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Report: SEC, ESPN to Split SEC Network Profits Evenly

It's a 50-50 split according to industry insiders.

Kelly Lambert

In an article about the ACC looking at doing a conference network of its own, the Sports Business Daily reported the profit split that the SEC Network will have:

The SEC has a new national media rights deal with ESPN, but terms of that contract — which runs through 2034 — were not available. That’s a separate contract that runs concurrently with the SEC Network contract. ESPN will own the SEC channel and will share profits 50-50 with the conference, industry sources said.

Late last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that ESPN would own all of the SECN, and this here is the first we've seen of how the two entities might split up the lucre this network will generate.

During the unveiling press conference, ESPN president John Skipper said that his employer and the SEC agree on headquartering the network in Charlotte, NC because ESPN has an existing studio there with extra capacity. He noted that such an arrangement would be better than building a new structure, which hints that these two will go for profits very quickly. The Big Ten Network achieved profitability in its second year, while Larry Scott has said his Pac-12 Networks will be profitable from the first year. The SEC, like the Big Ten, will be sharing profits with a media partner while the Pac-12, as sole owner of its networks, will reap all of the profits.

The SBD report also mentions that regional Fox Sports Net outfits will still have the ability to buy games through the 2014 season, as ESPN chose not to buy out that deal but rather just let it expire.