LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - With Kentucky's dominant cable company striking a new with the new SEC Network, the question now is will every subscriber score the new home for Southeastern Conference sports.
Time Warner Cable says when the network launches August 14 it will be available to customers with plans called "TWC Digital Basic and Standard TV, with a digital box or digital adapter." Those plans do not include the most basic, less expensive "starter" services that currently only offer approximately 20 channels.
With more than 700,000 customers in Kentucky, Time Warner Cable had been battling with the network's owner ESPN over how much it will have to pay for the rights to carry the network.
"We know we have customers who want the SEC Network, and are pleased to bring it to them," said Andrew Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of Content Acquisition for Time Warner Cable. "This deal will help ensure that fans and alumni of SEC universities won't miss any important games."
According to Time Warner, the addition of the SEC Network will have no direct price impact on customers who already have the needed higher tier plans. However, those with the lower tier services will have to upgrade to see the new network.
The same can be said for Dish Network with customers needing to have AT 120+ package which starts at $34.99 a month.
DirecTV remains in negotiations with the SEC Network creating undercertainly for its customers, like Lexington sports bar Winchell's.
"It doesn't feel good. What can we do, just sit and wait it out," said bar manager Larry Bunch. "We hope they will. Right now we're going to have to wait and see."
After the network's launch, the SEC Network will air three University of Kentucky men's basketball games from the Bahamas and then two of three UK's upcoming football games.
The SEC Network will air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including at least 45 exclusive SEC football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games, 50 softball games and events across all of the SEC's 21 sports. The network will be an all-access pass to nationally competitive events, news and information, expert analysis, classic games and in-depth features on the most storied conference in college athletics.
With Thursday's addition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the SEC Network will be available to approximately 60 million households nationwide.