ESPN unveils logo for SEC on ABC as new media rights deal begins

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz05/14/24

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The 2024 season will see plenty of changes across college football, but particularly in the SEC. A new media rights deal takes effect as the league leaves CBS and moves exclusively to ESPN and ABC – and fans got a look at the new logo Tuesday.

ESPN unveiled the logo at the Disney Upfronts in New York Tuesday afternoon, teasing some big changes as it becomes the home of the SEC. New music and graphic swill also be on the way.

The new deal takes effect this summer as the SEC expands by adding Texas and Oklahoma following a groundbreaking round of conference realignment.

The SEC inked a 10-year deal with ESPN and ABC worth nearly $3 billion in late 2020, and in Summer 2021, OU and Texas announced their plans to leave the Big 12 to join the league. Now with 16 teams, its new look will debut with Florida vs. Miami on Aug. 31.

Last year, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey spoke about why the agreement is a big win for the league and said it goes beyond the $300 million per year. He mentioned the reach of the network going over-the-air, as well as the digital plans ESPN has going forward, as reasons why the deal came to fruition.

“What that does, and it’s something about which I’ve spoken but gets lost, is when we move to the ABC-ESPN group, we have access to more broadcast TV opportunities than perhaps we’ve ever had, certainly in recent decades,” Sankey said on McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning. “In other words, 130-plus million households with access to broadcast TV, we could literally program an ABC game at noon Eastern, 3:30 Eastern and then, that primetime window on particular Saturdays. Now, ABC and ESPN have other contractual commitments. But that’s an illustration of the breadth of reach that we are about to experience.

“And we respect and appreciate our relationship with CBS, but our move to work under the Disney heading was about more than just revenue. It was about reach, so reach through broadcast TV, reach through cable and satellite, which obviously is a changing environment.”

The SEC was the first major conference to secure a lucrative media rights deal as figures began to soar and realignment winds blew. The Big Ten later agreed to a seven-year, $7 million contract with three networks – FOX, CBS and NBC – while the Big 12 extended its deal with FOX and ESPN earlier than expected.