Time Warner Cable reaches deal with ESPN to carry SEC Network

07/24/2014 3:14 PM

07/24/2014 3:54 PM

Time Warner Cable reached an agreement Wednesday with ESPN to carry SEC Network, leaving DirecTV as the only major cable or satellite provider in the Kansas City area without rights to air the channel.

DirecTV issued a release earlier in July calling discussions with ESPN “productive,” however, and an agreement with the satellite company is expected before the channel launches Aug. 14.

ESPN also reached an agreement with Bright House Networks on Wednesday.

“We know we have customers who want the SEC-ESPN Network, and are pleased to bring it to them,” Andrew Rosenberg, senior vice president of content acquisition for Time Warner Cable, said in a release. “This deal will help ensure that fans and alumni of SEC universities won’t miss any important games.”

The addition of Time Warner and Bright House means the SEC Network will be available in more than 60 million households. The network, which will carry at least 45 football games this season, already had reached agreements with other cable and satellite providers, including Comcast, Google Fiber, Dish Network, Cox Communications and AT&T U-Verse.

Time Warner customers can find SEC Network on the digital standard tier. Comcast has proposed acquiring Time Warner for $45 billion, but that deal must still be approved by regulators.

ESPN, which owns the SEC Network, is hoping to charge $1.40 per subscriber per month in the 11 states that have an SEC team and 25 cents outside the conference’s footprint, according to Sports Business Daily.

Financially, the network could double revenue distributions from the SEC to member schools, which was $21 million per school last year.

The SEC Network will air 24 hours a day and plans to broadcast more than 100 men’s and 60 women’s basketball games and 75 baseball games along with its football schedule. Missouri’s football debut on the network is Sept. 13 when Central Florida visits Columbia.

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