SBD/August 29, 2014/Media

You Are Looking Live: SEC Network Airs First Games Without Any Major Issues

Texas A&M-South Carolina marked the first live football game aired by the net
The SEC Network "couldn’t have had a more auspicious debut" than Thursday night's telecast of the season-opening Texas A&M-South Carolina game, according to Cecil Hurt of the TUSCALOOSA NEWS. The crowd-noise lead-in "was perfect, far better than bombast from the booth would have been." The net's Brent Musburger "is a recognized voice that brought instant credibility." However, Jesse Palmer "is still developing as an analyst." He needs to be "more willing to tell us things that the average fan doesn’t know, not just point out the obvious" (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 8/29). Meanwhile, the net's Paul Finebaum accidentally dislodged a piece of the broadcast desk during halftime, and YAHOO SPORTS' Nick Bromberg noted it "was clear that the tabletop of the SEC Network set is in four pieces for easy setup, removal and transport." The unsecured section is "a product of a new network." Bromberg: "There are bound to be some things go wrong in the first actual game broadcast, and if that was the only thing that went wrong at Williams-Brice, it's a good telecast" (, 8/28).

: ROLLING STONE's Michael Weinreb wrote it is "almost unfathomable to imagine a scenario where the SEC Network, which reached agreements with nearly every major cable provider in advance of its launch, somehow fails" to be a success. The net is "an extension of the most wildly popular and successful college football entity of the modern era." It is "hard to describe the South's relationship with college football unless you've seen it for yourself." It "feels more intensely personal than anything I've ever seen in any sport, and all the SEC Network has to do to succeed is reflect this relationship in a way that doesn't seem patronizing." So the net "will show some live football games and it will employ the evangelistic presence of Tim Tebow, and -- perhaps most crucially -- it will feature a daily simulcast" of Finebaum's radio show. Finebaum is the "newspaper-columnist-turned-provocateur who in recent years has become the Howard Stern of the South" (, 8/28).
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