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Thursday May 2, 2013 Some answers to how the SEC Network will impact Gators coverage

Updated: 4:03pm, May 2

Mike Hill Q&AGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With Thursday’s announcement in Atlanta that the Southeastern Conference and ESPN are joining forces to launch the SEC Network in August 2014, there obviously are questions from Florida fans wondering how the new network will impact coverage of the Gators.

Mike Hill, UF’s executive associate athletics director for external affairs, anticipated some of those questions.

What does this mean for the Gators on Sun Sports? 

“We will still have a relationship with Sun Sports, but it will be dramatically reduced in terms of television programing. “The Coach Will Muschamp Show” will remain on Sun Sports. So will Billy Donovan and Amanda Butler’s shows. Our magazine show, “GatorZone Television,” will stay on Sun Sports. But in terms of live events and replays, no, they will no longer air on Sun Sports. . “Breakfast With the Gators” will be gone, and football replays will likely air on the new network. 

How about GatorVision and live streaming of events on the GatorZone website?

“Moms and dads who want to watch their daughters play softball, for example, won’t see it streamed through our GatorVision system anymore. But we will still be able to stream those events through ESPN. Basically, for select games not being telecast on the network or on one of the national platforms, the new network will produce some streaming events on ESPN or the WatchESPN app. Beyond that, the institutions will be allowed to produce additional events to be streamed, but they will have to be streamed through the SEC Network and ESPN’s site, provided that ESPN has enough capacity on that event day to accommodate it and provided the production is of a certain quality -- and we will give them high quality.  I will say, for example, Friday nights in February, when you have gymnastics going on and baseball games going on and softball going on, not everybody is going to get [streamed]. We don’t stream every baseball and softball game right now, anyway. Our hope is that we’ll maintain the number of events we stream now and hopefully increase programming in the future.” 

Will this make it any easier to find games on TV?

“It should make it much easier. Basically, this is going to consolidate a lot of programming that has been piece-mealed between the syndicated, over-the-air network currently branded “SEC Network,” plus events on Sun Sports, Fox Sports, etc. to one channel, in addition to the national networks: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and, of course, the CBS deal.”

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