It took until the 11th hour, but Mediacom got a deal done.
On Thursday, just hours before the launch of the SEC Network, Mediacom announced it had reached an agreement with ESPN to carry the highly-anticipated channel.
"Our cable systems in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are located in the heart of SEC country,” senior vice president of operations for Mediacom Ed Pardini said in a release. "By launching the SEC Network, we will bring even more live college sports action to SEC alumni and fans.”
Entering Thursday, Mediacom had been the only provider that serves the Chattahoochee Valley which had yet to agree to carry the SEC Network. Dish Network came on board in March, with Cable of East Alabama, Charter, DirecTV and WOW! all agreeing to distribute the SEC Network within the past month. But Mediacom was able to finalize an agreement just prior to the launch at 6 p.m. ET.
"With the launch just hours away, this is great news for all of Mediacom’s customers," Disney and ESPN Media Networks senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Sean Breen said in a release Thursday afternoon. "Mediacom is a valuable addition to the overall footprint and we look forward to serving their customers and fans of the SEC."
According to Mediacom communications director Phyllis Peters, the SEC Network should have come on air by the 6 p.m. ET launch. If not, it should be available "no later than Thursday evening." All Mediacom customers in Georgia will find the SEC Network on the same channels: 51 for the standard definition feed and 834 for the high definition feed.
How does one receive the HD channel?
"To view in HD, just like to view ESPN in HD or A&E in HD, the customer needs to use a cable set top box that is HD version," Peters said in an email. "We call the set top box a receiver. It receives the signals that are compressed when they travel through network, then they are converted in receiver and appear on the screen."
The SEC Network will be available as part of Mediacom's "Family Cable" package and in the vicinity of other sports channels such as ESPN and ESPN2.