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Tag Archives: SEC

Why Are SEC Schools Getting So Little Money From SEC Network?

SECnetworklogoIn a recent analysis of Southeast Conference revenue, Chadd Scott of SportsDay Now determined that SEC schools received between $5 million and $6 million each in revenue from SEC Network, the conference’s joint venture with ESPN.

If we round that off at $5.5 million per school, the 14 SEC schools received a combined $77 million from SEC Network.

That number seems kind of small, doesn’t it? After all, wasn’t SEC Network supposed to collect nearly half a billion dollars in carriage fees alone?

According to SNL Kagan’s latest numbers, 69.1 million homes have SEC Network in their pay TV services, and the channel receives an average of $0.66/month from each of those homes. (Homes in SEC territory reportedly pay $1.30/month.) That adds up to $547 million that SEC Network collects in carriage fees alone, to say nothing of how much advertising revenue the channel makes.

So why are SEC schools receiving only $77 million in a year from a network that collects $45.6 million per month?

There might be perfectly logical explanations. Perhaps the network costs more than a million dollars a day to operate (which seems doubtful), and the network and conference are splitting the remaining revenue. Perhaps the SEC’s contract with ESPN worked the start-up costs of the network into the contract (which seems less doubtful), and the amount of money schools receive in the coming years will increase dramatically.

For now, though, given that this conference paid each of its schools $31.2 million total in TV revenue, $5.5 million each doesn’t seem like quite the windfall that many expected it would be. Then again, it still beats the hell out of the Pac-12 Network, which only collected $57.6 million in carriage fees and still has no carriage agreement in place with DirecTV. Perhaps that alone justifies the SEC’s decision to partner with ESPN and let them own the network, rather than go it alone like the Pac-12 did.

Numbers Behind SEC Network Even More Ridiculous Than Previous Estimates

Last May, I estimated that ESPN’s new SEC Network could collect up to $283 million per year in subscriber fees alone. As it turns out, those numbers were way too low. Sports Business Daily reported on Monday that ESPN will ask carriers for $1.30 per month from pay TV subscribers in SEC states. It was previously… Continue Reading

About That Highest-Paid Public Employee Graphic…

You might have seen this infographic on Deadspin yesterday:   This graphic will attract all sorts of outrage and hand-wringing about how our priorities are all out of whack. You might be sitting there and shaking your head yourself about it. That’s why I’m going to remind you of something very important: We paid for… Continue Reading

SEC Network Could Collect $283 Million Per Year In Cable Fees Alone

Do you live in SEC Country? Do you pay for cable or satellite TV? Congratulations! Your cable bill is going up yet another 80 cents per month next year! Of course, if you’re an alumnus or fan of an Southeastern Conference school, you probably won’t mind, as that 80 cents will pay for the new… Continue Reading


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