The Southeastern Conference has signed a 15-year deal with ESPN reportedly worth more than $2 billion to televise sporting events, including football and men’s and women’s basketball.
The agreement announced Monday is the longest ESPN has ever signed and matches the length of the powerhouse league’s deal with CBS earlier in August.
“This agreement makes the SEC the most widely distributed conference in the country,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. He declined to disclose financial terms.
“The bottom line here is that fans of SEC football will have more access to games and better distribution than they ever have in the past,” Slive added.
The deal begins with the 2009-10 season and ends the league’s look into starting a network to carry its sporting events.
ESPN will have rights to every SEC home football game not on the network package and all league matchups will be shown on some outlet, including at least 20 a year on ESPN or ESPN2. That includes two primetime Thursday night matchups and Saturday night games.
“We’re thrilled with the historic nature of this deal,” ESPN executive vice president John Skipper said, adding that college sports have been “part of our DNA” for nearly 30 years. “It’s not hard to figure why we’d want to be involved with it, given the quality of SEC sports, for 15 more years.”