DirecTV Signs On for SEC Network - Broadcasting & Cable

DirecTV Signs On for SEC Network

Charter, Verizon remain final holdouts
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The carriage momentum for the SEC Network continues.

Satellite giant DirecTV has reached a deal with ESPN to carry the upcoming sports network in time for its Aug. 14 launch. The deal follows Monday morning’s carriage pact between ESPN parent Disney and Suddenlink, which included the SEC Network.

The ESPN-owned network has signed a flurry of carriage deals in the past few weeks as the launch date creeps closer, inking agreements with major providers Time Warner Cable and Comcast as well as the NCTC. All told, the college sports network will be available on AT&T’s U-verse, Comcast, Dish Network, TWC, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications and a host of smaller providers.

Charter and Verizon are the last remaining holdouts among major providers. Charter said last week it was in the final stages of negotiations while Verizon is in talks with ESPN currently.

“The SEC boasts powerhouse athletic programs, especially in football, representing deeply loyal communities, many of which do not have any professional teams,” said Dan York, DirecTV’s chief content officer. “The depth of SEC competition and the quality ESPN brings to game production and complementary programming makes SEC Network a valuable addition to our sports programming lineup, and we’re excited to bring it into our customers’ homes and on their devices.”

The deal comes as the top satellite provider remains without a deal for the Pac-12 Network, as the companies have traded public barbs over the past few years. DirecTV was one of the first distributors of the Big Ten Network, which was the first successful channel to focus on a specific college conference.

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