Comcast is close to reaching a deal to carry the new, ESPN-owned SEC Network, according to a report from sports media blog Awful Announcing. Fox Sports also reported Thursday that DirecTV "expects to be able to provide the network soon."
Comcast is the largest cable provider in the United States, with more than 22.6 million subscribers. DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite company, has 20.3 million subscribers. The SEC Network, scheduled to launch August 14, has already reached agreements with carriers like Dish, Cox and AT&T U-verse. The SEC announced at its media days that the network will feature a weekly Wednesday show that involves current SEC football coaches breaking down game film.
Deals with Comcast and DirecTV would get ESPN closer to its goal of having the network in 75 million homes.
Awful Announcing obtained an internal Comcast flier that apparently was prepared in anticipation of an agreement to provide SEC Network.
A Comcast spokesman told the site, "We’re having productive discussions with ESPN and expect to come to an agreement. It’s not uncommon to prepare for a channel launch like this when conversations are productive. We hope to have an agreement soon."
- Alex Hampl