From ESPN’s perspective, the biggest success story was ESPNU. Prior to the SEC deal, ESPNU was in approximately 25 million homes. Today, the network is in 73 million households and, as Slive points out, has moved up from Channel 614 on DirecTV to Channel 208 — right near ESPN and ESPN2.
“I think the SEC is the primary factor,” Magnus said. “I launched ESPNU five years ago, and we’ve had great content on it, but the SEC was always sort of missing from our lineup. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that as soon as we did this deal, we got serious traction in a lot of our distribution conversations.”