ESPN Begins Roll-Out of SEC Network
In the build-up to the launch of SEC Network on August 14, ESPN and the SEC are beginning the roll-out of the digital elements of the multi-screen initiative with the kickoff of a brand new SECsports.com and SECNetwork.com.
From day-one, the SEC Network will be a fully integrated cross-platform media network, with robust sites and authenticated access to the SEC Network simulcast via WatchESPN for fans with access to the SEC Network through their TV provider. In addition, fans with the SEC Network will have exclusive access to hundreds of additional live events through SEC Network + on SECNetwork.com and via WatchESPN.
SEC Network +
SEC Network + — exclusively available on SECNetwork.com and via WatchESPN — will add live and on-demand coverage of more than 550 digital-exclusive sporting events to the SEC Network multi-screen output in the first year. Ranging across multiple sports from all member schools, SEC Network + events will all be high-quality, multi-camera productions – enabled by extensive new technological and production capabilities built out by ESPN and SEC schools in support of the SEC Network launch.
In addition to authenticated access to the SEC Network and SEC Network + (via laptops and desktops; access via iOS and Android smartphones and tablets is via WatchESPN), SEC Network + will also serve as a platform to deliver additional events produced by the schools and SECNetwork.com will also feature original short clips, video from studio programs, original digital video projects and more.
SEC Network + will launch August 14, along with the launch of the SEC Network television network.
SECsports.com is the new official digital home for the Southeastern Conference, and provides news and video filtered for each school and sport. SECSports.com will provide fans with sports news, information, stats, schedules, video and ticket sales from around the SEC and in collaboration with each school. It also features information about the conference, its schools and access to the SEC Store online.
The new SECSports.com is a fully responsive site – dynamically adjusting across devices. Rather than a separate experience on each device that fans use every day, the new SECsports.com adjusts to the individual device – presenting all the same great content in the best way.
The site is built and operated by the SEC Network team at ESPN, and operates separately from ESPN’s digital news and information organization, which will continue to cover the SEC independently.
ESPN Technology and the ESPN Statistics & Data team, working with the SEC and its schools, have developed a system that will allow SECsports.com to deliver real-time scores, statistics and standings for multiple sports that did not previously have live scoring.
Technology Behind the SEC Network
The ability of ESPN to leverage the combined SEC and ESPN technology infrastructure will set the SEC Network and its digital media platforms apart.
In support of the launch of SEC Network, all SEC member schools and ESPN’s production facilities in Charlotte and Bristol all have full and direct fiber connectivity between them (and by virtue – connectivity to ESPN facilities in Seattle, Austin, Los Angeles, New York). This, along with new hardware and software systems allows content to be created, edited, encoded and delivered across different media platforms with incredible efficiency.
ESPN and the SEC have worked closely with all 14 member schools to build and/or upgrade production facilities, hardware and software — as well as providing training on their use – allowing for significantly expanded ability to deliver live sports event coverage. This has resulted in (among other things):
· 96 SEC sporting venues that now have direct connectivity for production purposes
· 10 new control rooms, multiple new cameras, switchers and more at SEC schools
· Extensive upgrade to ESPN’s Charlotte production facility – enhancing the capabilities of an already state-of-the-art facility.