The SEC Network, operated by ESPN as part of a 20-year deal, will make its debut Aug. 14. The network has already made some waves in the television arena, hiring national championship winning quarterbacks Tim Tebow and Greg Mcelroy as analysts for its Saturday morning pre-game show, which starts with the college football season. Now, it appears that the network is making some other strategic moves.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive had a press conference with reporters Monday morning. During it, Slive said the network would be doing something to compete with the NFL television market.
Slive says there will be a game on SEC Network on a Sunday night early in the season.
— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) April 21, 2014
The NFL owns the Sunday night television market. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is consistently one of the most watched programs in the country. Could the SEC make inroads in that timeframe? It’s doubtful, but if that Sunday night game on the SEC Network features Alabama, LSU, Florida, or another top tier program, it would certainly get good ratings.
In 2013, there were 15 NFL games that had more than 25 million viewers, and four of those games took place on Sunday night. College football games don’t get nearly as many viewers. An average college football game gets three to five million viewers, based on games that took place in 2013. The SEC gets more viewers than any other conference, though, averaging 3.8 million viewers per game last season.