SBD/December 20, 2012/Media

Slive Says Formal Announcement On SEC Network Coming In "Next Couple Months"

Slive currently is immersed in media rights negotiations with ESPN and CBS
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive yesterday would not confirm that the conference "would join the Big Ten and Pac-12 with a dedicated cable channel," but did say it would make "a formal announcement within the next couple months, if not sooner," according to George Schroeder of USA TODAY. The SEC is "renegotiating its long-term rights deals with ESPN and CBS after Texas A&M and Missouri joined the league." Slive said, "We've been looking at all of our options since we added A&M and Missouri. As these conversations have evolved, we've now begun to focus clearly on what we think is the right way to go." Schroeder notes what form an SEC network "would take is unclear, though it likely would be a partnership of some sort with ESPN." SEC members would have to "relinquish their individual media rights deals for non-marquee football and men's basketball games." And like the Pac-12 and Big Ten, the SEC "must secure distribution beyond its regional footprint." Slive said, "All of those questions are questions that need to be answered before final decisions are made" (USA TODAY, 12/20).
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