Mediacom said Thursday that it has agreed to carry the SEC Network, part of a larger carriage deal with ESPN parent The Walt Disney Co, removing one of the last remaining holdouts for the college sports network.
Mediacom, which has a significant presence in Missouri, one of the 11 states within the Southeastern Conference's footprint, was one of the few remaining major pay TV distributors that held off carrying the network, which debuted on Aug. 14. With Mediacom’s 1 million customers on board, the SEC Network is now counts more than 60 million cable, satellite and telco TV customers. Earlier today, RCN and Vyve Broadband agreed to carry the channel.
For its part,Grande Communications, the Texas-based broadband communications company that offers Internet, TV and phone services also announced an SEC Network agreement to launch in all markets where it provides service, including Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Midland, Odessa, San Antonio, San Marcos and Waco.
Cablevision Systems and Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV as the last remaining major market holdouts for the network. The SEC Network has launched in more than 60 million homes and is available to more than 90 million customers.
Mediacom said it would release details of its broader Disney pact at a later date. Today’s agreement with the SEC network is ahead of the first SEC 2014-15 college football season game, Texas A&M vs. South Carolina, on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. ET. Mediacom subscribers will also have authenticated access to additional live events scheduled for the SEC Network’s digital platforms – including WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com – with the ability to watch SEC Network live and on-demand on their computer, tablet, or mobile devices.
"Our cable systems in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are located in the heart of SEC country,” said Mediacom senior vice president of operations Ed Pardini, in a statement. "By launching the SEC Network, we will bring even more live college sports action to SEC alumni and fans.”
The SEC Network and its accompanying digital offering will air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including at least 45 exclusive SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, 50 softball games and events across all of the SEC’s 21 sports. The network will be an all-access pass to nationally competitive events, news and information, expert analysis, classic games and in-depth features on the most storied conference in college athletics.
"Mediacom serves many fans of the Southeastern Conference," said ESPN senior vice president, college networks Justin Connolly in a statement. "We look forward to providing an array of outstanding SEC programming to Mediacom customers on the new SEC Network."