SEC on the TV

Wondering where to tune in for SEC football in the coming years? You’ll have to wait a little longer to find out.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the conference has been in the process of studying its options for the past two years. The examination has included looking at the Mountain West Conference channel, the Big Ten Network, and the NFL Network. Will the SEC launch its own channel? Time will tell.

“We will make a final decision this fall, a full year before the existing contracts expire, giving us a year to implement the new agreements in whichever direction we decide to go,” Slive said.

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Slive cited several criteria the conference has on its agenda when negotiating new television contracts.

“They include the ability to improve national distribution for all of our sports, the ability to enhance the SEC brand nationally, the opportunity to provide a window for nonathletic programming, particularly academic programming, the ability to maximize multimedia distribution in the new digital world. And, finally, the ability to increase revenue distribution to our member institutions in support of their broadbased men’s and women’s athletic programs,” Slive said.

I’m going out on a limb, but I bet the last one is the most important one. Increasing revenue is the holy grail when talking television contracts.

Changing media environment
Slive also addressed the changing media environment in his keynote address.

“We are very aware of and sensitive to the changing media environment, particularly as it impacts the print media, brought about by technological change and the fact that anyone, anyplace, any time can try to be a sportswriter,” Slive said.

This remark drew laughter from the media in the audience.

It was a laugh of derision.

I wanted to laugh considering most hard news reporters have an equal contempt for sportswriters that these sportswriters have for the emerging media on the Internet.

I know I’m grateful the SEC doesn’t share the contempt for new media that some of the sportswriters have. The SEC was kind enough to allow me to attend. I doubt many of those laughing would have welcomed any blogger to the event.