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Commissioner: SEC to announce launch of TV network in mid-April

Pat Forde
Yahoo Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Southeastern Conference will announce its latest revenue bonanza in mid-April, commissioner Mike Slive told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday.

"Our focus for now is on our tournament and the NCAA tournament," Slive said. "We will make a formal announcement about the SEC Network in mid-April."

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Mike Silve mug (USA TODAY Sports)

The creation of the long-rumored, much-discussed network will put the SEC alongside the Big Ten and Pac-12 as conferences with their own dedicated cable channel. It is expected to yield tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue for a league that already is making huge profits on its powerhouse football status.

The SEC has been renegotiating its media rights after the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012. After seeing the massive profitability of the Big Ten Network and the immediate impact of the Pac-12 Network, it was inevitable that the SEC would add its own.

The new network is expected to be a partnership with an established broadcast entity, most likely ESPN. That would be similar to the Big Ten Network deal, which is 49 percent owned by the conference and 51 percent owned by Fox. The SEC already has an extensive relationship with ESPN.

Previous media reports have said the SEC Network is expected to launch in 2014, after the expiration of current third-tier TV rights contracts.

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