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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Mississippi defensive end CJ Johnson speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
SEC Network signs with DirecTV; Pac-12 Network still has not

The SEC Network has proven that it is the biggest, baddest college-sports channel of them all. And it doesn't launch until next week.

SECN has signed an agreement with DirecTV. That, along with Dish Network and most of the major cable companies, means that the new channel will launch on Aug. 14 in about 87 million households.

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That's nothing short of astonishing. And it speaks to a smarter strategy that ought to make its rivals sit up and take notice.

The SEC Network charges one amount per subscriber per month in the states that comprise the league's footprint; it charges less than that in other states.

The Pac-12 Network insists on one set fee for all cable/satellite companies. Which is a big reason it's still not on DirecTV. And a big reason it's in maybe half as many homes as the SEC Network will launch in.

(We don't know for sure; P12N won't release those figures.)

It's not just about subscriber fees, it's about advertising rates. Clearly, the SECN will be able to charge more for commercials than P12N.

What the SEC Network has already accomplished is incredibly impressive. And worth mimicking.



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