SEC Network Launch Thursday to Include Live Visit to UGA

By Kevin Kelley -
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UGA - SEC Network

The launch of the SEC Network Thursday from 6-9 p.m. will include a live visit to the University of Georgia.

The Network will go live to all 14 SEC schools during the three hour official launch on Thursday. Former UGA All-American lineman and current SEC Network game analyst Matt Stinchcomb will anchor the live segment from UGA which is expected to air near the 7:30 p.m. mark.

The UGA segment will be staged on the south side of Stegeman Coliseum and will include an interview with head football coach Mark Richt as well as interviews with Bulldog quarterback Hutson Mason and tailback Todd Gurley. Also featured will be the UGA national champion equestrian team. Georgia spirit squads and band will be in attendance as well as fans.

There are two parts to the SEC Network coverage. First is the traditional TV network which will air select live games, great games from the past, and different shows produced by both the SEC Network as well as the schools. As with all TV Networks, only one show can air at a time. To bring event more coverage to SEC fans, the SEC Network has developed the SEC Network + which is a digital network that will air hundreds of live events.

What is the difference between the SEC Network and SEC Network +?
There are two parts to the SEC Network coverage. First is the traditional TV network which will air select live games, great games from the past, and different shows produced by both the SEC Network as well as the schools. As with all TV Networks, only one show can air at a time. To bring event more coverage to SEC fans, the SEC Network has developed the SEC Network + which is a digital network that will air hundreds of live event coverage and more.

More information about SEC Network + and UGA programming is detailed below.

The SEC Network Channel Finder may be accessed via the following link: http://getsecnetwork.com/channel-finder

SEC Network Flips the Switch Thursday at 6 p.m. with SEC Now Debut; Mannings, O’Neal among 31 Voices to Welcome the Network; Live Reports from all 14 Campuses

On Thursday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. ET, sports fans nationwide will experience SEC Network, a 24/7 multiplatform sports network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN. The network will debut with its flagship news and information show SEC Now live from all 14 SEC campuses. Sports of all seasons will be showcased in the three-hour special sharing the passion, beauty and treasure trove of champions stowed up in SEC country.

Notable figures on and off the field, lent their voices in an opening essay that speaks to the tradition, pageantry and storied history of the SEC. Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning, Shaquille O’Neal, Dara Torres and Joe Namath are among the 31 voices that will ring for the SEC. Their words will be the first etched in SEC Network history. They will be expanded upon over the course of the show – and the year ahead – by a talented pool of SEC Network commentators, 15 of which are involved in the opening show. In total, the premiere night will include 21 anchors, reporters and analysts in studio and reporting live from campuses.

The show will feature a diversity of sports coverage, a host of SEC Network experts, high-end features, behind-the-scenes access and sit-down interviews – backbone elements for the regularly schedule SEC Now show.

Highlights of the debut special:

  • Faces of SEC Now: Hosts Dari Nowkhah and Maria Taylor will anchor the first live show from the network’s Charlotte, N.C., studios. They will be joined by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger as well as Paul Finebaum, Greg McElroy and Booger McFarland
  • Live Whip Around Reporting: Analysts, reporters and even a SportsCenter anchor will be dispersed and reporting live from the following SEC locations: Marcus Spears (Alabama), Niki Noto (Arkansas), Rece Davis (Auburn), Joe Tessitore (Florida), Tim Tebow (Florida), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Laura Rutledge (Kentucky), Peter Burns (LSU), Ben McDonald (LSU), Tony Barnhart (Mississippi State), John Anderson (Missouri), Kaylee Hartung (Ole Miss), Shannon Spake (South Carolina), Ryan McGee (Tennessee), Kayce Smith (Texas A&M) and Jessica Mendoza (Vanderbilt)
  • All-Access: Go inside football camps with wired coaches; listen live at Mississippi State practice with Coach Dan Mullen, stride alongside Florida’s walkthrough with coach Will Muschamp and shout with Yell Leaders at Aggies Yell practice
  • Features:Auburn offensive lineman Shon Coleman was sidelined in 2011 and 2012 while fighting leukemia. Coleman returned last September and is battling for the starting left tackle position vacated by Greg Robinson, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft
  • Highlights:Live look-ins and highlights from in-progress soccer matches UAB at Vanderbilt and Creighton at Arkansas

SEC Now will be immediately followed with the SEC Storied debut of “The Stars are Aligned” at 9 p.m. The programming schedule for the next 14 days programming can be seen here.

SEC Network
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch August 14, 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will carry SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include in-depth commentary and analysis in studio shows, daily news and information, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, and more. AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV,  Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, PTC Communications, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC and will carry the television network nationwide at launch. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively as SEC Network+ events on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com through authenticated access from AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC.

WHAT IT IS:

Digital network showcasing live SEC Events, inclusive of:

*550+ digital-only events not available on TV
*SEC Network overflow events

HOW TO WATCH IT: SEC Network + is only available through WatchESPN (accessible through the WatchESPN app and on SECNetwork.com)

To access SEC Network + on WatchESPN, fans must sign in with their credentials from a participating TV provider.

SEC NETWORK FAQ

GENERAL / STRUCTURAL

1. When will the SEC Network launch?
The SEC Network will launch August 14, 2014 at 6 p.m. ET.

2. What will the network be called?
The network will be called the “SEC Network.” Although it’s formal name is the “SEC ESPN Network”.

3. How is this different from SEC TV (formerly called the SEC Network)?
SEC TV, referred to as the SEC Network prior to 2013, previously aired SEC football and basketball games on local channels. The SEC Network launching in August will be its own channel on your television which you will be able to access via cable or satellite television. Events selected to air on the SEC Network will only be available on the television channel or the digital platform. SEC TV no longer exists.

4. How is this different than other conference or single-school networks?
This collaboration between the SEC and ESPN will bring together unparalleled content from one of the most competitive conferences in the country with the highest quality, most innovative production partner in the sports industry.

This will be a national sports network.

5. How can I get the SEC Network in time for the August 14, 2014 launch?
Fans should visit www.GetSECNetwork.com and also contact their cable or satellite distributor to ensure they receive the network.

AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV,  Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, PTC Communications, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC and will carry the television network nationwide at launch.

6. Will the SEC Network look similar to ESPN channels?
The SEC Network will have the highest quality production value that is a standard across all ESPN networks. At the same time, the SEC Network will have a distinctive look and feel from other ESPN networks.

7. Where will the SEC Network be located?
The production home will be in Charlotte, N.C.  This location will provide for efficient use of ESPN’s existing production facility in Charlotte and it will have support from all of ESPN’s resources in Bristol, Conn.

8. Why is Charlotte the SEC Network’s home, especially since there are no SEC teams in N.C.?
ESPN already has a state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte that is easily accessible from across the SEC footprint.

9. Will each campus (or the SEC Offices) have upgraded television facilities?
Each campus will ultimately have the capability to produce live events locally which will be available on the SEC Network’s digital outlets and possibly on the television channel too.

10. How many people will work for the SEC Network?
We anticipate more than 100 full-time staff for the SEC Network.

11. Where can I apply for a job at SEC Network?
Interested applicants should visit ESPNcareers.com

PROGRAMMING & CONTENT

12. Will the SEC Network be 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
The SEC Network will have 24/7 programming; it’s a dedicated channel for all things SEC.

13. What kind of shows will I see on the SEC Network?
At the outset, the network will offer SEC sports and sports-related studio programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, such as SEC Nation, the network’s traveling football pregame show that will air every Saturday during the fall, a television simulcast of The Paul Finebaum Show and SEC Now, a daily news and information show.

More than 1,000 live events will also be available in the first full year across the television network and its digital extensions. This will include approximately 45 football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games and events from across all 21 SEC-sponsored sports.

14. How will the SEC Network enhance the SEC fan experience?
More than 1,000 live events will be available. The SEC Network will provide more than 450 live games on television each year. An additional 550 games will be distributed digitally. The network will bring football, basketball, baseball, and all SEC campus sports to sports fans. Fans will be able to access content on a range of devices. Also, there will be SEC specific programming dedicated to news and analysis surrounding the events.

15. How many football games will be aired on the network?
The SEC Network will televise approximately 45 football games per season.

16. How many basketball games? Baseball? Women’s sports? Olympic?
At least 450 events will be televised on the SEC Network each year. Of the 450 events, there will be more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games,75 baseball, 50 softball and 120 Olympic sports on the SEC Network. More than 550 additional sporting events will be available on our digital platforms. The digital platform will include an outlet, similar to ESPN3, for the other 550 games and a live linear stream of the television network. This content will be available to network subscribers across a range of devices.

17. Will each school have a block of time to program as they see fit?

This is a conference-wide network. The goal is to provide equitable exposure for each of the SEC member institutions. The SEC Network will achieve this goal without each school having its own block of time to program.

18. Will the SEC Network show breaking news or investigative pieces about the conference similar to ESPN?
The SEC Network will cover and report on sports news and information in an objective manner, but the basic premise is the network will represent the conference and its member institutions. While ESPN does investigative pieces, that’s not something contemplated for the SEC Network.

The network has created a Content Board which has equal representation from the SEC and ESPN. The Board will work collaboratively on the programming and presentation. The SEC Network, along with its digital extensions, will serve SEC sports fans and sports fans more broadly.

19. Will there be academic programming?
There are no dedicated blocks of academic programming planned at the outset of the network, but there will be opportunities to promote the academic and research accomplishments and reputations of SEC institutions within the live programming of the network.

20. What access and programming is each school obligated to provide to the SEC Network?
Outside of the rights in the existing CBS and ESPN agreements, each school provides the rights and access to all other live events for the SEC Network.

21. Can schools create academic programming or shows of their own for the digital network outside what they air within game telecasts?
SECNetwork.com will primarily focus on event programming. While we don’t rule out opportunities to include programming beyond sporting events, that’s not a focus for the digital network at this time.

22. Will the SEC Network air high school football games?
No.

23. Will the SEC Network be able to re-air games shown on other ESPN networks?  CBS?
Yes.

24. Will the SEC Network air bowl games?  SEC Conference Championships?
There are no current plans to air bowl games on the SEC Network. The network will televise content from across the various SEC Championships.

25. Will there be fewer games available to me now that there is a SEC Network?
The intent of the network is make more SEC events available to more fans than ever before. The SEC Network will provide more than 1,000 live events per year for SEC fans and sports fans across the country in the first year and we anticipate growth in the future. These games will also be available online on a range of devices to allow for widespread access that is not currently available.

26. Will the SEC Network include new personalities or use existing ESPN personalities for the games and studio shows?
A mix of both existing ESPN personnel and new on-air staff will be present on the SEC Network.

DISTRIBUTION / AVAILABILITY/ AD SALES

27. Who will carry the SEC Network?
An agreement is already in place with AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV,  Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, PTC Communications, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC and will carry the television network nationwide at launch. ESPN will continue negotiating with the other distributors.

Your cable, satellite, or telco provider makes programming decisions based on customer requests. As a fan of the Southeastern Conference, please support the SEC Network by visiting www.GetSECNetwork.com and calling your cable, satellite or telco provider and requesting the SEC Network.

28. How do I get the digital-exclusive events, SEC Network +, of the SEC Network?
Provided you are a customer of of AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC you will have authenticated access. You can contact your provider and get a username and password which will allow you to access the content on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox.

29. What’s the expected reach of the SEC Network outside the SEC footprint and on what level of service will distributors carry the network (Expanded basic? Tier?)?
The network will have strong appeal and interest beyond the 11-state SEC footprint. It is being carried nationwide on broadly distributed packages.

30. Will I be able to watch the SEC Network on my mobile phone or similar device?
Yes. Provided you are a subscriber of AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC you will have authenticated access.

SEC Network will be available on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox via WatchESPN. The aim is to make this content available to fans anytime, anywhere.

31. I am an authenticated WatchESPN app user, will I be able to see SEC Network content through that app?
SEC Network will be available through the WatchESPN app for cable, satellite or teleco providers with authenticated SEC Network access.

Visit www.getsecnetwork.com for more information and to alert your provider of your interest in SEC Network content.

32. How will you decide what games to televise early in the SEC Network’s existence?
The SEC has great depth in all major sports so the network will have top-tier matchups each week to serve viewers and those distributors that choose to carry the network.

33. Will local affiliates (over-the-air nets) broadcast my team’s games if our region/cable provider does not carry the service (Ole Miss fans got this when they played on LHN)?
No. SEC Network programming and events will only be made available on the SEC Network channel or digital platforms.

34. Can I pay to subscribe to the network online, Pay-Per-View or via ESPN3 if I can’t get it on TV?
No. The games will be exclusive to the network and its digital extensions.

35. How will this impact my cable bill?
ESPN negotiates for license fee payments from its distributors and has no control over retail pricing.  Retail prices are determined by each distributor.

36. Will all SEC campuses carry the network?
Campuses served by an affiliated provider will have access to the SEC Network.

37. I live in [state outside SEC footprint]. Are you working to make sure we are able to see the SEC Network too?
Yes. SEC Network is a national television channel.

38. Right now, I see all my favorite team’s games online at the [SEC school athletics] site. Will I still be able to see all those games?
The network is for media rights to all sports across the 14 member institutions. Any games produced by the schools will have an outlet, either the SEC Network or its digital extensions, where fans can watch. You will see not only events originating from your favorite school’s campus on the SEC Network or its digital extensions, but also road events involving your favorite school that you previously would have had to seek on opposing schools’ websites.

39. Who will sell sponsorship for the SEC Network?
ESPN will sell advertising and sponsorship on behalf of the network. ESPN will also represent the SEC’s Corporate Sponsor Program.

40. Will the SEC Network have an internship program?
ESPN has a SEC internship program already in place. The SEC Network will source candidates from the existing process and pool. Information about where to apply is forthcoming.

41. How will money from the SEC Network be used on campuses?
Each member institution has control and discretion on how they use any proceeds from their media rights.

Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications

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