Bad News at ESPN Could Spell the Same for the SEC

ESPN+ just took a massive hit with subscriber loss this past quarter. In this article, I go into the impact this could have on their new 10 year agreement with the SEC beginning in 2024.
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages

Beginning with the 2024 season, ESPN has media rights to all SEC sporting events . And yes, this included mainstream sports like football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball.

Football is by far the most popular of all SEC sports for it’s fans and brings in the most revenue by far, hence one of the obvious main draws for ESPN to want to partner with the conference.

Where was SEC Football Broadcast Before 2024?

While some SEC games were broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks including the SEC network, ESPN, ESPN2 and others, media rights to the featured game of the week in the SEC was tied to CBS and had been since 2001. That has changed for 2024 with the contract with CBS ending and ESPN taking center stage. However, ESPN recently made an announcement that could make things not as solidified as they seemed when the initial agreement was made.

What Bad News did ESPN Announce that Could Affect the SEC?

ESPN+ posted a $65 million loss as their subscribers continue to fall off. And without subscribers, this could find the SEC without a media network through 2034 for which the contract between the two parties is expected to run.

The hope is however that with as popular as the SEC is not only in the southeast but nationally, the subscription number will increase and that the media agreement will do just fine.

ESPN is also entering into a joint venture with Warner Bros and Fox to have a streaming service that sports fans can purchase of an all-in-one type concept. This could help the company overall as well to keep things intact.

The fact that attendance has been on a downturn the past several years at NFL and college games as a whole is down as well could also help the agreement, but a $65 million loss is substantial and something to at least cause pause for.

Next. ESPN Announces New Joint Streaming Venture with Fox and Warner Brothers. ESPN Announces New Joint Streaming Venture with Fox and Warner Brothers. dark