ESPN’s SEC Network Comes to LSU

By Jae Jones

If you’re not lucky enough to get one of the 102,321 seats in Tiger stadium feel free to thank producer Steve Ackels and his crew of 60 plus, for their role in putting together LSU’s game coverage on television’s across the country.

On Thursdays, the trucks roll in and the preparation begins. The last two weekdays leading up the game are used to make sure all equipment and gadgets are ready go to for Saturday. “It takes about 13-14 hours to set everything up [between Thursday and Friday]” said Ackels. “ESPN is at LSU pretty much every home game that CBS isn’t.”

SEC Network Control Room

SEC Network Control Room

As coordinating producer of the SEC Network Ackels, overseas the three college football games to be played on the network every Saturday. “The producer typically coordinates all aspects of the show; organizes the schedules, the content, the meetings with schools and the coaches each week,” said Ackels. ” During the show the producer talks to the announcers and basically guides them to where the show should go”

The SEC Network provides content for the whole conferences’ athletic departments, including olympic sports, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer and swimming & diving.

This is only the beginning. The ESPN SEC Network was lunched August 14, 2014 , and plans on producing “more than 1,000 live events, available in the first full year across the television network and its digital extensions”, according to the website.

Programming doesn’t just consist of games. Weekly shows include SEC Nation, The Paul Finebaum Show, SEC Storied, SEC Now, and SEC Rewind; which includes classic games, BCS & SEC Championships. reported that the SEC Network already had a “massive number of subscribers” a day before it debuted. In a chart  featured in the article, the SEC was projected to have 75 million subscribers in comparison to the Big Ten Networks projected 60 million and the Pac-12 Networks projected 26 million.

The SEC Network will reportedly charge $1.40 per subscriber per month inside the SEC footprint, meaning the conference will be in line for a big pay day,” reported SBNation. “Estimates for the conference’s total revenue range from $500 million to over $600 million per year, which would come out to more than $35 million per school”

Cable providers that deliver the SEC Network include Comcast, Dish, Time Warner Cable, AT&T Uverse, Charter, Cox, Brighterhouse, and SuddenLink. Catch the Kentucky Vs. LSU game Saturday Night at 7:30 pm on your cable providers SEC Network Station.



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