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Notes and Quotes from SEC Network’s Debut

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Tonight sports fans nationwide experienced SEC Network, a 24/7 multiplatform sports network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN. The network debuted with its flagship news and information show SEC Now live from SEC Network studios in Charlotte, N.C., and from all 14 SEC campuses. Sports of all seasons were showcased in the three-hour special sharing the passion, beauty and treasure trove of champions stowed up in SEC country.

SEC Commissioner Michael Slive in-studio interview with Brent Musburger: 

On what SEC Network means to him:
“We’re (SEC) 81 years old and tonight is really one of the most historic moments in the long and distinguished history of this conference. It’s incredible to all of us to see this is the most successful launch of a new cable network in all of cable history. It’s a testament to our fans.  As you said earlier on today, there is nothing like SEC fans. They wanted this network. They want to see our student-athletes, they want to see our coaches, they want to see the traditions. For me and for our presidents and our ADs – tonight is just the culmination of lots of years of a lot of hard work. It’s so satisfying to be able to do this for all of our kids.”

On the SEC being more than a football conference:
“The great thing about being a football league is a football league. The difficult thing about being a football league is to get people to understand just what you said. We have broad based programs. We want to win national championships in every sport. Our women have won as many or more national championships than our men. What we are about is student-athletes getting an education and competing for national championships – men and women. It is something I am very proud of.”

On the cooperation of coaches and the 14 universities in launching SEC Network:
“It goes way back to a year or so ago when we launched. All of our coaches came to the announcement and they all sat there. The message was that we are all in this together. The message was this is a family. These are coaches, players, presidents, ADs, conference people – and it’s been the symbol of the league and it still is what makes us so great.”

On what SEC Network will be in 20 years:
“I know I won’t be there. Twenty years from now, what I hoped for is that we have shared great history, great traditions, we will have showcased wonderful student-athletes and we will have shown that in this collegiate model – which is now being reviewed very carefully nationally and that’s another subject for another day – but that is so valuable and we may have to modify it some and we probably should. But 20 years from now, we want to be sure that the collegiate model, which is part of the fabric and the DNA of America, stays where it is so all of our kids, our coaches and all of the fans and everybody in America can continue to enjoy this wonderful asset.”

 

Highlights from tonight’s three-hour show:

 6 p.m. ET

Show Open
o    Video Link
o    Brent Musburger:

The offices sit at the corner of 22nd street and Richard Arrington Boulevard in Birmingham, Alabama. This is the home of tradition and excellence. In its 82-year history, the Southeastern Conference has been home to 211 National Championships.

In the last calendar year alone, the SEC has unfurled seven National Championship banners. From the track to the course to the diamond. 

Tonight we start a new chapter in that history. A place to watch the games. A place to celebrate excellence. This is the SEC Network.

Notable figures on and off the field, lent their voices in an opening essay that speaks to the tradition, pageantry and storied history of the SEC.

o    Anthony Davis (Kentucky)   
o    Archie Manning (Ole Miss) 
o    Ashley Judd (Kentucky)         
o    Bo Jackson (Auburn)
o    Brandt Snedeker (Vanderbilt)   
o    Candace Parker (Tennessee)   
o    Carl Edwards (Missouri)       
o    Charles Barkley (Auburn)       
o    Corliss Williamson (Arkansas) 
o    Courtney Kupets (Georgia)  
o    Danny Wuerffel (Florida)  
o    Dara Torres (Florida)    
o    Darius Rucker (South Carolina)  
o    Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M)     
o    David Price (Vanderbilt) 
o    Eli Manning (Ole Miss)  
o    George Rogers (South Carolina) 
o    Herschel Walker (Georgia)     
o    Jerry Jones  (Arkansas)
o    Joe Namath (Alabama) 
o    Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)    
o    Jonathan Banks (Mississippi State) 
o    Mark Ingram (Alabama)       
o    Max Scherzer (Missouri)  
o    Monica Abbott (Tennessee)     
o    Peyton Manning (Tennessee)   
o    Scotty Thurman (Arkansas) 
o    Shaquille O’Neal (LSU)  
o    Tim Tebow (Florida)
o    Warren Morris (LSU)   
o    Will Clark (Mississippi State)

 Interviews:
o    Marcus Spears with Alabama head football coach Nick Saban
o    John Anderson with Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel
o    Niki Noto with former Arkansas head football coach Frank Broyles
o    Tim Tebow with Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel
o    Rece Davis and Butch Davis with Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn
o    Kayce Smith with Texas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin
o    Shannon Spake with South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier
o    Matt Stinchcomb with Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason and running back Todd Gurley

Live look-in:
o    Joe Tessitore and Tim Tebow in Gainesville, Fla.

Features:
o    A look at SEC football stadium upgrades
o    The legendary mascots of the SEC
o    Laura Rutledge talks about the upgrades at Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium 

7 p.m.

Interviews:
o    Brent Musburger with SEC commissioner Michael Slive
o    Jessica Mendoza with Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin
o    Dari Nowkhah with Kentucky men’s head basketball coach John Calipari
o    Tony Barnhart with Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen
o    Marcus Spears with Alabama head men’s golf coach Jay Seawell
o    Shannon Spake with South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner
o    John Anderson with Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk
o    Niki Noto with Mike Conley Sr.
o    Ben McDonald with LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri
o    Matt Stinchcomb with Georgia head football coach Mark Richt
o    John Anderson with Missouri Wayne Kreklow
o    Ryan McGee with Tennessee volleyball coach Rob Patrick

Features:
o    Auburn running back Shon Coleman
o    Texas A&M’s Yell Practice
o    Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen mic’d up
o    College Football Playoff feature

 

8 p.m.

 Interviews:
o    Kaylee Hartung with Ole Miss women’s basketball coach Matt Insell
o    Kaylee Hartung with Ole Miss men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy
o    Rece Davis with Auburn men’s basketball head coach Bruce Pearl
o    Jessica Mendoza with Vanderbilt football head coach Derek Mason 
o    Peter Burns with LSU football head coach Les Miles
o    Joe Tessitore with Florida gymnast Bridget Sloan and Tim Tebow with softball player Kirsti Merritt
o    Kacey Smith with Texas A&M women’s soccer head coach G. Guerrieri
o    Kaylee Hartung with Ole Miss baseball head coach Mike Bianco
o    Ryan McGee with Tennessee football head coach with Butch Jones
o    Laura Rutledge with Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops
o    Matt Stinchcomb with Georgia equestrian head coach Meghan Boenig
o    Joe Tessitore and Tim Tebow with Florida football head coach Will Muschamp
o    Jessica Mendoza with Vanderbilt men’s basketball head coach Kevin Stallings
o    Tony Barnhart with Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott
o    Laura Rutledge with former Kentucky men’s basketball head coach Joe B. Hall
o    Marcus Spears with Alabama men’s basketball head coach Anthony Grant

 Features:
o    All-Access collected at football camps this past week with sound from head coaches, assistant coaches, support staff and players
o    LSU 2014 football storylines
o    Experiencing Mississippi State’s Left field lounge
o    Kaylee Hartung with Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze and daughter Ragan on ranking SEC coaches
o    SEC Now show-in-review

 Live look-in:
o    Vanderbilt vs. Alabama-Birmingham preseason women’s soccer game
o    Niki Noto at Arkansas vs. Creighton preseason women’s soccer game

 

SEC Network
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch August 14, 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will carry SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include in-depth commentary and analysis in studio shows, daily news and information, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, and more. AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV,  Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, Mediacom, PTC Communications, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC and will carry the television network nationwide at launch. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively as SEC Network+ events on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com through authenticated access from AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC.

 

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Media Contact: Gracie Blackburn