ESPN, Verizon Sign New Deal For SEC Network Broadcasts

Courtesy:  ESPN/SEC Network

Courtesy: ESPN/SEC Network

ESPN and Verizon have signed a new television deal.

The deal between ESPN and Verizon will allow Verizon to carry its brand new SEC Network on Verizon’s FiOS platform.  The terms of the deal will allow the SEC Network to air on Verizon FiOS beginning before August 28th.  Verizon customers in Florida and Texas that already receive ESPN as aprt of their FiOS TV package will be able to get the SEC Network on channels 75 and 575.  FiOS subscribers in all other markets who already receive FiOS Extreme and Ultimate will be able to pick up the SEC network on Channnel 75 upon the network’s launch through FiOS.

Terry Denson, Verizon’s VP for content acquisition and strategy, was optimistic about the new deal between Verizon and ESPN.  He noted the predictions for SEC teams in a number of preseason polls and ratings for SEC football games as reasons for Verizon’s deal with ESPN.  “We welcome the SEC Network to FiOS TV and look forward to carrying the studio content and athletic events it will offer, including the season-opening football doubleheader on Aug. 28,” he said.  “The preseason college poll lists eight SEC teams in the top 25; SEC football ratings are head and shoulders above other conferences; and SEC fans are extraordinarily and uniquely passionate about not only those teams but the entire conference as well. This deal with Disney-ESPN reinforces our already strong partnership with them which involves much more than this great new network.”

Sean Breen, Senior VP of affiliate sales for Disney and ESPN Media Networks also discussed the deal, noting that the deal means an even broader swatch of audiences will be able to receive the SEC Network.  “With the addition of Verizon FiOS, SEC Network is now available on nine of the top 10 multichannel video distributors in the country,” he said.  We look forward to serving their customers in time for college football season.”

Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Thought, it is known that included in the deal is the rights to the FiOS Mobile app as well as live-viewing rights and additional live and on-demand content scheduled for both the SEC Network and various mobile platforms via WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com.  The FiOS mobile app will be available to FiOS customers in the near future.

More information on the SEC Network, its broadcast schedule and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/SECNetwork and http://getsecnetwork.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New Deal Brings USTA’s U.S. Open Beginning In 2015

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Tennis fans have some good news today.  ESPN has announced that it has acquired the broadcast rights to the U.S. Open.  The new deal means that the Sports Leader will broadcast the U.S. Open beginning in 2015.  It will be the exclusive home of the U.S. Open both in North and South America.  The deal will keep the tournament on ESPN for eleven years.  It also means that ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will now broadcast three of tennis’ four majors beginning in 2015.

ESPN President John Skipper shared his thoughts on the new deal.  “Certain sporting events become synonymous with when they are held, and there is no better – or bigger – way to celebrate the end of summer than at the US Open in New York,” he said.  We look forward to capturing every match, every star, every championship and all the drama on this grand stage.”

Expectations for the new deal are just as high among those with the United States Tennis Association (USTA).  Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and president commented on the announcement, saying “This wide-ranging and broad relationship with ESPN positions tennis at the forefront of American sports.  By teaming with the world-wide leader in sports, the USTA will continue to ensure that tennis at every level thrives in the United States.”

When the deal takes effect, all matches of the U.S. Open tournament will be available not just on ESPN and ESPN2, but also via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app for those with mobile internet.  Every match of the tournament’s seventeen total courts will also be available on ESPN3.  Anyone that has ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription through Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOs, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter or AT&T U-Verse.

Along with broadcasting the U.S. Open in the United States beginning in 2015, ESPN will continue to be the home of the entire U.S. Open in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on TSN in Canada, as it has done since 2002.  Fans in these countries will benefit from the new deal as it means expanded hours and broadcast rights, just as in the U.S.—both on multiple linear TV channels and on digital platforms throughout each region. 

The new broadcast deal has major implications in the U.S. and Latin and South America, as well as the Caribbean, as noted.  It will have a big impact in the Middle East, too.  Terms of the deal included making ESPN the home of the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series.  Coverage of the series includes seventy-two hours of action in the five-week tournament leading up to the championship.  Terms also have given broadcast rights of the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.  The Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is the family friendly music and tennis festival that serves as the unofficial start to the two-week tournament.  It takes place a week prior to the tournament’s official start. 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.