On Thursday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. ET, sports fans nationwide will experience SEC Network, a 24/7 multiplatform sports network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN. The network will debut with its flagship news and information show SEC Now live from all 14 SEC campuses. Sports of all seasons will be showcased in the three-hour special sharing the passion, beauty and treasure trove of champions stowed up in SEC country.
Notable figures on and off the field, lent their voices in an opening essay that speaks to the tradition, pageantry and storied history of the SEC. Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning, Shaquille O’Neal, Dara Torres and Joe Namath are among the 31 voices that will ring for the SEC. Their words will be the first etched in SEC Network history. They will be expanded upon over the course of the show – and the year ahead – by a talented pool of SEC Network commentators, 15 of which are involved in the opening show. In total, the premiere night will include 21 anchors, reporters and analysts in studio and reporting live from campuses.
The show will feature a diversity of sports coverage, a host of SEC Network experts, high-end features, behind-the-scenes access and sit-down interviews – backbone elements for the regularly schedule SEC Now show.
Highlights of the debut special:
· Faces of SEC Now: Hosts Dari Nowkhah and Maria Taylor will anchor the first live show from the network’s Charlotte, N.C., studios. They will be joined by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger as well as Paul Finebaum, Greg McElroy and Booger McFarland
· Live Whip Around Reporting: Analysts, reporters and even a SportsCenter anchor will be dispersed and reporting live from the following SEC locations: Marcus Spears (Alabama), Niki Noto (Arkansas), Rece Davis (Auburn), Joe Tessitore (Florida), Tim Tebow (Florida), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Laura Rutledge (Kentucky), Peter Burns (LSU), Ben McDonald (LSU), Tony Barnhart (Mississippi State), John Anderson (Missouri), Kaylee Hartung (Ole Miss), Shannon Spake (South Carolina), Ryan McGee (Tennessee), Kayce Smith (Texas A&M) and Jessica Mendoza (Vanderbilt)
· All-Access: Go inside football camps with wired coaches; listen live at Mississippi State practice with Coach Dan Mullen, stride alongside Florida’s walkthrough with coach Will Muschamp and shout with Yell Leaders at Aggies Yell practice
· Features: Auburn offensive lineman Shon Coleman was sidelined in 2011 and 2012 while fighting leukemia. Coleman returned last September and is battling for the starting left tackle position vacated by Greg Robinson, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft
· Highlights: Live look-ins and highlights from in-progress soccer matches UAB at Vanderbilt and Creighton at Arkansas
· Interviews: Sit down with coaches that represent 10 total championships, including five defending championship coaches from within the SEC’s 21-sponsored sports; Spears interviews his former LSU coach, now head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban; Tebow returns to Gainesville to interview Florida’s quarterback Jeff Driskel
SEC Now will be immediately followed with the SEC Storied debut of “The Stars are Aligned” at 9 p.m. The programming schedule for the next 14 days programming can be seen here.
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch August 14, 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will carry SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include in-depth commentary and analysis in studio shows, daily news and information, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, and more. AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, PTC Communications, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC and will carry the television network nationwide at launch. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively as SEC Network+ events on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com through authenticated access from AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC.