Charter poised to add SEC Network

Georgia fans in the Athens area that get Charter cable in their homes won’t have to worry about missing the Bulldogs’ football game on the SEC Network on Sept. 20.

When the ESPN-owned network launches in two weeks, Charter Communications expects to carry the sports channel.

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

That’s the news that people like Rick Waller, an insurance agent from Watkinsville, have been waiting to hear.

“It’s been huge for me and a lot of friends with Charter,” said Waller, 60, a University of Georgia graduate. “We want to get the SEC Network. I have checked into AT&T U-Verse and got a quote and we’re hoping we didn’t have to change. It’s good news for us that we don’t have to change carriers.”

Charter has about 5.7 million customers across 29 states, which would bring the number at launch for the SEC Network to nearly 66 million if the Charter deal is indeed completed.

Cable and satellite providers already on board for the SEC Network include Comcast, Dish, AT&T U-Verse, Cox and Time Warner Cable.

An ESPN spokesperson said the network won’t comment on ongoing negotiations.

Besides the home football game against Troy on Sept. 20, Georgia will open its women’s soccer season at Ole Miss on the SEC Network with its game airing live on Aug. 22.

The network will show 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games and 75 baseball games.

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