CBS, ESPN deals will be huge in recruiting for SEC

I was still getting calls late Monday night about the SEC’s staggering 15-year deal with ESPN that will reportedly pay the league about $2.25 billion. That deal, coupled with the 15-year deal the SEC has signed with CBS will give the league financial security for a long, long time.
But the benefits to the SEC from these TV deals go far beyond financial. Here are some aspects of the deal that maybe you haven’t thought about:

1. It will be huge for the SEC in recruiting: The games on ESPN and ESPN2 will have a unique national branding as the “SEC on ESPN.” That may not sound like a big deal to you but it will be a major recruiting pitch in the future. No other conference has that kind of branding on ESPN: Not the Big Ten, not the Big 12, and not the ACC. The SEC will be able to walk into a living room and say that every conference game will either be on CBS or one of the ESPN platforms. And if the SEC is recruiting a player outside the nine-state area, the coaches can tell parents that the games will be on the dish as part of ESPN’s Game Plan. This is a huge part of this deal. The NFL has the best television package on the planet but what the SEC has with CBS and ESPN is not far off.

ajc.com
8/26/08