As a former card-carrying member of the SEC (woof, woof, woof for anyone who cares), I can only look at these numbers in awe … ESPN (NYSE: DIS) will announce later today a major deal for the SEC TV rights not held by CBS (NYSE: CBS), according to Sports Business Journal. SBJ’s “industry sources” peg the price at $2.25 billion for 15 years, or roughly $150 million a year. The Southeastern Conference, one of the top athletic conferences, just announced a 15-year deal with CBS for a reported $825 million or $55 million a year. No details yet on the broadband and mobile rights but it would be surprising if ESPN didn’t have a lock on multi-platform rights for its games.
SBJ also says to expect a deal that puts ESPNU on Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) systems; Comcast has a major SEC presence and this would be the right lever. SEC schools include Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Update: It’s official and the 15-year deal that starts in 2009-10 and runs through 2023-24 — the longest national rights deal ESPN has ever made — does include comprehensive multi-platform rights as expected, among them live streaming of football and basketball. But each SEC school retains the rights to make local multi-media deals. Some details:
– ESPN can simulcast live SEC games on ESPN360 and ESPN Mobile. ESPN.com also gets “extensive content rights.”
– As was the case with the MLB deal announced last week, this includes rights to emerging such as iTunes, X Box Live/Playstation, Zune, etc, and new platforms.
– The deal covers more than 5,500 SEC events including football, men