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ESPN Pays $2.25 Billion For SEC Rights

Mark AmentContributor IIAugust 26, 2008

Remember all the talk about a new SEC Network that was in all the papers during the SEC meetings back in the summer? Well, you can forget about that now.

ESPN just agreed to pay the South Eastern Conference a whopping $2.25 billion, yes with a "B" over the next 15 years for the conference's TV rights not already taken by CBS, to televise their football, basketball and baseball games and tournaments.

Combined with the 15 year, $55 million deal just announced with CBS, this brings the total to about $205 million per year or a little over $17 million per school, per year.

This deal effectively kills not only any discussion of a SEC network (that would now be ESPN) but eliminates the syndicated package previously held by Raycom. ESPN Regional will handle the regional syndication package previously handled by Raycom.

This deal is very similar to previously announced deals by ESPN and CBS with the Big East, which provides that all Big East football and men's and women's basketball games will be televised by one of the ESPN outlets, including ESPN Regional, or CBS. That deal could be considered the model for the SEC deal and it will be interesting to see how ESPN juggles the two for programming slots.

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