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Charter finalizing deal with ESPN to carry SEC Network

AUBURN, Ala. — Charter customers no longer have to worry about missing out on their favorite Southeastern Conference teams.

A spokesman for the cable provider, which serves the Chattahoochee Valley area and is the primary cable distributor in Auburn, confirmed Wednesday that a deal is imminent.

"Charter has an agreement that we are currently finalizing with ESPN and we will have the SEC Network for its Aug. 14 launch," Patti Michel, Charter’s director of regional communications in the South, said in an email.

News of the pending agreement was first reported by AL.com.

When the deal is signed, sealed and delivered, Charter will add 5.7 million more customers (in 29 states) to the SEC Network's reach, bringing its total distribution to approximately 65.7 million households. Last week, the SEC Network added both Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks as carriers.

The SEC Network had previously announced agreements with Google Fiber, AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network and Cox Communications to carry the channel when it launches.

DirecTV is the lone national provider which has yet to finalize a contract with ESPN for the SEC Network.

Auburn's season opener versus Arkansas on Aug. 30 will air on the SEC Network. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET.

Alabama and Georgia will also appear on the SEC Network within the first three weeks of the season.

On Sept. 6, the Crimson Tide host the Florida Atlantic Owls at noon ET. The Bulldogs will host a noon ET contest of their own Sept. 20 when they welcome the Troy Trojans to Athens.