ESPN and the SEC announced on Thursday that they had reached a 10-year deal starting in 2024 that would make the network the exclusive rights holder for SEC football and men’s basketball.
The deal gives the network 15 major football games, including ABC, including SEC championship games and rivalry games such as Alabama-Auburn and Florida-Georgia.
“This new agreement was born out of a strong foundation that began nearly 25 years ago and now reflects a shared vision of the future with the SEC, Commissioner. [Greg] Sankey and his member institutions said, “Jimmy Pitaro, president, ESPN and sports content.” With the addition of ABC and ESPN + to all conference sports and our distribution channels under ESPN’s umbrella, ESPN will have complete scheduling flexibility, resulting in maximum risk and adding significant benefits for SEC schools and fans. “
Beginning in 2024, ABC will air an SEC game every week, including a regular late-afternoon kickoff, and for the first time feature an SEC game on ABC’s Saturday Night Football.
“So Saturday night, prime time is the highest-profile window on ABC, the biggest stage in terms of college football. And we love the fact that we can now bring the ABC platform into the mix, starting in 2024 Will, ”Pietro told The Associated Press.
ABC also will air the SEC Championship game in the late afternoon, and either ABC or ESPN will feature a late-Friday-thank-you SEC game.
“This is an important day for the future of the Southeastern Conference and our member institutions. Our agreement with ESPN to support our student-athletes in the coming years and further enrich the game-day experience for SEC fans Will increase our capacity. Worldwide, “Sankey said. “Our primary goal was to improve the television-scheduling process, which would benefit our students, coaches, students and fans. By working closely with ESPN, we were able to secure an agreement that included more lead time for multiple sports Was involved. — Time announcements, and in many ways modernizes college football scheduling process. “
Sankey said that moving the SEC’s media rights under the same roof would allow the conference to start more games for longer. The conference hopes it is a boon for TV and online audiences, as well as fans who go to the games.
“I think we can set up more than half of our game [kickoff times] During the summer, “Sanke told The AP. “There are still going to be some 12-days and maybe even narrow adjustments, but they will be limited.”
Unlike most major spectator sports, most of the playing times in college football are scheduled within two weeks of kickoff. Lack of lead time is a frequent complaint from fans across the country and has contributed to reduced attendance in college football.
ESPN + will have the rights to stream one non-football football game and two nonconferencing men’s basketball games each season. All told, ESPN + will take up to 14 nonconfidence football games and 20 nonconferencing men’s basketball games.
Sankey said that schools will be allowed to set kickoff times for games featured exclusively on ESPN +.
The agreement with the SEC expands ESPN +’s portfolio of 20 conferences and thousands of college games each year.
This new agreement will be concurrent with the separate, existing 20-year agreement between ESPN and SEC, which runs through 2033–34, and more than 1,950 of ES9’s every year in the conference’s 21 games on the ESPN network and the SEC network. Plays the game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.