According to Sports Business Daily, the SEC (Southeastern Conference) is once again looking into the idea of starting its own SEC Network for college football, much like the Big Ten currently has.
The SEC will be able to renegotiate its television contracts with both CBS and ESPN in the fall. Given the TV deals that were made with the Pac-12 and the Big 12 in the last year, the SEC will probably be looking for more money from both networks for broadcast rights. Since the 14-team conference expanded with Texas A&M and Missouri, a clause in the SEC’s deal that allows the league to go back to the negotiating table with its partners, just as the ACC renegotiated its media contract with ESPN after its own expansion with Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The bigger negotiation is with ESPN, and talks appear to revolve around an SEC-branded cable channel that could launch as early as 2014, reported CBSSports.com and Sports Business Daily. ESPN’s current arrangement with the SEC — negotiated in 2008 — pays an average of $150 million a year over 15 years. With the Big Ten Network, the Big Ten itself owns 49% of the network and shares the revenue with Fox.
Whatever path the SEC chooses, the network can’t begin before 2014 because that’s when ESPN will get back the syndication rights of SEC games it sold to regional sports networks, said CBSSports.com.