Charter finalizing agreement with SEC Network

Charter Communications customers will be getting the SEC Network.

The company, whose Louisiana coverage includes St. Tammany Parish, announced Saturday that an agreement with ESPN had been reached and would be finalized in time for the network launch Aug. 14.

Cox, the provider for most of southeastern Louisiana, last month reached an agreement with ESPN, which is responsible for the network’s programming. The SEC Network will televise 45 football games this fall, including LSU’s matchup with Sam Houston State on Sept. 6.

Other programming will include the weekly “SEC Nation” traveling pregame show, which will debut from Columbia, South Carolina, on Aug. 28, when the Gamecocks host Texas A&M as part of a doubleheader. Vanderbilt will host Temple in the nightcap.

The addition of Charter, which has more than 5.7 million customers in 29 states, brings the SEC Network’s distribution to approximately 65.7 million households. ESPN has targeted the 80 million to 90 million range for distribution for the new network.

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks signed on to carry the SEC Network last week. Deals are also in place with Comcast, Dish Network and AT&T Uverse. DirecTV remains the major provider yet to reach a deal, though the company told FoxSports.com it is “quite hopeful” a deal will be in place soon.

According to Sports Business Daily, distributors are paying $1.40 per subscriber per month for the channel within the SEC’s 11-state footprint and $0.25 per month outside of it. The channel will be on expanded basic tiers within SEC territory, and digital basic outside of it.

That level of pricing means the SEC Network, the product of a 20-year agreement between ESPN and the SEC, could generate as much as the Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Network combined.