The Southeastern Conference just announced the formation of the “SEC Network” set to debut in September. If you’re familiar with the “Big Ten Network,” don’t start making comparisons. It will not be it’s own channel on your television.
The “network” programing will come to Decatur residents via WZDX-54 (the local Fox affiliate). Read more in the press release just sent to the media:
The SEC Network will feature an SEC football Game of the Week regionally for 13 consecutive Saturdays, beginning Sept. 5. Those telecasts will kick off at noon ET/11 a.m. CT with the live SEC Studio show, followed by the matchup, generally determined 12 to six days in advance. The new kickoff time for the Game of the Week will be 12:21 p.m. ET.
Longtime SEC announcer Dave Neal will call the weekly SEC Network game on Saturdays, along with analyst Andre Ware and reporter Cara Capuano.
The SEC Studio show is produced by ESPN Regional Television at their headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., also the home of ESPNU. The SEC show will kick off Saturday coverage with host Rob Stone and analyst Matt Stinchcomb in the studio.
The regular-season SEC men’s basketball package on the SEC Network beginning in January will consist of Wednesday and Saturday games, including doubleheaders. The SEC Network will also offer regional coverage of multiple rounds from the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament as well as SEC women’s basketball games on Sundays, also beginning in January.
“The SEC Network, through the efforts of ESPN, will be the largest college sports syndication television package in the country,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “The comprehensive market coverage in the nine-state SEC area combined with the out-of-market reach gives us significant additional exposure for our programs.”
The markets that will air the package represent more than 54 million television households, or 47 percent of the U.S. Before the first football game this season, as clearance work continues, the coverage area will be larger still. The 15-year agreement between ESPN and the SEC begins with the 2009-10 season and continues through 2023-24.