Some SEC fans who were worried that the SEC Network would not be a part of their cable package for the 2014 season had those fears squelched Tuesday. ESPN, the owner of the SEC Network, and Cox Communications reached an agreement to bring the new network into Cox markets across the South.
Cox is the third-largest cable outlet in the country and has more than six million subscribers across Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas and other states.
“The addition of Cox is another very important step in the development of the SEC Network, bringing millions more viewers nationwide to the network when it launches on August 14,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “As one of the largest cable television distributors in the U.S., this agreement with Cox has a significant impact on exposure for the SEC.”
The network is set to launch on August 14, two weeks before the network airs its first game between South Carolina and Texas A&M, and is set to air “more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including 45 SEC football games” and dozens of basketball, baseball and softball games.
“We are pleased to expand upon our growing list of distributors who have signed agreements for the SEC Network launching in little over a month,” said Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president, college networks. “We look forward to serving Cox customers with an unparalleled offering of more SEC content than ever before.”
The Cox deal is a good sign for SEC fans, but ESPN still hasn’t come to an agreement with DirecTV or the two largest TV providers in the U.S. – Time Warner and Comcast. Other television providers like DISH Network and AT&T previously reached agreements with ESPN to carry the SEC Network.
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