ESPN unconcerned by SEC Net’s limited distribution

RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — The head of the SEC Network says ESPN is unconcerned about the new network’s limited cable and satellite distribution deals with 2½ months to go before its launch.

ESPN has reached deals with satellite TV company Dish Network along with cable providers AT&T U-verse, Google Fiber and NRTC to carry the SEC Network.

Major distributors such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast and DirecTV are not yet onboard.

“We’re not concerned at this point,” Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president for college networks programming. “If you look back, not just with conference networks but networks as a whole, often times distribution holes are filled toward the end.”

The SEC Network launches Aug. 14.

Commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday that it would be “unrealistic” to think the SEC Network will have full distribution by the time it launches.

The first SEC Network game is South Carolina at Texas A&M on Aug. 28.

“The next 75 days are focused on continuing to try to have productive conversations across the board and get as many distributors aboard as we can,” Connolly said. “I will be comfortable when everything is done.”

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