Details on new SEC/ABC-ESPN agreement

Double the current money, it’s what I’m hearing.

Some thoughts on the announcement:

• An ESPN+ membership will become a necessity for SEC fans to watch all games. Some nonconfernce football and basketball games will move to that service. Home SEC games have not been on ESPN+ previously. This service is $5.99/mo. currently (or $12.99/mo. with a Hulu/Disney+ package), but it would not surprise to see the cost increase with the SEC inventory.

• SEC on CBS has been a hit, in part, because of its production value, notably the use of the most cameras and a good audio mix. It captures the gameday feel as well as any broadcast on the air today. I’m not a fan of ESPN’s production value compared to CBS. It will be interesting to see if ABC tries to keep some of the CBS feel for the marquee game; perhaps hire away directors and producers who have been at CBS.

• Will another conference benefit from a future CBS partnership? I would not be surprised to see the Big 12 or Big Ten move into a partnership. Those leagues do not have the depth of the SEC, but the CBS production at Oklahoma or Michigan or Penn State would be kind of cool to see, and an interesting change from what we’ve seen previously. And because ESPN/ABC plans to show the top SEC game at night, there is a window for CBS or another network capitalize in the afternoon window.

• The schools are going to benefit greatly financially. The projections are that the SEC payout will increase to more than $80 million by the end of the decade, second to the Big Ten at a projection of close to $90 million.


I already get Hulu (free, since I’m a Sprint/T-Mobile guy), don’t want or need Disney, so I’ll have to a-la-carte it or miss some football and basketball games that I’m currently getting at no additional price.

In other words - fans will be funding a great deal if not all of this increase to the various SEC schools.

We watch a lot of games on sec + internet. Will that not be available or will they stiff us w an espn+ subscription?

That remains to be seen. I would not be surprised to see ESPN+ become the channel for games that are not on traditional TV, like the majority of Razorback baseball games.

And although the complete transition won’t be until 2024, THIS part of it (ESPN+) will start next fall…of course…get into our wallets as soon as they can.

Personally, I’m 100% FINE with the way it’s been now. I’ve never cared which network it’s on - I get 'em all and they’re all HD…but I knew we’d come to this day sooner or later…by the time I did, most everything I’m interested in will be a premium above normal “cable” rates…

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