ESPN reached a nationwide carriage agreement with Dish to carry the SEC Network, which launches Aug. 14, as part of a larger distribution agreement with the Walt Disney Co.
DISH becomes the SEC Network’s first nationwide provider and will make the channel available on its America’s Top 120+ tier and higher packages. Additional content will be available through the SEC Network’s digital platform.
“Few fan bases rival the passion and loyalty of the SEC, and DISH is proud to be the first nationwide television provider of the SEC Network,” said DISH’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer Dave Shull said in a statement provided by ESPN. “We strive to give our customers and consumers what they want, and there’s no better place for the college sports fan than with DISH.”
The SEC Network, which is a 20-year agreement between the conference and ESPN, will air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including 45 football games and more than 100 men’s basketball games along with a comprehensive slate of other sports.
“This is an important day for the SEC Network,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. “We are pleased to welcome DISH to the SEC family. More than five months ahead of the network launch, it’s exciting to have a national distributor and our first satellite provider onboard. Now SEC fans from across the country have another way to show their conference pride and sign up to get the SEC Network.”
Dish has more than 14 million TV customers.
“This agreement provides DISH customers nationwide with access to every SEC college football game this fall and an unparalleled fan experience of more SEC content than ever before,” ESPN senior vice president for college networks Justin Connolly said.