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ESPN Announces New TV Network

It has a 20-year deal with the Southeastern Conference


FootballNext year, fans of college sports will get yet another outlet to feed their addiction.

On Thursday, Disney‘s (NYSE:DIS) ESPN announced that it was partnering with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to launch a dedicated network to cover conference games and events. Neither side revealed the financial terms of the deal, but the SEC network will debut in August 2014 with a 20-year contract, Bloomberg notes.

Disney Cruise Ship to Get Major Makeover
Disney Cruise Ship to Get Major Makeover

Though the SEC encompasses college teams in only 11 states, conference officials say they expect the new network to draw viewers nationwide. The move follows similar network launches by the Pac 12 and Big 10 conferences.

The SEC network is expected to carry 1,000 live events — transmitted both digitally and by broadcast — each year, including 45 SEC football games. The SEC has an existing 15-year contract with CBS (NYSE:CBS), signed in 2008. Under that deal, CBS will have first pick of SEC games to broadcast.

While football was the focus of the Thursday news conference announcing the network’s launch, it is expected to carry other sports as well, including basketball.

Shares of Disney rose fractionally in Friday morning trading.

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