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The New SEC Deal Strikes!


Among the many changes that will be hitting the UK sports world next year is the new mega-television package that it signed with ESPN. The ramification of this deal really cannot be underestimated. Whereas before, the SEC had great rights in football and a mediocre to poor basketball package, it can now be said that it has the best football package by far and potentially the first or second best basketball package in terms of exposure for its top programs. In addition, the amount of money is staggering. Whereas just a few years ago, critics pointed to the Notre Dame-NBC deal and said it would give that school a financial benefit that would make it impossible to compete with, the new deal pays EVERY SCHOOL IN THE SEC more than Notre Dame makes with NBC. Think about that for a second…Vandy football will make more television money than Notre Dame. That is simply unbelievable.

But while money is of course a great feature of the package, the key to the greatness of the package is the exposure. Here is what we know now:


— CBS will still cover the game of the week and have three doubleheaders that will play nationally.

— ESPN and ESPN2 will show at least 2 and potentially 3 other games at night, one starting at 5 pm and the others at 8

— A regional network will show one game a week, beginning at 11:30 am….unfortunately for UK that may hurt the tailgates when the Cats are involved. However that regional network will play in all ten of the most populated cities in America, in addition to the regular Southern area. Essentially it makes the regional network, quasi-national.

— ESPNU will take whatever the other conference game that is played that isnt on any of the other networks.

— Non-conference home games will play either on ESPN, ESPN 2, the regional network, ESPN U or ESPN Classic. All will have some audience except one game, which will be given to the school to allow it to sell on either a pay per view basis or via free “UKTV” production. This will be the Eastern Kentucky game.


— Every SEC conference game may be televised on one of the ESPN platform of networks. For UK at this time every game, will either be on CBS, ESPN or ESPN 2. There will be as many as two times as many SEC games on national television and ESPN will have a national game on 2 different nights, as opposed to one on under the other contract.

— For Kentucky, the non-conference home games will also be on the ESPN networks more often and only 2-3 games will be on the local only affiliate.

— The SEC Tournament will be on the ESPN 2 and CBS.

— SEC games can be on ESPN or ESPN 2 on weekends, a scenario that was only rarely available under the old contract.

Bottom line: in football every game is on national tv and in basketball all of UK games except a couple of terrible ones are on national tv. The regional network will use the ESPN talent and there will be no game which a fan in New York, Boston, LA, Dallas, Houston, etc cannot see. Think about that for a second.

All in all, UK will likely have more combined football/basketball games on national television than any other program. That is big folks and with Calipari here to take advantage and the ability of the football team to benefit from the added exposure, the SEC deal is as sweet for Kentucky as for any other school

Article written by Matt Jones

42 responses to “The New SEC Deal Strikes!”

  1. cat_fan_4ever


  2. Flop

    NO MORE FSN!!!!! YAY!!!!!

  3. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS

    YAAAHHHHOOOOOOOOO—I finally get to watch all of the games without much hassle.

  4. slappy

    The SECT being telecast from beginning to end is enormous. Not only awesome exposure for the program, but what better way to demonstrate the passion of the UK fanbase to the whole country than to show 30,000 Cat fans in the GA Dome for a 9:45pm tip off vs the Auburn-Georgia winner. This kicks so much ass!

  5. GoCats2010

    2010 is in Nashville

  6. Moving4Ward

    This is huge! (definitely what she said)

  7. Browntown

    Only problem with this for me is that I can’t get ESPN HD in my apartment in Lexington 🙁

  8. wildkatninja

    that means I will get to see almost every UK game this year in high definition, awesome!!!!

  9. charles barkley

    I get to see them from the student section muahahaha

  10. CatFanForLife

    9. Maybe, win the lottery first. Unless you know more than I do, which you may. That is all.

  11. charles barkley

    Student Section is easy to get unless youre called really really late in the lottery, lower arena goes first, then student section, then upper

  12. charles barkley

    Plus theres like 5 lotterys

  13. Wall2Cousins

    and here i thought ESPN was so far up Big East arses!!

  14. charles barkley

    They know who daddy is in football, and who is about to be in basketball again….

  15. CatFanForLife

    13. Ohio State sucks…

  16. Kmoney121

    I just found this, I was wondering what had come of the whole situation with Darrell Arthur in HS before attending Kansas and here it is.
    I can see that even though Arthur’s HS diploma should of been revoked there would not be any implications at Kansas for using an ineligible player back in 2008.

  17. Blueyouaway

    Money can’t buy everything. Look at Notre Dame Football & what they’ve done since the NBC “cash infusion” :

    .2007 lost 9th straight post season bowl game
    .2008 lost to Syracuse @home, an 8 loss team 1st time in school history
    .2007 Lost to Navy first tim since 1963
    . etc, etc,

    However, I do think this will still be a huge benefit for the SEC.

  18. daddy43040

    So does this mean i should cancel espn full court?

  19. Violent Cuts

    I am pretty sure that ESPN is only televising the semifinals and finals of the SEC Tournament.

    The early football game on Saturday is starting just after noon – a few minutes earlier than previous. I think 11:30 that Matt mentions is central time.

    I think a lot of games are going to be on ESPN 360.

  20. kmart1083

    This is great since I’m smack in the middle of Big Ten country (or “hell” as I like to call it.
    Anyone know how many years the deal is set for?

  21. rbdono2

    This is great news for me, I live in Sandusky Ohio and I always found myself on Yahoo or ESPN360 to watch the games. Now Matt doesn’t have to spoil the game when I’m live blogging on KSR because ESPN360 is 30 seconds behind.

  22. KeithRichardsRightNostral

    Sandusky!! AH MAaann get ready to live!! Sure beats cruisin the cattle auctions while scoping out the 4H babes.

  23. bsquared

    For basketball, this is awesome for NKY fans. I rarely get to watch a lot of SEC basketball besides when Kentucky is on because we never got the other Raycom games like Lexington does.

  24. grilled-chez

    Does this mean that I won’t have to pay $99 to watch UK play Liberty?

  25. Azubuikebicep
  26. UKBestAllTime

    23. Not sure what you’re referring too, I live in NKY and get all the same games on Raycom that the folks in Lexington get.

    The only thing that stinks, and trust me it isn’t that bad, is that the announcers on ESPNU and Classic are GAWD awful usually. I’m not complaining, just saying they are bad.

  27. TK

    What is this going to mean for Rob Bromley’s future? He can’t hone his “Inside the Huddle” skills
    with just 2-3 games a year!

  28. wildcat_99

    26) the Raycom partnership ended this year!

  29. jsh2001

    19) I am pretty sure ESPN/ESPN 2 will cover the early round games with ABC carrying the semis and final.

  30. Chris Minton

    yet another reason to celebrate the firing of Smirky the Clown. we wont get whupped by no-names on national tv. if we lose it will be to a better team in a competitive game. i can live with that.

  31. bsquared

    26…I’m talking about the non-UK games.

  32. UKhoopshysteria

    #27 TK That’s hilarious lmao.

  33. Wall2Cousins

    15 you must live a sad and lonely life….

  34. jack

    So let me get this straight… there are not going to be any pay per view games, all the games are on regular cable/satellite channels?

  35. UKSoCalCampus

    34- No there’s going to be one a year, well maybe.

    33. I tend to agree I was at that brutal beatdown in the coliseum last year…

  36. cat1

    Finally i get to see all the games in HD. Now i can tell who the hell the players are.

  37. UK_quick

    tears of joy…. as an alumni in houston, i was jumping out of my seat in excitement when i heard about this deal last year. F RAYCOM and JPSPORTS

  38. BigCatDaddy4263

    This Mega Deal is how the University of Kentucky is paying Coach is salary. So, we can thank ESPN and all of their hard working snitches (pat forde) on paying for Coach’s salary…..

  39. bogeyboy99

    You said “whereas” twice in the opening paragraph.
    Stop it.

  40. BigNik

    My pants just got tighter after reading that. 😮

  41. dsolzman

    this is awesome. so no more having to watch on espn 360 for games that are on fox sports south if any?

  42. justXwes

    great we’re going to get screwed during football season and end up having middle of the week night games all the time. there goes my tailgating fun :-/