, smiling) at the top of the table, they put it on Peacock.

      At least we’ll be able to package ESPN+ with Disney+, but the a la carte model is not going to be as good as it could be, that’s for sure.

      There’s always illegal streams.

      Like

      • Using EPL to push for Peacock really annoys me — I had gotten hooked on watching games instead of the interminable dreck that was Gameday and could count on Liverpool being on almost whenever they had a game. But this season?

        Like

        • 79dawg

          It’s brutal.
          The content providers (ESPN, NBC, etc.) jack up prices on the cable companies, the cable companies jack up prices to consumers, consumers start cutting the cord in response, content providers revenue goes down, in response content providers create streaming platforms, move their content onto them and then charge more than they were getting from the cable companies.
          All the content providers had to do was stop extracting “so much” from cable companies and consumers, and they wouldn’t have had to invest so much in creating these streaming apps and deal with all the disruption. The circular “logic” is just assinine….

          Like

          • Tony BarnFart

            I hate the current landscape. I still have and want to keep my traditional cable package, one that I have added a decent amount of extra$ to I might add. It’s almost like they have totally surrendered that segment though and are forcing me into a world that will probably give them less revenue at the end while making my viewing experience less convenient. I would literally rather pay $200/month for a cable subscription (if it actually had any depth to its sports offerings) than have 10 $10 subscriptions and passwords and synced logins I have to keep up with. So annoying.

            Like

            • 79dawg

              The efficiency is why i am stupidly holding on as well – price never goes down, even though they keep pulling content off…
              Think about how many millions they spent on consultants to tell them to do this and billions they’ve spent on development, all to solve a “problem” they created.

              Like

      • I am pretty sure that EPL games have been subscription only in England for several years. That is why they raised complete hell and were arresting people over Kodi over there back when it worked so well. I remember that an English bar owner had to pay huge fines in one instance. Just in the last year they moved our coverage of Champions League to the CBS pay site. Before it was standard cable on Fox Sports, and I enjoyed watching the games. In my opinion we are a short distance away from all major conference college games being behind a pay wall.

        Like

  4. hertyfield

    $300MM!!! That means like (counts on fingers), like 20 more offensive consultants/football analysts. If they were smart, that would start setting that money aside for the inevitable player participation. I know, it sounded funny as I was writing it.

    Like

  5. Remember the Quincy

    I’ve been reading about the current CBS contract, and it’s unlikely renewal, for a couple of years now. I was under the impression that it expires after this season. Is that not correct? I don’t recall ever seeing that it went through the 2023 season.

    Like

  6. Ran A

    I think this is too early… Leaving money on the table

    Liked by 2 people

    • stoopnagle

      Bingo. We’re going to get to ’24 and the B1G is going one up Sankey. This is the way.

      Like

      • theotherdoug

        Sure, but this insures it’s the SEC and Big10 getting the lionshare of the TV revenue.

        The real losers from this deal are the PAC, ACC, and Big12 teams. I can’t wait for Larry Scott to spin this into a raise and an extension.

        Like

  7. 79dawg

    Not a fan, having one network to yourself was pretty unique, IMO (although I do feel sometimes like Fox is the Ohio State network….), and the CBS production value is head and shoulders above anything ESPN does outside of the playofff games. Anyone who thinks there will be anything “special” about SEC games on ESPN after the second or third year (I’m looking at you Greg!), is kidding themselves…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. akascuba

    My first thought is ABC trying to move WLOCP from 3:30 to 8:00pm. Its my hope that never happens. It was really ugly last time and people dont seem to get along as well these days.
    Beyond that hiccup the the more SEC games on national networks the better. The the cord cutting and rapidly changing streaming landscape I hope the SEC has an opt out clause if needed.

    Like

  9. “Sankey said moving the SEC’s media rights under one roof will allow the conference to set start times for more games much farther out. “I think more than half of our games we can set up [kickoff times] during the summer,” Sankey told The AP.”

    This sounds good to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      They also said they want to honor tradition, as to kick off times. IE LSU at night whenever possible, etc…this also means I doubt you’ll be seeing the Cocktail Party at 8 PM.

      Like

      • So, LSU gets the advantage of having as many games as possible at night on the Bayou because of tradition.

        I guess that means we’ll be asking for as many noon spots as possible because that’s the Georgia Way.

        Like

        • PTC DAWG

          Old school UGA fans like 1 PM….2PM has the most starts of any time in Sanford. I don’t think it’s a constant across the board to please one school, ie LSU…just something they mentioned on the broadcast. But yeah, night games at LSU are special for sure. I’ve been to three.

          Liked by 1 person

          • 3:30 is the best time. Night games after that.

            Since the lights went up, any start before 3:00 is a snooze fest. In today’s world, the earlier you play in the SEC, the less your game means unless you’re in the CBS 3:30 slot.

            The 1 pm and 2 pm starts back in the day were purely because we couldn’t really play later than that especially once DST ended.

            Liked by 1 person

            • 79dawg

              I like 5 o’clock starts in September, 3:30/4 in November – starting in the warm sun, watching the sun set over the bridge, and finishing in colder dusk/dark is where its at….

              Liked by 1 person

            • PTC DAWG

              No doubt, I went to many a game before the lights were even thought about…I think I was at the first one with the temp lights..was that vs Clemson? Monday night?

              Like

    • Russ

      That’s a benefit I hadn’t really thought about. I’m out of the area so it doesn’t affect me but I can see how this would be big for those south Georgia Dawgs making travel plans.

      Like

  10. stoopnagle

    Well, they got more money. My thoughts: happiest person in the world right now is Jimmy Sexton; ESPN already put the Egg Bowl and Iron Bowl on at the same time this year with limited inventory, I can’t wait to have to choose between which SEC games I want to watch when they’re all on at the same time; Brad Nessler is The Best & I hope this means he gets back together with Todd Blackledge to do the SEC GOW; ESPN shows ACC, XII, and Pac-12, too. Now the SEC will share that space with the other leagues. This isn’t going to be the same, exclusivity SEC had with CBS; ESPN drives the playoff, it drove conference re-alignment, and now it has all the SEC inventory and that’s supposed to be good?; I pray to Jesus that Sankey at least convinced them to not show the bottom line during the best SEC games. If they can give us that 10% of the screen to see the game for the NFL, then they can at least let us have it for one SEC game; they have got to spread the games out as much as they can, I’m not sure they did a good job of that in ’20. Whatever. I just want to be able to go to games again.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. More Beth Mowins…be still my heart and pass the earplugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Won’t miss Gary, but there’s no way whatever music ESPN/ABC comes up with will match the SEC on CBS theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Teacher Martin

    It’s a long time off, but ABC isn’t being shown on Dish Network right now. Could you imagine the outcry if the SEC game of the Week isn’t shown?

    Like

  14. Ace Harris

    My favorite thing on the TV is the mute button. I would rather listen to a dog howl than Herbie and Fowler. I can see what is happening why do I need those two talking heads to reiterate it, especially Herbie!!!

    Like