Suddenlink to Pick Up SEC Network, Longhorn Network and WatchESPN

As part of a comprehensive deal with Disney, Suddenlink with 1.4 million subscribers focused mainly in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia, has signed to carry SEC Network in time for the August 14 launch, Longhorn Network and WatchESPN. In addition to the three ESPN platforms, Suddenlink will also pick up the ABC News/Univision joint venture of Fusion as well as continue to carry various ESPN networks including ESPN3.

With SEC Network on board with Suddenlink, the channel will be in 68 million homes. DirecTV is expected to sign on soon and should bring SEC Network to over 80 million homes across the country.

So far among the major cable and satellite providers, AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish and Time Warner Cable have all agreed to carry SEC Network when it goes on the air in ten days.

Here’s the official announcement from Disney and Suddenlink.

THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY AND SUDDENLINK ANNOUNCE BROAD MULTI-YEAR DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT

New Deal Provides Sports, News and Entertainment to Suddenlink Customers In and Out of the Home
Suddenlink to Add Upcoming SEC Network at Launch and Longhorn Network in Time for Football Season
Full Suite of Authenticated WATCH Services and Fusion to Launch Beginning this Fall

ST. LOUIS, MO and BRISTOL, CT –– AUGUST 4, 2014 –– Suddenlink and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a broad multi-year distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Suddenlink TV customers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices. The renewal agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.

“A number of our customers have expressed interest in the SEC and Longhorn Networks, and a sizable majority have told us how much they value Disney networks like ESPN and ABC Family,” said Kathy Payne, Suddenlink Senior Vice President and Chief Programming Officer. “We’re very pleased we can provide those customers what they’ve said they want, and we’d like to specially thank the SEC and Longhorn fans who contacted us for their enthusiasm and patience, as we worked with Disney to complete this comprehensive, long-term agreement.”

“Suddenlink TV customers will benefit greatly from this latest multi-year renewal agreement,” added Sean Breen, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales, Disney & ESPN Networks Group. “Not only will they continue to receive top quality content from Disney and ESPN networks ahead of the new fall programming slate and upcoming football season, but also additional, highly sought after services.”

As part of the new multi-year deal, Suddenlink will introduce several new services, including the upcoming SEC Network at launch on August 14 and Longhorn Network, beginning with the 2014-15 college football season.  In addition, beginning this fall, Suddenlink plans to introduce Fusion and the full suite of authenticated WATCH services, including WatchESPN. Continuing services covered by the broad scope of this agreement include: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN3, video-on-demand services and retransmission consent for KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, KTRK-TV in Houston and KFSN-TV in Fresno.

That’s it.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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