The Washington Times - August 25, 2008, 11:48AM

ESPN announced that it signed a new 15-year agreement with the Southeastern Conference that will include coverage of the men’s conference basketball tournament and more than 5,000 other events.

ESPN will pay a whopping $2.25 billion over the course of the deal, according to Sports Business Journal.


The deal would give ESPN the ability to show any game not already televised as part of an existing 15-year deal with CBS. The combined deals give the SEC moire than $200 million in annual revenue all the way through the 2023-2024 season, SBJ said.

The deal also means that Raycom Sports will no longer have the rights to any SEC games.

While the the value and length of these deals is staggering, it’s also a bit surprising because it means that the SEC is now less likely to pursue the creation of it’s own dedicated television network similar to the Big Ten Network.