Agreement between Verizon FiOS, SEC Network Confirmed

secIt has been confirmed that Verizon FiOS will join the SEC network carriage team. Just as industry experts anticipated, this is now the latest big-time distributor to join the affiliate roster of SEC’s Network. After coming to a carriage agreement with ESPN, airing on the SEC Network will happen sometime before August 28, 2014. In all, there are slots for 45 football games, starting with South Carolina who hosts Texas A&M on channels 75 and 575.

No financial terms have been disclosed but according to the agreement, all FiOS TV customers Texas and Florida, two of 11 states in the Southeastern Conference’s arena that receive ESPN, will have access to the SEC Network. For viewers outside these two states, to include Ultimate and Extreme customers in other markets, the SEC Network will be available in standard definition on channel 75 at the time of launch.

At the end of the second quarter, FiOS had established approximately 5.6 million video customers in just 12 states, to include the District of Columbia but currently, no timeframe has been set for an SEC Network upgrade to enhanced format for other areas of service. This network debuted on August 14, and now having added Verizon FiOS, will reportedly end up in over 62 million homes throughout the country. This makes it possible for over 1,000 events to be aired in the first year alone.

To date, the only major provider that has not signed an SEC carriage contract is Cablevision. However, a spokesperson from ESPN did state that negotiations are ongoing. Because Cablevision keeps negotiations under wraps, no one is sure when and if the contract will be executed.

Verison’s Vice President for content acquisition and strategy, Terry Densen, said the company welcomes the SEC Network to FiOS TV and is thrilled to offer various athletic events and studio content to customers. He also complements the SEC ratings, something proven by the eight SEC teams in the top on the preseason college poll list.

Sean Breen, Senior Vice President of affiliate sales with Disney and ESPN Media Networks goes on to say that the recent deal between Disney and ESPN solidifies an existing solid partnership. He feels strongly that by adding Verizon FiOS, the SEC Network will become available on nine of the ten top multichannel video distributors in the United States and as such, he is excited about providing customers service during college football season.

As part of the agreement, people will have live viewing rights, as well as live and on-demand content slotted for the SEC Network. This includes various other platforms like laptops, tablets, and smartphones, whereby people can gain access via SECNetwork.com and WatchESPN. Also included in the agreement are rights for the FiOS Mobile app, and while not available yet, it will be sometime in the not-so-distance future.

Currently, customers of FiOS have the ability to watch more than 100 live in-home and over 50 live on-the-go channels with the FiOS Mobile app. Even better, all of these channels come at no additional cost, which includes different ESPN branded networks for enjoying live sports.

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