SEC, ESPN sign 15-year deal

Published 3:00 pm Monday, August 25, 2008

BIRMINGHAM – The Southeastern Conference has signed a 15-year deal for ESPN to televise sporting events.

The deal was announced Monday and begins with the 2009-10 season.

The SEC had already announced a 15-year pact with CBS earlier in August. The league had been considering starting its own network.

ESPN’s various networks will carry more than 5,500 SEC events, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, Olympic sports and SEC championships.

The football coverage will include games on Saturday night and two primetime Thursday games. The deal adds a second and third night of SEC basketball games on ESPN and ESPN2 and includes coverage of league championships in women’s basketball, baseball, softball and gymnastics.

Raycom Sports had broadcast SEC football and basketball games.