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Changes Coming to SEC Television

By on March 24th, 2014 in Football 13 Comments »

You like change? Then, this is your year. In addition to the playoff era beginning in college football, the media landscape and how you watch Saturday afternoon football will change dramatically.

The biggest news in these parts is the launch of the SEC Network. Promising to deliver 24/7 football programming during the season, the new ESPN-sponsored network is set to launch on August 14th. The big question is whether it’ll be available in your area.

Negotiations with cable and satellite providers continue to move slowly. Right now the only providers signed on are Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse. The conference plans to carry three games each weekend, including an early, afternoon and evening contest.

Game coverage kicks off on Thursday, August 28th with Texas A&M vs. South Carolina and Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee. Two days later, the premier of SEC GameDay airs live from Auburn just before kickoff of the Arkansas game.

ESPN’s Joe Tessitore will anchor the new program and will be joined by Tim Tebow. Like the original GameDay program, the show will rotate to different campuses each week.

Recently, Brent Musburger was named lead announcer for the SEC package on the new network. Viewed as a demotion from his duties as lead play-by-play man for ABC’s Saturday night broadcast, Musburger is being replaced by GameDay host Chris Fowler.

Fowler’s contract expired this year and it’s believed that Fox and CBS both were chasing him. His new deal with ESPN likely will keep him around the network for the remainder of his career. It’s reported that his new deals pays $3.5 million annually. He’ll continue his GameDay hosting duties in addition to the new gig.

Now for the bad news: Joining Musburger in the booth will be Jesse Palmer. For me, this will make Saturday afternoons virtually unwatchable on the new SEC Network. I’m not sure what’s worse, hiring Paul Finebaum to simulcast his show live daily or allowing Palmer’s ignorance to roam freely for three hours each Saturday.

Either way, the new network has already made some missteps before flipping the switch to on. Speaking of Finebaum, look for him to have an expanded role on the new Saturday show.

Tebow will be begging the NFL to give him any kind of job after spending a few Saturdays with Finebaum and Palmer. Count me among those who’ll be sticking with the original GameDay show.

The SEC can do better.


  1. restless6 says:

    Unless it’s free on my cable plan, I won’t be paying extra for it. This has FAIL written all over it.

    Of course, I could always do what I do most of the football season, watch the game on mute and listen to Rod and Stan on the radio.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I listened to Rod and Stan every game last fall. It’s so much more fun, that way! I’m leary of this whole SEC Network junk. I figure Charter (my cable company) will end up carrying it. I think they’d hear too much uproar in this area if they didn’t! Of course, these games are probably going to be on upper tier channels. I’ll have a tough decision to make, if that’s the case.

    …..I have just Charter’s analog expanded basic package, and no cable box. I’m already missing the ESPN-U games. Luckily, I’ve been able to attend most of those games over the past few years. If I’m now looking at missing half of Auburn’s televised games, I suppose I’ll have to bite the bullet and upgrade to Charter’s Digital package and rent a box or two.

    …..I guess everybody wants a bigger piece of flesh, these days. First, health insurance nearly doubles, then this crappy deal with the SEC happens…

  3. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I just don’t want to miss any games. Of course, this is what the cable folks are after. We get the full slate of ESPNs, so my guess is that they will offer the SEC network. It will be a matter of do we want to pay extra? The decision will be painful. A show with Tim Tebow? ugh. Jesse Palmer and Brent Musburger in the same booth??? ick.

    As for Fowler, he seems highly knowledgeable, so moving him into the booth with Herbstriet (I’m assuming that is what is happening) seems like a smart idea.

  4. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Add Greg McElroy to that mix and they might as well rename it the Turd Network. Personally, they would have to pay me to watch and listen to the drivel that will come out of the speakers.

  5. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    ESPN represents everything that is wrong with collegiate athletics. Hiring a muckraker like Paul Finebaum is a perfect example.

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I’ve never really watched much of gameday or the pregame stuff on the TV. Lee Corso’s presence is part of the reason. And during the week leading up to Saturday, I’ve probably pored over tons of CFB blogs and stat pages. I’m unlikely to gain more insight, and I’m probably going to get ticked off at something Corso, Dr. Lou or the Bachelor says. Me, the TV goes on at 11:00 and I’m probably starting to watch early games.

    …..A couple of hours before the Auburn game, I start getting locked in. Any reporter that runs live updates at Auburn is going to have a tab up in my browser that I’ll refresh from time to time. Stan and Rod go on at least an hour before the game. I always have the ESPN scoreboard up somewhere, too. I don’t have to sit through highlight shows or wait for the ticker on the TV to know how other games are going.

  7. DBAU81 says:

    Question: I would much prefer to mute the TV and listen to Rod and Stan, but the radio broadcast is almost never in sync with the TV. This drives me crazy and I usually end up just watching the video with the sound way down and try to ignore the announcers. Any ideas on how to resolve this – or are you guys just more tolerant of it than I am?

  8. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    My youngest brother has a neat set up. It’s called delay radio. You can adjust the audio broadcast signal by simply turning a knob. Here is the link.

    • DBAU81 says:


      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I watch via a TV card on my computer. Rod and Stan were actually several seconds ahead of the TV broadcast, this past season. On Windows Media Center, you can pause live TV, then restart. It takes a couple of tries usually, but I was able to synch ’em up nicely doing that. I’ve complained about the radio being way behind several years ago, but the Auburn ISP folks have addressed that pretty well the last couple of seasons.

  9. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    My problem is living in Georgia, where the Auburn Network does not reach. Does Sirius radio carry the AU games? How does this work?

  10. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    All of this reminds me of the days when Auburn was NOT on TV very much or sometimes not at all. The local Baton Rouge Area Auburn Club would meet at a member’s house and call either the Auburn Alumni Association or a friend who would hook us into the radio broadcast. On our end, we had a makeshift devise that could be hooked into a telephone receiver and we would listen to the games live. Saturday long distance telephone bills were minimal and we’d take up a collection to pay for it. We really had some GREAT Auburn parties in those days. Technology has greatly improved, BUT, a lot of the fun has also gone.

    But, as I always say: IT’S GREEAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    Come on, Football season! I can hardly wait!