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SBD/May 6, 2013/Media
ESPN Banking On SEC Brand To Deliver Network To Cable, Satellite Distributors
Published May 6, 2013
EXPANDING ITS PRESENCE: In Tuscaloosa, Cecil Hurt reported while the network's live football games will "attract headlines" and subscriptions from various cable carriers will "translate into cash for the league and its 14 members, it is the overall pervasive presence of the SEC brand that many coaches see as the primary nonmonetary benefit of the new arrangement with ESPN." The network financially would "likely be viable on a regional-only basis," and this is "particularly true since the SEC region, as it is now defined, includes 15 of the top 50 television markets in the United States." That is a "crucial revenue base if, as expected, the SECN revenue distribution resembles that of the Big Ten Network, which gets a little more than $1 per customer within its regional 'footprint' and 10 cents per customer outside." However, that does "not mean the SEC schools will instantly become wealthy from the Network." Alabama AD Bill Battle: "It will take time." The key for the network will be "penetration in those other markets" if it wants to be "considered a true success" (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 5/5). In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff wrote there is "no hotter market today than the SEC," and ESPN will "bank on the allegiance of college football’s most devoted and passionate fans to fund this new relationship." Announcing the network 16 months in advance "gives the league a big advantage by allowing it to line up nationwide carriers" (K.C. STAR, 5/4).
MONEY MATTERS: Alden said that MU's athletic department "expects to receive about" $20.7M from the SEC for FY '12-13. The K.C. STAR's Paylor noted the money "reflects Missouri’s share of the SEC’s TV revenue, NCAA Tournament and bowl money." In comparison, Alden said that UM "stood to receive roughly" $19M during its last year in the Big 12. Alden was "confident the SEC Network would increase the school’s annual payout." Alden: “You’re conservatively looking at -- with very conservative growth -- a couple million in additional revenue in 2015. But that’s very conservative." He added, "In order for us to gain on South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky -- those schools that are in that next tier -- we’ve got to sell more tickets, raise more money in our capital gifts, corporate sponsorships and on and on. It’s still an uphill battle" (K.C. STAR, 5/4).