There's going to be a lot of SEC football on the SEC Network.
The channel will carry three games per Saturday after carrying two games on Thursday, August 28. On Friday in Atlanta, the SEC announced that in addition to Texas A&M's visit to South Carolina, Vanderbilt's game against Temple will also be broadcast that night.
"In the span of two or three days we will have five football games on the SEC Network, and then a triple-header every Saturday thereafter,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a release.
ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly added that "We have an unprecedented commitment to putting events of national interest on the network every week,”
And while that may be true -- CBS saw its highest ratings ever for its 3:30 p.m. ET SEC games -- there's just one problem. The distribution for the network still isn't very widespread yet.
You can go to the Get SEC Network website and enter your zip code to see if you get the channel. As of now, there are no agreements with Comcast, Directv, Dish or Time Warner Cable. That covers a large swath of the nation, including SEC country. (AT&T signed an agreement to carry the channel shortly after the network was launched.)
Yes, there's vastly more interest in the SEC Network than The Longhorn Network, which has had distribution issues since its launch. But the Pac-12 Network has carried live games this season and does not have a contract with Directv. Heck, Fox had to drastically lower its asking price for Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 to get it widely distributed.
There's still plenty of time for carrier agreements to be worked out -- we've got more than eight months to go until the start of the 2014 season after all -- and those live games are a carrot for an agreement with distributors. As is the clout of ESPN, who will help heavily promote the channel. But it's not a guarantee that every major carrier will agree to it. Just ask the Pac-12.
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