The recent trend of college football conferences getting their own television networks has finally reached the Southeastern Conference.
According to Michael Smith and John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the SEC and ESPN are nearing a deal that would launch a new network for the conference in August 2014.
Via Sports Business Daily:
The SEC’s negotiations with ESPN about a new channel are nearing their final stages, and a glimpse inside the talks reveals that three issues are close to being resolved before the channel’s expected launch in August 2014.
As Smith and Ourand report, there are still some hurdles that are yet to be overcome. Those are minor obstacles, mostly relating to local television contracts, which should be resolved with more than enough time for the network's debut.
According to Smith and Ourand, ESPN is unlikely to partner with another media entity on the SEC Network. Media conglomerate Comcast, the largest cable service provider in the United States, had approached ESPN earlier this year about a partnership.
For the SEC, this network should create yet another huge source of revenue for the already-wealthy conference. The conference's football prestige should put both sides of the agreement into a position of power with cable and satellite providers.
The SEC has won the last six BCS national championships. Not having this network would put any cable or satellite provider at a major disadvantage with football-hungry consumers.
For ESPN, this is its second foray into such an agreement, the first being with the University of Texas to create the Longhorn Network (via OrangeBloods.com).
As for the fans, this should be yet another avenue to watch more college sports—and that's never a bad thing.