Auburn vs. Arkansas Season Opener to Air on SEC Network

Sean Frye@Sean_E_FryeFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2014

Dec 6, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA;  Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn addresses the media at a press conference the day before his team faces the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's new SEC Network will get to broadcast the season opener of the defending conference champions. 

The Auburn athletics Twitter feed announced that the new cable channel will broadcast the Tigers' matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks on August 30. No kickoff time has been set yet. 

The announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise at this point. According to Ryan Black of the Ledger-Enquirer, the network had already announced that SEC Nation, the network's pregame show, would broadcast from the Auburn campus. 

For those unfamiliar with the SEC Network, ESPN president John Skipper and SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced a 20-year agreement to form the network in early May 2013, per Charles Odum of The Associated Press. The SEC Network will operate similarly to the Longhorn Network in that it will be under ESPN's family of networks. 

ESPN president John Skipper (left) and SEC commissioner Mike Slive (right) announce the formation of the SEC Network.
ESPN president John Skipper (left) and SEC commissioner Mike Slive (right) announce the formation of the SEC Network.John Amis

According to Odum, the network is planning to broadcast over 1,000 live events in its first year across the conference's 21 sports. That number will include approximately 45 SEC football games. 

For Auburn and Arkansas fans looking to watch their team's season kick off this fall, currently only two major television providers carry the SEC Network. They are AT&T U-Verse and Dish Network. According to the SEC Network website, the network's programming will not be available to stream on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app. 

Auburn is coming off an appearance in the national title game, while the Razorbacks are reeling from a 3-9 season that ended with a nine-game losing streak. 

It will also be the second time that second-year head coach Gus Malzahn faces off against Bret Bielema's Razorbacks. Last season, the Tigers upended Arkansas 35-17 behind 168 rushing yards from Tre Mason. 

Expect the Tigers to be heavily favored going into their season opener, but you never truly know who the favorite is with how wild SEC football can be.