ESPN Looking To Get $1.30 Per Sub For SEC Network In Conference Footprint
Cable and satellite distributors in the 11-state SEC footprint "can expect to pay a rate of $1.30 to carry the soon-to-be-launched SEC Network," according to sources cited by Ourand & Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The channel’s license fee outside of SEC territory "drops to 25 cents." The price point is "more expensive than other college conference channels like Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Networks," but ESPN "could have leverage as it negotiates with cable operators, as it appears to be on the cusp of landing a deal with one of the industry’s biggest distributors." Sources said that Dish Network, the third-largest U.S. distributor, has "agreed to carry" SEC Network from its August launch. The deal "has not been completed and is part of a bigger overall deal that it is negotiating with ESPN." AT&T U-verse, with 4.5 million subscribers, previously said that it "would carry the channel." Comcast and Time Warner Cable are "the biggest cable operators in the SEC’s footprint, and ESPN is using its schedule to apply pressure against them." The network’s first football game on Aug. 28 "will be between two schools based in Time Warner Cable markets: South Carolina and Texas A&M." The second game of its doubleheader "will feature Vanderbilt, which is in a Comcast market, against Temple, in Comcast’s hometown of Philadelphia." BTN, which launched in '07, "currently charges up to $1 in its 11-state footprint from New Jersey to Nebraska" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/13 issue).