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Report: SEC Football Leaving CBS After 2023 Season, Likely For ESPN/ABC

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Since 1996, CBS has carried SEC football. But according to the Sports Business Journal's John Ourand and Michael Smith, CBS will walk away from the SEC after the 2023 season and "all indications" are the sport's most-watched TV package will move to ESPN/ABC.

According to Ourand and Smith, CBS dropped out of the negotiations after making a bid at around $300 million per season, a massive increase from the $55 million it currently pays annually.

CBS Sports executives have reportedly decided that it is more logical to invest the network's money into other sports properties.

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"We made a strong and responsible bid," CBS Sports PR said in a statement to the SBJ.  "While we‘ve had success with the SEC on CBS, we are instead choosing to aggressively focus on other important strategic priorities moving forward.”

According to the SBJ, ESPN/ABC are "in the final stages" of negotiations on a deal with the property, though Fox Sports executives are still reportedly planning on making an official bid next month.

The package has been the most-viewed in the sport for more than 10 years.

Longtime CBS SEC college football announcer Verne Lundquist retired after the 2016 season, but for years was widely regarded as the voice of the conference.

The broadcast currently features Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson in the booth with Jamie Erdahl on the sidelines.