Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have reached a deal to carry the SEC Network when the new, ESPN-owned network launches on Aug. 14. With the new deal, the SEC Network will be available in approximately 60 million homes when it launches.
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest U.S. cable company, with more than 12.2 million subscribers. Bright House Networks is eighth-largest, with just over 2.01 million subscribers.
The networks join competitors like Comcast, Dish Network, Cox, Google Fiber and AT&T U-Verse as providers that carry the network. Sports Business Daily's John Ourand reports that DirecTV is also close to a deal to carry the network, which would leave just Verizon (fourth-largest cable distributor in the U.S.) and Charter Communications (sixth-largest) as the only major SEC-area cable and satellite providers not to provide the network.
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 and Molly Geary