The last domino in ESPN and the SEC's plans to make the SEC Network available to every red-blooded sports fan in America just fell: ESPN and the SEC announced Monday evening that DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite provider, will carry the SEC Network from launch.
"The SEC boasts powerhouse athletic programs, especially in football, representing deeply loyal communities, many of which do not have any professional teams," said Dan York, DIRECTV's Chief Content Officer. "The depth of SEC competition and the quality ESPN brings to game production and complementary programming makes SEC Network a valuable addition to our sports programming lineup, and we're excited to bring it into our customers' homes and on their devices."
"Our agreement with DIRECTV continues to push the SEC Network towards one of the most successful network launches when it debuts on August 14," said Sean Breen, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales. "We're proud to deliver the SEC Network nationwide via DIRECTV in advance of the Texas A&M and South Carolina game later this month."
Coming on the heels of similar summer announcements of accords with Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and a March announcement that AT&T's U-Verse TV service and DISH Network would carry the new joint venture between Bristol and Birmingham, and a it is clear that the SEC Network is going to launch — just 10 days from this Monday — with about as much support as any cable sports channel has ever had.
The only thing remaining to be seen, now that virtually every household in the Southeast can receive the SEC Network, is how many of those households actually will.