Editorial: SEC sports rights

The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Thursday, August 13, 2009.

Some of our parents cautioned us to never get too big for our britches. Some of our friends cautioned us to not be control freaks. It appears the Southeastern Conference with a push from ESPN is accelerating its aim for both. In the process, you the SEC fan will be shortchanged. The SEC has limited TV stations from showing highlights of SEC games to only three days after the game ends - no more recaps later in the week or the season of prior game highlights. Also, no more than three minutes can be used and it can only be used in a newscast. They've also forbidden news media from posting video from games, practice and news conferences online. They want to save it all for their new SEC Digital Network, that will likely come with a fee. They also want to restrict who covers their games to full-time salaried employees only. We urge them to reconsider these restrictive policies. Local media helps drive the fan interest that makes them successful enough to make megadeals with ESPN. These are public universities playing in publicly funded stadiums. Fans expect respect and you disregard them in a big way with this policy. SEC - don't compromise your fan base by restricting what they can see and where they can see it and who provides it for them.

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