Another domino has fallen leading into the launch of SEC Network – Suddenlink has agreed to a carriage deal to bring SEC Network to their customers prior to the beginning of the college football season. Suddenlink customers will also gain access to WatchESPN, bringing one of the last major providers holding out into the fold.
But buried in the press release from ESPN was another interesting nugget – Suddenlink customers will also gain access to the maligned Longhorn Network.
As part of the new multi-year deal, Suddenlink will introduce several new services, including the upcoming SEC Network at launch on August 14 and Longhorn Network, beginning with the 2014-15 college football season.
IT LIVES! IT LIVES! There’s no immediate work as to whether or not Longhorn Network will only be available in Texas and the surrounding footprint, but I presume that would be the case.
While this is all well and good, we still don’t have an official deal between ESPN and DirecTV for SEC Network, though all signs point to a deal getting done before the network launches. I’m wondering if the holdup has to do with ESPN trying to get more of their properties other than SEC Network through the DirecTV door, including possibly WatchESPN and Longhorn Network. DirecTV remains the largest provider in the country to not provide access to WatchESPN, and if ESPN is able to come to an agreement with them in the future, everything else will be clear sailing from here on out.