ESPN Regional Switches Up SEC On-air Talent

ESPN Regional Television will debut the second season of the live SEC Studio show one week before the season starts. The show is part of a 15-year deal with the SEC Network involving its regionally syndicated college sports package. In 2010-11, the SEC Network will be distributed in local television markets representing 77.4 million homes, or 67 percent of the U.S.

The SEC Studio show feature host Dari Nowkhah and analyst Matt Stinchcomb. The show will continue to be produced by ESPN Regional Television at its headquarters in Charlotte, NC, also the home of ESPNU.

Rob Stone, former host of the SEC Studio show, will move to the booth to call play-by-play for the weekly ESPNU game at noon ET, joining new game analyst David Pollack.

New to the SEC on ESPN commentator lineup this season is the team of play-by-play announcer Clay Matvick and analyst Herm Edwards, who will pair up in the ESPNU booth on Saturdays for the 7 p.m. ET game.

For the SEC Network’s Game of the Week, former Houston quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware returns as analyst in the Saturday booth with longtime SEC announcer Dave Neal and reporter Cara Capuano.

Also, returning Aug. 26, ESPNU’s SEC Weekly is an hourlong studio program that focuses on SEC sports throughout the academic year and features sport-by-sport previews, reviews and specials. The show is hosted by Capuano, with Stinchcomb serving as analyst.

The 24-hour college sports network also will present a package of SEC football, highlighted by a Saturday Game of the Week, generally in prime time, with a minimum of 13 games annually.

The SEC Network will feature an SEC football Game of the Week regionally for 13 consecutive Saturdays, beginning Sept. 4. Those telecasts will kick off at noon ET with the SEC Studio show, followed by the matchup, generally determined 12 to six days in advance.

Within the nine-state SEC footprint, the SEC Network will be delivered in markets by the local over-the-air carrier of SEC events. In markets outside the SEC footprint, the syndicated programming will air on either local, over-the-air television stations or regional sports cable networks.

In 2008, SEC football syndication aired in local television markets which represented 30.1 million homes (26% of the U.S. In 2009). The new SEC Network aired football in local television markets which represented 73.9 million homes (64% of the U.S.) Among the new markets in 2009 were eight of the country’s top 10.

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