August 3rd, 2014
Well, here we are. we’re officially inside of two weeks from the SEC Network’s launch on August 14th. More importantly, we’re less than one month away from kick-off for Texas A&M vs. South Carolina on the SEC Network. Of course, it will be available on DISH Network.
Here’s a breakdown of the current SEC Network coverage situation with major national providers:
As you can see, ESPN and the SEC’s joint campaign to establish distribution agreements has most major providers on board. This is great news for many of you, but there are still significant holdouts. The most notable is satellite behemoth DirecTV. CheckÂ this pageÂ and drill down under the question “How can I get the SEC Network in time for the August 2014 launch?” Â More than sixty smaller providers with SEC Network carriage agreements are listed.
The major carriers listed are the only ones with confirmed deals announced by ESPN and the SEC. Tweets and articles are not official press releases, and when 5pm rolls around on August 28th, waving a tweet or article that cites “sources” in front of your TV is not going to make SEC football magically appear. Remember, providers love leaking information that a deal is “close” in order to keep customers on board.
In particular, you may have seen a tweet yesterday indicating that DirecTV had agreed upon rates for the SEC Network.
The timing of Mr. White’s statement is not an accident. Mr. White knows August 1st is an important date in the minds of many customers. But DirecTV isn’t just negotiating terms for the SEC Network. They’re negotiating a massive carriage agreement for all of the Disney (ESPN’s parent company) television properties. While the path for SEC Network may seem to be clear, there may still be boulders in the roadway elsewhere.
Remember, a deal isn’t done until ESPN and the SEC say it’s done.