TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The SEC will exercise one of its options to adjust the current ESPN contract with the conference, commissioner Mike Slive told CBSSports.com
The conference is expected to ask for an increase in the rights fees on the current 15-year, $3 billion deal after the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri. CBSSports.com confirmed a Saturday report that Missouri would become the SEC's 14th team after A&M joined in September.
In addition, there has long been industry speculation that the SEC would bundle some non-conference football games as a foundation for a separate network.
At intervals during such contracts, conferences are allowed periodic “look ins” to address issues such as these when they expand. Typically in these cases, the parties negotiate a rights fee increase. If they can’t come to an agreement the issue goes to arbitration. These situations have seldom, if ever, gone to arbitration according to several industry sources.
“We will look in,” Slive said adding that the issue likely will be addressed after the current season.
Currently, SEC schools are allowed to show one non-conference football game per year on a pay-per-view basis, according to Slive. None of the schools do so, however. Bundling 14 non-conference games – one for each team – and forming a network around the programming could create another windfall stream of revenue for the SEC.
An SEC network would be a separate entity along the lines of the Longhorn or Big Ten networks. It is thought that ESPN would have first crack at creating that network
The SEC, ESPN and CBS are two years into that 15-year deal.