Sports

USC Makes “Seven Figure Investment” In SEC Network

GAMECOCK ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT VOWS TO BE IN “TOP QUARTER” OF SEC SCHOOLS The University of South Carolina athletics department has made what one its top bureaucrats referred to as a “seven-figure investment” in the new SEC Network – a joint television venture with ESPN which launches one week from today….

GAMECOCK ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT VOWS TO BE IN “TOP QUARTER” OF SEC SCHOOLS

The University of South Carolina athletics department has made what one its top bureaucrats referred to as a “seven-figure investment” in the new SEC Network – a joint television venture with ESPN which launches one week from today.

In a news release touting the launch of the new network, USC’s senior associate athletics director for external affairs (whew, that’s a mouthful) boasted that the school “has made a seven-figure investment to get the SEC Network production unit off the ground on campus.”

“We’re definitely going to be in the top quarter of the SEC teams in terms of the commitment we make,” the official said.

So … how much money is that?  It’s not immediately clear …

We know Auburn has invested $5 million in a pair of state-of-the-art production studios in anticipation of the network’s launch – dipping into the school’s savings to pay the tab.  On the other end of the spectrum, Ole Miss spent only $750,000 in preparing – largely because it was a “test site” for the launch of ESPN3 and Watch ESPN.

At LSU and Mississippi State – the latter of which already has production studios for its HailState TV network – the cost was $2 million apiece.

“We’re all taking a risk knowing that the gain on the back end is going to be pretty good,” an MSU athleticrat said on his school’s official blog. “We’re all kind of grasping at straws for what we’re going to get, and every time you get another announcement of a distributor, that’s more revenue for the schools.”

How much revenue, though, remains to be seen … and obviously it’s worth asking whether government-run institutions ought to be making speculative investments in ventures like this.

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6 comments

Thomas August 7, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Tanner Stadium, and when he is called up, Tanner Memorial Stadium.

Reply
CL August 8, 2014 at 8:27 am

“How much revenue, though, remains to be seen … and obviously it’s worth asking whether government-run institutions ought to be making speculative investments in ventures like this.”

That is hilarious. The SEC Network is a “speculative” venture? The roll out has gone better than the SEC thought, as they won the distribution war with the providers before the season even started. Directv still doesn’t carry the PAC12 network, yet they caved to the SEC before a game was even aired.

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Henry MixMaster's Brother August 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

Can’t have it both ways, FITS. You cannot complain about taxpayers funding everything and also complain when an institution does something entrepreneurial with fairly low risk and the potential for a high return. Unless Carolina starts stinking it up in the field for an extended period of time, interest in SEC games is going to be high (and the corresponding revenue from private parties) for the foreseeable future.

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Crooner August 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Good thing the revenue stream won’t be dependent on continued Gamecock success, if history is any guide.

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Penus Williams August 8, 2014 at 11:48 am

I understand that anyone can own a piece of the ACC Network for a sack of baking potatoes and a box of grocery store crab legs.

Reply
VoiceofReason August 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Just goes to show where uSC’s priorities are. If you want academics go to the ACC.

Reply

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