Comcast/Charter Sports Scores With ESPN SEC Deal

Regional sports network Comcast / Charter Sports Southeast has reached a five-year deal with ESPN to televise a bevy of Southeastern Conference events.

The agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, covers a minimum of six football games, 20 men's basketball contests, 16 women's hoops tilts, as well as 50 Olympics sporting events annually, beginning with the 2009-10 academic year. CSS reached 5.9 million subscribers in 12 states in the region.
The RSN pact is part of Comcast's deal to distribute broadband service and carry ESPNU, the sports giant's national college sports service, on its Digital Classic level of service. ESPNU will kick off an SEC football game of the week nationally this fall.

ESPN secured the rights to the SEC content as part of a 15-year, $2.25 billion agreement with the conference reached in August 2008.
"Comcast works hard to offer our customers a channel lineup full of high quality programming," said John Ridall, president of the Comcast Southern Division, in a statement. "With the addition of more live SEC events to CSS, our own regional sports channel here in the South, we are improving our sports product across the Southeast and offering our customers programming relevant to their lives and their interests. We are very excited about this improvement."