DirecTV and ESPN have reached a deal for the satellite company to carry the SEC Network, a new ESPN-owned channel set to launch on Aug. 14. ESPN announced the deal Monday.
DirecTV is one of the largest satellite cable providers in the U.S., reaching more than 20 million homes. DirecTV will join competitors like Dish, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Google Fiber, AT&T U-Verse and Bright House Networks in carrying the channel. With the addition of DirecTV, SEC Network will have carriage on all five on the country's largest cable providers. Verizon FiOs is the largest cable company not to carry the channel.
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The first football game the network will air is No. 20 Texas A&M vs. No. 9 South Carolina on Aug. 28.
Cable providers are paying $1.40 per month per customer for the network in the 11 states that compose the SEC "footprint" and $0.25 per customer per month in all other states. The SEC Network is scheduled to air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including at least 45 exclusive SEC football games. It will be operated by ESPN, which signed a 20-year agreement with the conference.
- Alex Hampl