ESPN and the DISH Network have reached an agreement to provide DISH subscribers with the SEC Network when it launches in August, according to a release by the Southeastern Conference.
The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, struck the deal as part of a larger agreement between the companies.
From the release:
The channel will be available to fans and followers of the Southeastern Conference in DISH’s America’s Top 120+ and higher packages across the country. DISH subscribers will also have authenticated access to additional live events scheduled for the SEC Network’s digital platform, with the ability to watch SEC Network content anytime, anywhere on their television, computer, tablet or mobile device.
DISH subscribers in the southeast will breathe a sigh of relief, while subscribers to DirecTV will have to wait. There is no deal in place for the SEC Network to air on DirecTV, and the satellite provider originally said there were no plans to carry the network.
Fan outcry has been swift, and DirecTV is playing the long game it seems, in an attempt to extract whatever concessions it can from ESPN and the SEC. In the long run, the SEC Network isn’t The Weather Channel, and the popularity – and lack of any alternative avenues – for SEC football programming will likely have DirecTV coming around eventually.