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SEC HEADLINES: SEC Network to launch in just over a month

Many questions still remain about who will be carrying the newest sports channel.
Paul Finebaum — a longtime sports talk radio host known by many as the leading sports authority in the South and the “Voice of the SEC’’ — joined ESPN in August 2013 as host of the The Paul Finebaum Show.  (Joe Faraoni)
Paul Finebaum — a longtime sports talk radio host known by many as the leading sports authority in the South and the “Voice of the SEC’’ — joined ESPN in August 2013 as host of the The Paul Finebaum Show. (Joe Faraoni)
One of the most recognized and prominent voices in the history of sports television, Brent Musburger serves as a host and play-by-play commentator for multiple sports across ESPN and SEC Network.
One of the most recognized and prominent voices in the history of sports television, Brent Musburger serves as a host and play-by-play commentator for multiple sports across ESPN and SEC Network.
Jesse Palmer (John Atashian, (c) 2008, ESPN Inc.  All rights reserved.)
Jesse Palmer (John Atashian, (c) 2008, ESPN Inc. All rights reserved.)
Joe Tessitore (Joe Faraoni, 2010, ESPN Inc.)
Joe Tessitore (Joe Faraoni, 2010, ESPN Inc.)
In just over a month the Southeastern Conference and ESPN will launch the new SEC Network. And while many fans are getting fired up for the new programming we still don't have a clear indication on whether everyone will be able to view it when it launches.

Currently an agreement has been reached for viewers using AT&T U-verse, Google Fiber and Dish Network. As recent as last week it was reported that Comcast is close to reaching an agreement to carry the station.

When reaching out to other providers in recent weeks, all have indicated that they are working to reach a deal. Many believe that some providers will pick up the new network just days or even hours before it launches.

At issue is the subscriber fee. Those with knowledge of the situation say that ESPN is asking for $1.30 per subscriber from cable providers. They currently get $1.00 per subscriber for the Big-10 Network in most midwest markets where the network was highly requested. The fee does drop off in non-SEC states.

PROGRAMMING
The SEC and ESPN have a 20-year agreement through 2034 that will begin in August. Over 1,000 events are expected to be televised during the first year. This includes 45 football games, 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games and events from the other 21 sports played at various SEC schools.

In addition to the live programming, the popular Paul Finebaum Radio Network will serve as an anchor for network each day. Finebuam has been on the air with SEC for over a year now and his radio show is expected to head to tv before the launch of the network.

Finebaum will also be a key factor in SEC Nation which will be very similar to ESPN's College Gameday that airs each Saturday morning during college football season. SEC Nation will go on the road to the SEC campuses each week.

OTHER KEY FIGURES
Joining Finebaum on the network will be several well known names for the ESPN brand.

Tim Tebow will serve as as a football analyst for SEC Nation this fall. Tebow has gone on record saying he would still like to further his career in the NFL but signed a multi-year tv deal.

ESPN named Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer as lead game announcers for SEC Network football in March. Musburger will scale back his role on ESPN and will no longer call Saturday Night Football or post-season bowl games

Former University of Alabama and New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy has been hired as a college football analyst for the SEC Network on a multi-year contract. Also hired as an analyst is Anthony “Booger” McFarland who starred at LSU

ESPN commentator Joe Tessitore will serve as the host of SEC Nation with Finebuam and Tebow. They will be joined by former LSU standout Marcus Spears.
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