Comcast and SEC Network Near Agreement
The SEC Network will launch on August 14th, exactly six weeks from today and according to Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, will be carrying the network. Comcast spokesperson John Demming told Outkick that the two sides are "working out final details." He also told Outkick, "We expect to come to an agreement in the near future."
That should come as quite a relief to millions of SEC football fans worried about watching their games this fall. Exactly when that Comcast deal would be announced remains to be seen -- it could make quite a splash at SEC Media Days in two weeks -- but assuming Comcast and ESPN iron out those final details that would leave Time Warner and DirecTV as the only two major companies who have not yet reached an agreement to carry the network or provided a recent update on the status of negotiations. So far Dish Network, AT&T Uverse and Google Fiber have all agreed to carry the SEC Network on its launch date. When Comcast officially comes on board, that would put the SEC Network in roughly fifty million homes.
While the SEC Network launches on August 14th, the first football games Temple at Vanderbilt and Texas A&M at South Carolina will air on Thursday August 28th and every SEC football team will play on the network in the first month. SEC fans have intensified their demands for the network as the summer months have arrived. Whether that will ensure that DirecTV -- who still doesn't carry the Pac 12 Network -- and Time Warner also come to an agreement in time for the start of the season remains to be seen. But based on these comments it appears that Comcast subscribers can rest easy, they will have the SEC Network.
As for DirecTV and Time Warner, both are presently seeking approval to be acquired by AT&T and Comcast, respectively. Given that both AT&T -- through Uverse -- and Comcast will be carrying the SEC Network, it seems likely that eventually both DirecTV and Time Warner will have the SEC Network as well. But will they have it this year? That's the big question. Outkick emailed DirecTV seeking comment on negotiations and so far has received no response. We'll update this story when or if we hear back from DirecTV.