Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And you thought ESPN loved the SEC before…

Now they have 2 billion more reasons why.

The Southeastern Conference has signed a 15-year deal with ESPN reportedly worth more than $2 billion to televise sporting events, including football and men's and women's basketball.

"This agreement makes the SEC the most widely distributed conference in the country," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

ESPN will have rights to every SEC home football game not on the network package and all league matchups will be shown on some outlet, including at least 20 a year on ESPN or ESPN2. That includes two primetime Thursday night matchups and Saturday night games.

15 years, and 2 billion (that's with a 'b') dollars!?!?! Think the rest of the college football world will get equal billing on ESPN from now on? Yeah, think again. I didn't think it was possible for me to hate ESPN more but they just keep pushing the boundaries.

The real issue at hand is now you have a major network with a tie in to a second major network (ABC) who has an underlining agenda. They just paid 2 billion dollars for a product (SEC) that they need to succeed so they are going to promote them every chance they get, I know I would if I paid that kind of coin. Can we really trust Kirk Herbstreit or Lee Corso when they suddenly start pushing for Florida or LSU at the end of the year when there are only three 1-loss teams left? Maybe, but you get my point it's going to tough to take ESPN as in impartial observer/reporter of college football from this point forward.

7 comments:

Paterno Lives! said...

What's really going to be sick is having to deal with all the 'previews' for the second rate SEC games that this package includes (CBS is still getting first pick each week). ESPN has a way of pretending games they don't cover don't exist and marginal games they do get to air are all of the sudden nationally relevant.

Galen said...

Next on ESPN it's the mammoth conclusion of LSU and North Texas can the Mean Green answer with 45 unanswered points in the 4th quarter? Oh and in scores of other games the USC and Ohio State game just went into double overtime, but we’ll be right back with our game!

Captain Mañana said...

I think you are giving ESPN way too much credit; they used to be good, but ever since the ABC/Disney affiliation they have had their own agenda: "making sports news" rather than "reporting sports news" -- and they have been on a slow, downward spiral of rendering themselves irrelevant ever since then.

Although ABC/ESPN college football broadcasts are the best (Hell, EVERYONE is better at it than NBC & CBS!), I think in a year or two we will see even that going the way of the irrelevent trend.

Anonymous said...

If ESPN is getting 2nd rate SEC games, what will happen to the 2nd rate Big 10 games not picked up by BTN?

Captain Mañana said...

In response to anonymous: any prime Big Ten games (non-conference opponent or not) will be on ABC/ESPN, good Big Ten games of lesser stature will air on ESPN 2, ESPN U, and occasionally ESPN Classic; any other Big Ten games not televised by ABC, ESPNs or NBC (e.g., Purdue playing at ND) will always be televised by the Big Ten Network.

Long story short: All our games are on TV, your question is invalid.

Lanebc2 said...

ESPN hasn't been impartial for a LONG time now. Why do you think the past few years during bowl season all of a sudden the Rose Bowl is THE MOST IMPORTANT BCS game according to ESPN?? Oh wait, that's right, because that's the only BCS game abc/espn has the rights to... the others are on Fox so they aren't nearly as compelling.

Elihu said...

I can remember watching ESPN years ago - maybe 10-20 years - and they were previewing the game for third in NCAA basketball, which they were going to be showing. Whoever it was, maybe Greg Gumbel, stopped just short of saying it would be more important than the title game, which they weren't carrying. It was so ridiculous.