We know the SEC Network is a money maker, and has greatly added to the SEC’s financial bottom line. That news was pretty much expected. There’s been some subtle NCAA college baseball tournament TV scheduling going on that I’m quite surprised hasn’t had more attention regarding the SEC Network. If you haven’t noticed the SEC Network partnered with ESPN is televising NCAA college baseball tournament games that feature SEC Teams.
Now all the other NCAA games are on ESPNU and ESPN3. Most of the ACC’s teams are on ESPN3. Live Streaming for sports is growing and will grow, but until it surpasses television viewing, this statement will be true – SEC Baseball is getting better college baseball coverage than any other conference in the country. Normally ESPN’s perceived SEC bias is a source of frustration, but this is just good business here.
ESPN owns the rights to the College Baseball Tournament. The SEC has 7 teams in the College Baseball tournament, why wouldn’t ESPN utilize the SEC network to televise opening round games with SEC teams rather than relegate them to ESPN3?
This could have far reaching effects. ESPN owns the rights to several collegiate post-season events. There is the women’s basketball tournament, the NIT, etc etc. In fact if you want to see just how many post-season collegiate events ESPN and it’s family of networks are showing just check out the NCAA’s page on their television schedule on each sport.
That is why the Big Ten network cannot carry these post-season events. ESPN owns the rights to them. The Pac-12 network looks even more shaky. The Big Ten Network may show some of these games if Fox owned the rights. The Pac-12 is not paired with any major carrier. For the ACC should they be paired with ESPN in a conference network will get better exposure for their Olympic sports. This is tangible evidence of that.
The SEC Network is basically doing a joint coverage of the college baseball tournament. I haven’t watched the SEC Network since a couple of football games in the fall, but I have watched it this week, because of the college baseball tournament.
Don’t be surprised if more NCAA post-season events don’t find their way to the SEC Network. If the money isn’t enough, or you think that is all a conference network provides, this is another strong reason that the ACC is making the right decision working with ESPN rather than someone else in the creation of a network. With 15 teams conference in the Olympic Sports, the ACC is often finding itself with multiple teams in NCAA post-season events.