Posted: 2:20 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Will SEC Network cut into football game attendance? 

By Andy Johnston

Mike Slive has a new network, but will it damage attendance at football games? (AP photo)

Mike Slive has a new network, but will it damage attendance at football games? (AP photo)

There are nine days until the launch of the SEC Network (5 p.m. Aug. 14), which made an expected late rally to join DirecTV’s lineup (and its 20 million subscribers) and push its reach to 85 million households.

The SEC certainly will benefit from the network, mainly in the form of money. A lot of money.

But who else will profit from ESPN’s newest venture that will televise more than 1,000 live SEC sporting events, including 45 football games this fall?

An article at MrSEC.com runs down what it perceives will be the winners and losers from the SEC Network.

The winners include:

  • Smaller SEC programs like Ole Miss and Mississippi State (think bigger recruiting budgets)
  • SEC fans
  • Mike Slive
  • ESPN

As for the losers, it included SEC attendance figures, stating: “Attendance figures across the country have dipped in recent years thanks to the explosion of HDTV and a boom in the number of games on television.  The SEC created a panel to study and improve fans’ in-game experience for a reason.  Now that there’s going to be one channel with three straight SEC games on it — plus the usual league games on CBS and the ESPN family of networks — the urge to stay at home might become even greater.”

That’s true for those teams with fickle fans or those stuck in terrible years (Remember how empty The Swamp was at the end of last season?), but for the top teams, their fans will continue to attend the games (LSU just sold all of its season tickets for the 11th straight season).

If they can find tickets.

24 comments
Samoan Redcoat
Samoan Redcoat

We agree, the moron on the PA system makes it easier to stay home and watch the Dawgs.

Not any fun being blasted by hip hop/crap rap/slap dance noise.

LostGoat
LostGoat

i'll be watching more games on my 70 inch led tv, with plenty of cold beer, bourbon, burgers and wings instead of paying obscene prices for tickets, parking and food and watching some creampuff game with rude employees at the stadium---the SEC needs to show more games on TV!!

SLR
SLR

The "game experience" in Athens can be greatly improved by removing that moron off of the PA in Sanford stadium, turning down that deafening volume, and improving the music.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

"That’s true for those teams with fickle fans or those stuck in terrible years"


All fans are fickle.  

dcole001
dcole001

It will not effect SEC vs SEC Games, but yes when you play Florida Atlantic or Western Carolina if will. Those games stink to go to. Like going to Atlanta Falcons Pre-Season Game. Waste of Time and Money.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

" but for the top teams, their fans will continue to attend the games (LSU just sold all of its season tickets for the 11th straight season)."

No they won't - they will continue to buy tickets for the games (which is really all the ADs care about) but they will stay home and watch some of the cupcake games on TV - starting with Sam Houston State and New Mexico State 

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Let them keeping raising the price of the tickets and dayum right it will. 100 bucks per ticket is going to move a lot of folks to the couch.

te29wr
te29wr

The young and faithful will still go to the games  OLD People like me will watch 6-10 every week

DawgNole
DawgNole

Hard to say. Most of the SEC Network's matchups so far appear to be duds--as CSS's were--so they wouldn't be particularly well-attended anyway. Fans wavering on whether or not to attend such games likely will lean toward staying home if they're available on TV.

GTBob
GTBob

Attendance is going to continue to decline everywhere but the SEC network will have nearly nothing to do with it.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@PariPassu". . . cold beer, bourbon, burgers and wings . . . ."?

_____________________


What time you want us to show up?

TampGator1
TampGator1

@GeorgeStein 


I am not one of them.  Sorry. 


"Florida, our Alma Mater,

thy glorious name we praise.

All they loyal sons and daughters,

a joyous song shall raise.

Where palm and pine are blowing,

where southern seas are flowing.

Shine forth thy noble gothic walls,

thy lovely vine-clad halls.

'Neath the orange and blue victorious,

our love shall never fail.

There's no other name so glorious,

all hail, Florida, hail!"

TampGator1
TampGator1

@dcole001 


Not really.  You get on campus with friends and foe.  You have a good time at those games. You eat well, drink well, and have a great time, actually. And then go enjoy the game.....unless you are playing Vandy at homecoming and Georgia Southern during an injury-riddled 4 and 8 losing season. Then, you just shake your head and make the drive home in a bad mood.....but still a loyal Florida fan. Go Gators!


But.....I agree, it would be a whole lot more fun to go to the games if Florida was playing Oklahoma State or Michigan State instead of Idaho or Eastern Illinois.   But the Gators will lead off the 2016 season playing Michigan.  Step in the right direction.....and the SEC will continue to have to make those kinds of steps if they want to maintain their perch above the college football world.    

TampGator1
TampGator1

@PaulinNH 


Thousands of LSU fans did not show up for the Florida game last year, much less the cupcake games. Wasn't just TV.  It is the economy as well. Lots of empty seats at college football games all over the country last year. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie 


Well.....you think that has something to do with the outrageous salary being paid to your coach and the major millions of dollars for upgrades being made around Bammerville to keep him there and get top recruits there?  There is a price for everything, you know.


And did you see the thousands of insane Bama fans rushing into BD to get Saban's autograph?  Who does that? Scary watching that on ESPN yesterday.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

@te29wr 


Some old and faithful people like me will continue to go......because you just can't beat the game day experience of tailgating under the moss trees before going to THE SWAMP.  Go Gators!  I just wish I could still travel to away games.  Not in the cards any more. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@GTBob 


But the economy and gas prices will.....and a lot. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@TampGator1 

"Noble gothic walls" - you can't be serious.  My alma mater was founded a mere 644 years before UF and we didn't have "noble gothic walls".

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @te29wr

Agreed--except for those dud games that hopefully will go away in the years ahead due to the new playoff format's emphasis on SoS. Just not worth sitting in the hot sun or cold rain--or even in pleasant weather--to watch those disgraceful mismatches.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@GTBob @Realisticfan  Sounds about right... 49 Tech fans and 48,951 fans of the opposing team  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  I tried, but my fingers kept typing....

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Ihateorange 


You might have overestimated the Tech fans at the last game they played Georgia at Grant Field.  It was a sea of red and black for that game.  Harder to fly in from Seattle, Vancouver, San Jose, and other west coast high tech communities than driving over from Atlanta, Macon, Lawrenceville, and small towns in between.