Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The Southeastern Conference announced it will launch a television network featuring programming of all of the league's 21 sports beginning in August of 2014.
The network, part of a 20-year partnership with ESPN that will run until 2034, is scheduled to televise approximately 45 SEC football games annually, as well as over 100 men's basketball contests, 60 women's basketball games and 75 baseball broadcasts.
Additional programming slated to be shown on the 24-hour network includes spring football games, coverage of signing and pro days, studio shows and live broadcasts of various non-revenue sports.
"The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. "We will increase exposure of SEC athletics programs at all 14 member institutions, as we showcase the incredible student-athletes in our league. The agreement for a network streamlines and completes an overall media rights package that will continue the SECs leadership for the foreseeable future."
The agreement will not affect the 15-year contract the SEC signed with CBS in 2008 involving the rights to football broadcasts, with CBS still to have the first choice of football games for the duration of that pact.
The league also announced a distribution agreement for the new network with AT&T U-Verse, with subscribers gaining additional access of games and services through an authenticated digital offering.
ESPN already presents over 1,600 hours of SEC-related coverage through its existing contract with the conference, with the new outlet designed to expand its content while providing exclusive programming as well.
The SEC becomes the third major conference, along with the Big Ten and Pac-12, to launch its own television network, though the other two exclusively produce their own programming in contrast to the SEC working in conjunction with a television partner.