When the SEC Network was announced, it was predicted that it would be a huge success, due to the fanbase of each of the 14 institutions having a rabid fever for college football. The network is slated to air three SEC games every weekend during the season.
However, plans hit a roadblock when DirecTV started sending emails to it’s subscribers saying they “have no particular plans to carry the SEC Network.”
The controversy started with blogger Clay Travis on twitter:
DirecTV is emailing SEC fans who have requested @SECNetwork that they “have no current plans to carry the SEC Network.” Be forewarned.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) February 19, 2014
Then the outrage from SEC fans spilled on Twitter:
— Jordan L Smith (@JordanLSmith1) February 20, 2014
If SEC Network hired Tim Brando and Clay Travis, I would immediately get Direct TV.
— Bananas Foster (@geauxcrimson) February 20, 2014
No SEC NETWORK DIRECT TV I THINK ITS TIME WE END THIS 9 YEAR RELATIONSHIP!!!!!! Bye bye
— Tim cole (@Timcole20) February 19, 2014
Seems pretty clear that DirectTV wanted their SEC fans to call the conference office and demand it be on their provider. What a backfire.
— Wes Sutton (@wesleytsutton) February 20, 2014
Direct TV isn’t going to carry the SEC network. That’s some BS! The biggest Satellite provider isn’t going 2 cover The Best Conference WTF
— THE WATCHER KC76 (@KoreyC76) February 20, 2014
DirectTV issued a tweet later:
DIRECTV is still in negotiations to bring SEC Network to customers. Check http://t.co/QDaZagBzUw for updates as season gets closer
— DIRECTV (@DIRECTV) February 19, 2014
The outrage that was sparked by DirecTV showed one thing: Any carrier that denies SEC fans the ability to watch their favorite team on TV will feel a huge backlash. So far, AT&T is the only major carrier that is onboard with launching the network in August and has been since the day it was first announced.
The real problem is that it is a property that is owned by ESPN, who already charges the most per subscriber to their carriers. So certainly, the pushback from DirecTV to pay for another ESPN channel is understandable, considering the network already runs five main channels and a bunch of others. But once SEC fans start missing games, carriers will likely have to swallow it and pay the rate eventually when subscribers start jumping ship.
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