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Slive also would not discuss details of the ownership arrangement with the SEC and ESPN.

“We would not have done this if we did not believe it would be in the long-term benefit of the league, both in terms of distribution and in terms of revenue,” Slive said.

“We’re both happy,” Slive said.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 also have established networks, but Slive said the SEC’s partnership with ESPN is different.

“What’s unique and never been done before is partnering with our primary rights holder, which will allow us to move events seamlessly between various platforms,” Slive said.

The SEC signed a 15-year deal with CBS in 2008. CBS will still have the first choice of SEC football games.

ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly said AT&T U-Verse has signed on as the network’s first distributor. He said talks are just beginning with other possible cable partners.

Connolly said the deal also gives ESPN rights to oversee the league’s corporate partner program. In addition, ESPN will manage and run all of the SEC’s digital platforms.