In the summer of 2015, the Southern Conference and ESPN announced that they had reached an agreement on a six-year contract running through the 2020-21 academic year, when the league will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Over the course of the six years, the SoCon and its member schools will have an opportunity to produce nearly 2,000 live events that would receive national coverage on ESPN3.
As part of the new pact, all 10 SoCon schools will develop production capabilities by 2017 that will be showcased on ESPN3. Previously, Mercer and Furman produced content during the 2014-15 campaign.
A minimum of 1,900 live events will be produced by the league and its members. In the final four years of the contract, a minimum of 45 SoCon football games and 200 league basketball games will appear on ESPN3 each season.
The men’s basketball championship will continue to air live on either ESPN or ESPN2, and the conference will receive several men’s basketball exposures on one of ESPN’s linear platforms (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNEWS) during the contract.
The entire men's and women's basketball tournaments will be available as a part of this year's ESPN3 package. The championship games for women's soccer, men's soccer, volleyball, men's lacrosse, softball and baseball will be aired live on ESPN3, as well.
Select games will also be available on traditional linear networks in addition to those selected for the ESPN3 digital package. The Southern Conference began a new partnership in 2014 with the Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of 162 commercial TV stations in 78 markets across the nation. These stations reach nearly 40 percent of all U.S. households and include CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, MyTV and CW affiliates. A total of 18 live SoCon events, including six football games, are scheduled for carriage by a network of regional Sinclair stations under the banner of the American Sports Network (ASN).
In December 2015, FOX Sports Southeast announced that it had reached an agreement with the Southern Conference to televise a five-game package of men’s conference basketball match-ups on the season.
All five games will be televised live on FOX Sports Southeast and will also be available on FOX Sports GO (FOXSportsGO.com), a free app that provides live streaming video of most FOX Sports programming through select multi-channel programming distributors. FOX Sports Southeast currently reaches more than 10 million households throughout Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.
In addition to the ESPN3 coverage of the women's soccer, men's soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball championship games, you can catch all of the tournament action leading up to the championship games live for free on the SoCon Digital Network, which launched this fall.
What is ESPN3
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and is accessible online via WatchESPN.com. It is currently available to approximately 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.
ESPN3 on XBox Live
Xbox LIVE Gold members who receive their highspeed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider will be able to watch live events from ESPN3 on their TV screen through ESPN on Xbox LIVE. Additionally, all Xbox LIVE members have full access to video on demand clips from ESPN.com and more on their Xbox 360 consoles.
A list of participating providers for both ESPN3 online and ESPN on Xbox LIVE can be found here.
ESPN3 on Apple TV
On Apple TV, the WatchESPN app is the ultimate video destination for sports fans. Authenticated customers will have access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Goal Line and Buzzer Beater plus curated on-demand video like ESPN.com clips and highlights.
There are an estimated 13 million Apple TVs in the United States. Along with Microsoft XBOX, ESPN3 is available to an estimated 48 million connected TV devices in the U.S.
ESPN3 on Roku
Roku streams the biggest selection of live streaming sports packages out there, including WatchESPN, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass Broadband, NHL GameCenter, MLS LIVE, UFC, WWE and more.
Roku players connect directly to your TV and to your high-speed Internet service via your home network.
How to Watch ESPN3 on Your Television
If your TV has a VGA or HDMI input, you can connect it directly to your home computer to watch all of the action on your big screen. If one requires a VGA and the other requires a HDMI connection, you can find converters and connectors at your local electronics store. The TV will act as an external display by pressing function F8 (this varies) on your computer. Select the proper input from your TV remote and you are watching ESPN3 on your home TV. To amplify the audio, connect a cable from your computer's headphone jack to your home stereo.
ESPN3 Through the WatchESPN App on Your Smartphone or Tablet
The WatchESPN app delivers live access to ESPN3 in addition to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line smartphones and tablets to fans who receive their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter and AT&T U-verset. Once fans download the free app, they will receive instructions to enter the appropriate cable subscriber credentials to begin accessing ESPN content from the device.
For any questions, contact ESPN Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST daily.
American Sports Network (ASN)
The Southern Conference begins a three-year agreement with the new American Sports Network (ASN) in 2014. The network will carry a minimum of 18 live SoCon events in 2014-15, including six Conference football games.
ASN is operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates 162 television stations in 78 markets across the United States. SBG-owned stations reach nearly 40 percent of all U.S. households. Stations include FOX, MyTV, CW, ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates. Many of these local stations are also available on DirecTV and DISH satellite systems. Some may only be available on cable systems.
Coverage will be provided throughout the vast majority of the conference’s geographic footprint, as well as in areas well beyond the footprint. Games will be produced in high definition (HD).
The lineup of ASN affiliates carrying Southern Conference events will be updated on the Conference website on a weekly basis.
FOX Sports Southeast
Games will be televised live on FOX Sports Southeast and will also be available on FOX Sports GO (FOXSportsGO.com), a free app that provides live streaming video of most FOX Sports programming through select multi-channel programming distributors. FOX Sports Southeast currently reaches more than 10 million households throughout Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.