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Bama AD Battle: SEC/ESPN “Pretty Bullish” On New Network

gfx - they said itNew Alabama athletic director Bill Battle will be attending his first SEC meetings in Destin next week.  When it comes to potential discussion topics, Battle is already excited by one — the SEC Network:


“The potential there is great.  It’s premature to really know or to think about how much it really is, or to have a feel for what it is.  I know the goals are aggressive.  ESPN and the Southeastern Conference form a formidable partnership so the expectations and the goals are high and aggressive, but we’re 16 months out.  We’re a long way from launch, but it’s pretty exciting to think about…

They are working with each individual institution on their production, and they said, ‘If you produce it, we’ll air it.”  So that’s an interesting concept.  They are pretty bullish on what they think they might be able to do in the 11-state SEC footprint, and they believe there’s a market outside of the footprint.”


“Aggressive.”  “Pretty bullish.”

Those words seem to back up what we wrote earlier this month when AT&T U-verse was announced as the SEC Network’s lone cable or satellite partner at roll-out — it’s going to be an expensive channel for providers.  That or ESPN and the SEC are indeed trying to force their channel onto providers’ basic tier of channels within the SEC footprint.  Or both… it’s expensive and they want it on the basic tier.

Either way, with the words “aggressive” and “pretty bullish” being kicked around, it’s likely the fight to get the SEC Network carried by the big providers — Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV, etc — will be a rough one.

Be prepared.



I hope they don't screw this up and require you to have cable or satellite and not have a streaming option.  Like many SEC fans (1 gator, 1 tide) we have rural co-op for our internet access which means no AT&T, no Time-Warner and no ESPN 360.   A while ago we cut the cord and got rid of satellite/cable and we won't be going back.  We'd be happy to pay for over the internet access to the SEC channel especially if they will be carrying baseball, gymnastics, tennis, etc in addition to football.  BTW, basketball not required.  If we have to sign up for cable or satellite to get football, then we'll be doing something else on Saturdays.


@GatorGeek I'm not there yet (cutting the cord), but I did ditch the NFL Sunday Ticket and really don't miss it (thanks to NFL Red Zone ala carte during the season).   But I agree with you - if the SEC Network can only be had via cable / satellite, it'll eventually hasten the eventual cord cut.    I've got friends and family who have done it, and they don't miss it either.   Over the air and other internet options can fill most of the gaps nicely.

They'd be wise to not overplay their hand here.

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