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SEC Network FAQ

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Thumbnail image for SEC Network logo.jpg GENERAL / STRUCTURAL

1. When will the SEC Network launch?
The SEC Network will launch in August 14, 2014.

2. What will the network be called?
The network will be called the "SEC Network."  Although it's formal name is the "SEC ESPN Network".

3. How is this different from SEC TV (formerly called the SEC Network)?
SEC TV, referred to as the SEC Network prior to 2013, previously aired SEC football and basketball games on local channels. The SEC Network launching in August will be its own channel on your television which you will be able to access via cable or satellite television. Events selected to air on the SEC Network will only be available on the television channel or the digital platform. Come August 14, 2014, SEC TV will not exist next season.

4. How is this different than other conference or single-school networks?
This collaboration between the SEC and ESPN will bring together unparalleled content from one of the most competitive conferences in the country with the highest quality, most innovative production partner in the sports industry.

This will be a national sports network.

5. How can I get the SEC Network in time for the August 14, 2014 launch?
Fans should visit www.GetSECNetwork.com and also contact their cable or satellite distributor to ensure they receive the network.

An agreement is already in place with Time Warner, AT&T U-verse, DISH, Google Fiber and NRTC to distribute the SEC Network.  ESPN is working hard to ensure that the network will be available nationally via every cable, satellite and telco distributor.  ESPN will continue negotiating with the other distributors in the coming months.

6. Will the SEC Network look similar to ESPN channels?
The SEC Network will have the highest quality production value that is a standard across all ESPN networks.  At the same time, the SEC Network will have a distinctive look and feel from other ESPN networks.

7. Where will the SEC Network be located?
The production home will be in Charlotte, N.C.  This location will provide for efficient use of ESPN's existing production facility in Charlotte and it will have support from all of ESPN's resources in Bristol, Conn.

8. Why is Charlotte the SEC Network's home, especially since there are no SEC teams in N.C.?
ESPN already has a state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte that is easily accessible from across the SEC footprint.

9. Will each campus (or the SEC Offices) have upgraded television facilities?

Each campus will ultimately have the capability to produce live events locally which will be available on the SEC Network's digital outlets and possibly on the television channel too.

10. How many people will work for the SEC Network?
We anticipate more than 100 full-time staff for the SEC Network.

11. Where can I apply for a job at SEC Network?
Interested applicants should visit ESPNcareers.com

PROGRAMMING & CONTENT


12. Will the SEC Network be 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
The SEC Network will have 24/7 programming; it's a dedicated channel for all things SEC.

13. What kind of shows will I see on the SEC Network?
At the outset, the network will offer SEC sports and sports-related studio programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, such as SEC Nation, the network's traveling football pregame show that will air every Saturday during the fall, a television simulcast of The Paul Finebaum Show and a daily news and information show.

More than 1,000 live events will also be available in the first full year across the television network and its digital extensions.  This will include approximately 45 football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games and events from across all 21 SEC-sponsored sports.

14. How will the SEC Network enhance the SEC fan experience?
More than 1,000 live events will be available. The SEC Network will provide more than 450 live games on television each year.  An additional 550 games will be distributed digitally. The network will bring football, basketball, baseball, and all SEC campus sports to sports fans.  Fans will be able to access content on a range of devices.  Also, there will be SEC specific programming dedicated to news and analysis surrounding the events.

15. How many football games will be aired on the network?
The SEC Network will televise approximately 45 football games per season.

16. How many basketball games? Baseball? Women's sports? Olympic?
At least 450 events will be televised on the SEC Network each year. Of the 450 events, there will be more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games,75 baseball, 50 softball and 120 Olympic sports on the SEC Network. More than 550 additional sporting events will be available on our digital platforms. The digital platform will include an outlet, similar to ESPN3, for the other 550 games and a live linear stream of the television network. This content will be available to network subscribers across a range of devices.

17. Will each school have a block of time to program as they see fit?
This is a conference-wide network.  The goal is to provide equitable exposure for each of the SEC member institutions.  The SEC Network will achieve this goal without each school having its own block of time to program.

18. Will the SEC Network show breaking news or investigative pieces about the conference similar to ESPN?
The SEC Network will cover and report on sports news and information in an objective manner, but the basic premise is the network will represent the conference and its member institutions.  While ESPN does investigative pieces, that's not something contemplated for the SEC Network.

The network has created a Content Board which has equal representation from the SEC and ESPN.  The Board will work collaboratively on the programming and presentation.  The SEC Network, along with its digital extensions, will serve SEC sports fans and sports fans more broadly.

19. Will I still see my weekly coaches' show on local TV?
That's very likely although dependent on whether there's an arrangement with the local television outlet.  Coaches' shows are not a focus of the SEC Network programming plan.
 
20. Will there be academic programming?
There are no dedicated blocks of academic programming planned at the outset of the network, but there will be opportunities to promote the academic and research accomplishments and reputations of SEC institutions within the live programming of the network.

21. What access and programming is each school obligated to provide to the SEC Network?
Outside of the rights in the existing CBS and ESPN agreements, each school provides the rights and access to all other live events for the SEC Network.

22. Can schools create academic programming or shows of their own for the digital network outside what they air within game telecasts?

The digital network will primarily focus on event programming.  While we don't rule out opportunities to include programming beyond sporting events, that's not a focus for the digital network at this time.
 
23. Will the SEC Network air high school football games?
No.

24. Will the SEC Network be able to re-air games shown on other ESPN networks?  CBS?

Yes.
 
25. Will the SEC Network air bowl games?  SEC Conference Championships?
There are no current plans to air bowl games on the SEC Network.  The network will televise content from across the various SEC Championships.

26. Will there be fewer games available to me now that there is a SEC Network?
The intent of the network is make more SEC events available to more fans than ever before.  The SEC Network will provide more than 1,000 live events per year for SEC fans and sports fans across the country in the first year and we anticipate growth in the future.  These games will also be available online on a range of devices to allow for widespread access that is not currently available.

27. Will the SEC Network include new personalities or use existing ESPN personalities for the games and studio shows?
A mix of both existing ESPN personnel and new on-air staff will be present on the SEC Network. For example, ESPN veteran Joe Tessitore was announced as the host of the pregame show SEC Nation and Tim Tebow was also hired as one of the show's college football analysts.

DISTRIBUTION / AVAILABILITY/ AD SALES

28. Who will carry the SEC Network?
 An agreement is already in place with Time Warner, AT&T U-verse, DISH, Google Fiber and NRTC to distribute the SEC Network.  ESPN is working hard to ensure that the network will be available nationally via every cable, satellite and telco distributor.  ESPN will continue negotiating with the other distributors in the coming months.

Your cable, satellite, or telco provider makes programming decisions based on customer requests. As a fan of the Southeastern Conference, please support the SEC Network by visiting www.GetSECNetwork.com and calling your cable, satellite or telco provider and requesting the SEC Network.
 
29. Are there currently any carriage agreements?
Yes.  An agreement is already done with Time Warner, AT&T U-verse, DISH, Google Fiber and NRTC.

30. How do I get the digital part of the SEC Network?
Provided you are a customer who receives the network from your cable, satellite or telco provider, you can contact that provider and get a username and password which will allow you to access the content on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox.

31. What is the best way for fans and alumni to ensure they have the SEC Network?
Please visit www.GetSECNetwork.com to show your interest in the SEC Network and provide some general contact information. Also, contact your cable, satellite or telco provider.

32. What's the expected reach of the SEC Network outside the SEC footprint and on what level of service will distributors carry the network (Expanded basic? Tier?)?
The network will have strong appeal and interest beyond the 11-state SEC footprint.  While this is all subject to negotiation, carriage will be sought on broadly distributed packages.

33. Will I be able to watch the SEC Network on my mobile phone or similar device?
Yes. Provided you are a subscriber of an affiliated provider (a cable, satellite or telco partner), the SEC Network will be available on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox via WatchESPN. The aim is to make this content available to fans anytime, anywhere.
 
34. I am an authenticated  WatchESPN app user, will I be able to see SEC Network content through that app?
The SEC Network will be available through the WatchESPN app. Your cable, satellite or teleco provider must carry the SEC Network in order for you to have authenticated access through either app or digital platform.

Visit www.getsecnetwork.com for more information and to alert your provider of your interest in SEC Network content.
 
35. How will you decide what games to televise early in the SEC Network's existence?
The SEC has great depth in all major sports so the network will have top-tier matchups each week to serve viewers and those distributors that choose to carry the network.
 
36. Will local affiliates (over-the-air nets) broadcast my team's games if our region/cable provider does not carry the service (Ole Miss fans got this when they played on LHN)?
No. SEC Network programming and events will only be made available on the SEC Network channel or digital platforms.

37. Can I pay to subscribe to the network online, Pay-Per-View or via ESPN3 if I can't get it on TV?
No. The games will be exclusive to the network and its digital extensions.  However, once a subscriber has access to the network via an affiliated provider, that subscriber will have access to the content on computers, tablets and mobile phones.  The aim is to make this content available to fans anytime, anywhere.

38. How will this impact my cable bill?
ESPN negotiates for license fee payments from its distributors and has no control over retail pricing.  Retail prices are determined by each distributor.

39. Will all SEC campuses carry the network?
Campuses served by an affiliated provider will have access to the SEC Network.

40. I live in [state outside SEC footprint]. Are you working to make sure we are able to see the SEC Network too?
Yes. Our interest is in delivering this content in broadly distributed packages across the country. This will be a national television channel.

41. Right now, I see all my favorite team's games online at the [SEC school athletics] site. Will I still be able to see all those games?
The network is for media rights to all sports across the 14 member institutions.  Any games produced by the schools will have an outlet, either the SEC Network or its digital extensions, where fans can watch.  You will see not only events originating from your favorite school's campus on the SEC Network or its digital extensions, but also road events involving your favorite school that you previously would have had to seek on opposing schools' websites.

42. Who will sell sponsorship for the SEC Network?
ESPN will sell advertising and sponsorship on behalf of the network.  ESPN will also represent the SEC's Corporate Sponsor Program.

43. Will the SEC Network have an internship program?

ESPN has a SEC internship program already in place.  The SEC Network will source candidates from the existing process and pool.  Information about where to apply is forthcoming.

44. How will money from the SEC Network be used on campuses?

Each member institution has control and discretion on how they use any proceeds from their media rights.

The Kentucky cheerleading team claimed its 20th national championship on Sunday. (Chet White, UK Athletics) The Kentucky cheerleading team claimed its 20th national championship on Sunday. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Only for the Kentucky cheerleading team can one season without a national championship feel like a drought.

Last year, the cheerleaders were named runners-up to Memphis. On Sunday, UK returned to its familiar perch atop the world of college cheerleading.

"When you finally hear second place called and then they call first place, it's a lot of emotion, a lot of joy," Jomo Thompson said via cell phone. "We just feel vindicated, especially after coming in second place last year. We wanted to make sure we got back to the top and we did that."

UK won an unprecedented 20th national title at the UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Fla., finishing ahead of second-place UCF. UK has now won an incredible 15 championships since 1995, only being dethroned five times during that span.

"I'm just fortunate to have been a part of this program for so long and I love UK," said Thompson, the former UK cheerleader who has won eight national titles in his 12 years as head coach. "I love UK cheerleading. I'm just glad I'm here to experience it with the kids. We strive every day to be the best. It's just a great thing that we've won so many times. It just speaks to the history and the tradition of winning and be the best."

The UCA's official Twitter account described the winning routine as both starting and finishing strong. Thompson saw much of the same, saying UK's finals routine was even better than a solid one in Saturday's preliminary round.

"I think they just really seized the opportunity," Thompson said. "They didn't let down. They didn't take anything for granted. They just did a really good job of going out there and executing and bringing home number 20."

The championship is the culmination of a year of hard work. UK didn't drastically alter the formula that has led to so much past success, but a seven-member senior class was intent on going out the right way. Thompson said those veterans played an instrumental role in setting the tone for UK's training.

"We just told the kids, 'You want to make sure that you're giving a hundred percent every time, even in practice, because you get one shot, one opportunity,' " Thompson said. "So you want to experience as many as things that can go wrong, encounter all those things in practice so if something like that happens at nationals, you're ready for it. I thought they did a great job this year getting themselves prepared."

The UK dance team also competed this weekend, turning in an impressive performance in the Division IA Hip Hop finals. UK came in fifth, an improvement from last year's sixth-place finish. Head coach Dawn Walters reported the team posted a score of 93.2, its best ever.

"The girls had a lot of confidence today when we went out to perform," Walters said. "They really went out there and had energy and excitement and the whole arena really went crazy when they were up there. Our degree of difficulty was higher this year than last year and we had a lot of group tricks. I think their confidence was the biggest thing this year."

UK Athletics congratulates both the cheer and dance teams for their achievements this weekend!


The UK cheerleading team is looking for its 20th national championship this weekend. (Chet White, UK Athletics) The UK cheerleading team is looking for its 20th national championship this weekend. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
After months of practice and supporting Kentucky teams at games, UK's cheerleading and dance teams will take center stage at the 2014 UCA and UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship this weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Both teams will compete first on Saturday, with the cheerleaders beginning their quest for their 20th national championship at 7:50 p.m. ET in the Division IA Semifinals. The dance team will compete in both the Division IA Pom and Hip Hop Semfinals at 8:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The finals for all three competitions will take place on Sunday with results expected to come in between 8-9:30.

Last year, the cheerleading team finished second. The dance team finished eighth in Pom and sixth in Hip Hop.

You can find information on how to keep up with the competition on the UCA and UDA's website right here. You can also follow @UCAupdates, @UDAnews, @UKAthleticsNews and @KentuckyCheer for real-time updates.

UK Athletics made steady progress toward Mitch Barnhart's goal of a 3.0 department-wide grade-point average in his first nine years, but only once did Wildcat student-athletes reach the mark.

Two years later, what was once a rare feat has become the norm.

For the third consecutive semester, UK Athletics posted a cumulative GPA better than 3.0. UK's competing scholarship student-athletes combined for a fall 2013 GPA of 3.088. It is the second-highest mark of the Barnhart era, trailing only the spring semester of 2013. UK began its streak of three consecutive semesters with a GPA of better than 3.0 with a 3.030 in fall 2012.

"Reaching a 3.0 GPA as a department is now expected, but that doesn't make it any less of an accomplishment," Barnhart said. "I am proud of the way our student-athletes have sustained their success in the classroom and even prouder of the way they have embraced academics as an important part of the UK experience."

**SEE BELOW FOR COMPLETE GRADE INFORMATION BY SPORT**


Sixteen of UK's 20 teams had GPAs of 3.0 or better, led by women's tennis at 3.727. Women's cross country (3.608), softball (3.608) and women's swimming and diving (3.533) joined women's tennis in exceeding 3.5. Leading all Wildcat men's teams was men's tennis at 3.443.

Of the 12 teams that competed in regular-season play during the fall, 10 had GPAs of better than 3.0. That includes the men's basketball team at 3.038, marking the fourth straight semester in which John Calipari's program has had a GPA better than 3.0.

"Thanks to the work of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, I believe we are moving in the right direction in all facets of our program," Barnhart said. "We are coming off our first top-25 Directors' Cup finish ever last year and we are still out to prove strong athletics and academics can go together."

GPAs Fall 2013.jpg

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Video: UK student-athletes give back to community

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Video: Wildcats reflect on Ethiopia service trip

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SEC Network programming taking shape

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In just nine months, the Southeastern Conference and ESPN will launch the SEC Network together.

It's now becoming clearer exactly what fans can expect to see on the network.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN's Senior Vice President Justin Connolly held a joint press conference on Friday at the Georgia Dome before the league's football championship game, making several announcements about the network.

Headlining the press conference was the announcement that the SEC will kick off the 2014 football season on the network with a Thursday-night doubleheader. It will mark the first time ever that the college football year will begin on a conference network.

"In a span of two days or three days, we'll have five football games on the SEC Network, and then a triple-header every Saturday thereafter," Slive said. "Our goal is to get somewhere close to 45 football games on the network each fall."

Joining the previously announced Texas A&M-South Carolina game, Temple and Vanderbilt will face off on Aug. 28 to get the 2014 season rolling. UK won't play in the opening doubleheader, but you can be sure the Wildcats will play on the SEC Network multiple times in Mark Stoops' second season.

For that reason, it remains important that UK fans make their voices heard in calling for their cable and satellite providers to carry the SEC Network. AT&T U-verse remains the only national distributor signed on the carry the SEC Network, with providers like Time Warner, DirecTV and Dish Network still not on board.

Fans can visit GetSECNetwork.com to check whether their cable and satellite providers carry the SEC Network and, if they do not, contact them to demand they do. Cable and satellite providers make programming decisions based on customer requests. Fans should also regularly check GetSECNetwork.com for the latest information about the launch of the new SEC Network.  

For fans in Lexington that want the new SEC Network, Time Warner subscribers should call 859-514-1400, DirecTV subscribers should call 1-800-347-3288 and DISH Network subscribers should call 1-800-333-3474 to let them know you want the SEC Network. Cable TV subscribers outside Lexington can obtain the phone number to call from GetSECNetwork.com.

Beyond the live events that will air on the SEC Network, Slive and Connolly announced two exciting shows that will be shown regularly.

First is a two-hour traveling Saturday pregame show called SEC Nation that will be hosted by Joe Tessitore. A sort of SEC-centric version of ESPN's popular College GameDay, SEC Nation will travel to an SEC campus each week, starting with stops in Columbia, S.C., for South Carolina-Texas A&M on Aug. 28 and Auburn, Ala., for Auburn-Arkansas on Aug. 30.

"The thing that's unique about the SEC, as all of you know is what the pregame experience is, and we want to take people into that," said ESPN's Stephanie Druley. "We want people at home to feel like I've been there even though I haven't. Because there is nothing like it."

Additionally, the SEC Storied documentary series that began in 2011 will expand on the SEC Network. Ten original features will be produced next year to celebrate the rich tradition of the nation's best conference.

"We'll go from four to ten a year, and we'll debut six of the ten on the network, and we'll debut the other four on ESPNU, and then move it over to the network," Slive said. "So that rounds out, at least for me, the storytelling. You know, it celebrates great games, great athletes and great moments."

With approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games and events from 21 more SEC sports set to air, more such moments will surely be airing live on the SEC Network. Visit GetSECNetwork.com to make sure you can see them.


UK Athletics preparing for SEC Network transition

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Last Friday, thousands of fans across the country tuned in to Fox Sports South to watch as the men's basketball team opened a highly anticipated 2013-14 campaign.

Later that same evening, thousands more around the Bluegrass watched delayed broadcasts of the games on the UK IMG Network.

In recent years, Kentucky fans have come to rely on those avenues to watch their beloved Wildcats, but beginning next season that will all change.

In August 2014, ESPN and the Southeastern Conference will combine forces to launch the new SEC Network. The network will air SEC content 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games and events from across the SEC's 21 sports annually.

"The SEC Network will be an incredible asset for our conference and for UK Athletics," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "It will provide unprecedented exposure for our teams, but we need the Big Blue Nation to help make it a success."

Many UK games currently televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports South, UK IMG Network, CSS and SEC TV will likely be available only the new SEC Network.  With future games like men's basketball's season opener vs. UNC Asheville and the recent football game against Alabama State likely moving to the new SEC Network beginning in 2014-15, fans need to demand their cable and satellite providers carry it. Considering marquee in-conference matchups in both basketball and football will also be televised on the new network, it becomes even more imperative.

The SEC Network launches in nine months, but so far AT&T U-verse is the only national distributor of the network. As of November, providers like Time Warner, DirecTV and Dish Network have not yet made arrangements to carry the SEC Network, meaning subscribers would miss many live UK events.

That's where the Big Blue Nation comes in.

Fans can visit GetSECNetwork.com to check whether their cable and satellite providers carry the SEC Network and, if they do not, contact them to demand they do. Cable and satellite providers make programming decisions based on customer requests. Fans should also regularly check GetSECNetwork.com for the latest information about the launch of the new SEC Network.  

For fans in Lexington that want the new SEC Network, Time Warner subscribers should call 859-514-1400, DirecTV subscribers should call 1-800-347-3288 and DISH Network subscribers should call 1-800-333-3474 to let them know you want the SEC Network. Cable TV subscribers outside Lexington can obtain the phone number to call from GetSECNetwork.com.

Meanwhile, UK Athletics is currently working to prepare for the SEC Network's launch. All live broadcasts -- including the more than 600 that will be streamed live online -- on the SEC Network will have the highest quality production value and maintain a look and feel consistent with ESPN's other networks.

Representatives from the SEC Network have visited all UK Athletics facilities in recent months in advance of the launch. They have found that UK has an advanced technological infrastructure that should make the transition as seamless as possible.

After the launch of the SEC Network next August, more UK events will be televised that ever before. To make sure you can watch, visit GetSECNetwork.com and let your cable and satellite provider know you want access to the SEC Network.

Video: Barnhart and The Wildcat 'brave the blue'

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