The Walt Disney Company has reached an agreement with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to carry the SEC Network, according to the Sports Business Daily, citing sources close to the negotiations.
A formal announcement "could come as soon as this week," the trade reports.
The agreement with the ESPN-backed regional sports network, which launched Aug. 14, puts it on every major pay-TV service in regions where the Southeastern Conference operates. As far as top MSOs are concerned, the SEC Network still doesn't have a deal with New York-based Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), but the MSO doesn't operate in any areas close to SEC campuses.
The channel will launch on FiOS' basic tier within SEC coverage zones and will include multiscreen accessibility via the WatchESPN app.
The addition of Verizon's 5 million subscribers pushes the RSN's subscriber count to the mid-60-million range. The channel is available in nearly 100 million pay-TV homes, surpassing the Big Ten Network as by far the biggest college-based RSN.
- read this Sports Business Daily story
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Playing the SportsNet LA blame game; Include the fans and the team, too