Big Ten reaps the benefits of TV network; is the SEC next?

Big Ten fans received a jolt of good news last week when the conference’s co-owned television venture, the Big Ten Network, announced a long-awaited agreement with the nation’s largest cable provider, Comcast. Starting Aug. 15, nearly 25 million new customers will have access to the channel, most notably 6.5 million households in seven of the eight states with Big Ten schools.
“With the Comcast deal now in place, the Big Ten Network will be available to more than two-thirds of all homes in Big Ten Country,” said network president Mark Silverman.
If you’re a Michigan, Penn State or Illinois fan, the news most obviously impacts you. However, all you Florida, Georgia and Tennessee fans should take notice as well.
The SEC — the reigning darling of the college football world and proven ratings machine — is currently in the process of entertaining suitors for its various television properties, all of which expire next summer. At the league’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., last month, conference athletic directors listened to presentations from current partners CBS, ESPN, Raycom and Comcast.

si.com
6/24/08