The worst kept secret in college sports won't be a secret much longer.
We've known for a long time now that the SEC has been incubating ambitions for making its own television network like what the Big Ten and Pac-12 have. Yesterday in an interview in USA Today, Mike Slive finally let us know that there's a light at the end of that tunnel:
Although Slive did not confirm Wednesday that the league will join the Big Ten and Pac-12 with a dedicated cable channel, he said they'll make "an announcement within the next couple of months, if not sooner."
Ostensibly, the announcement will be about the rights fee hike that is a result of adding Texas A&M and Missouri to the conference's roster. It will be a shock, though, if it doesn't include a conference network of some kind.
The best bet is that the network will be a joint venture co-owned by the SEC and ESPN. It'll most likely get run out of the ESPNU studios in Charlotte, NC where the current "SEC Network" syndication package programming gets produced. Ensuring wide carriage of the channel is always one of the toughest parts, but if the Pac-12 Networks could launch with that already taken care of, then hopefully the SEC channel will be able to do it as well. After all, there will be hell to pay in a lot of areas if the big cable and satellite providers don't have the network from Day 1.