ATLANTA, May 2 (UPI) -- Member schools in the Southeastern Conference announced Thursday the league would create its own television network next year.
The SEC Network is scheduled to start up in August, 2004 with programming from all of the league's 21 sports.
League officials said the network would televise about 45 football games a year involving conference teams along with 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games and 75 baseball contests.
"The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms," Commissioner Mike Slive said.
"We will increase exposure of SEC athletics programs at all 14 member institutions, as we showcase the incredible student-athletes in our league. The agreement for a network streamlines and completes an overall media rights package that will continue the SECs leadership for the foreseeable future."
The new network will be separate from the 15-year contract the SEC signed with CBS in 2008 involving rights fees to football telecasts. CBS will have the first choice of football games as long as that contract is in place.
The Big Ten Conference and Pac-12 Conference already have their own networks in place.