SEC Network boss talks about the rise of the network
People filled Gambrell Hall to hear Connolly speak.
The network is popular in SEC country but Connolly hopes it will continue to grow nationwide.
By: Vince Dacus
USC students and the people of Columbia filled Gambrell Hall on Wednesday night to hear Justin Connolly, senior Vice President of college networks for ESPN, speak on the rise of the SEC Network.
Connolly says his visits to college campuses is critical in helping the network grow.
"Getting more stories, getting more content, and more access to the universities is a way for us to grow and build an audience and continue to sustain year long success, not just football season, or basketball season, or baseball," Connolly said.
The Charlotte based network provides 24 hour coverage that includes all 21 conference sports. In its first year, the network will broadcast over 1,000 live events across its television and digital platforms.
Alex Grant is a sophomore is a student who wants to work in sports production when he graduates. He says this presentation helped confirm his plans.
"Why not go somewhere where you can specialize in college athletics, especially like me where you have lived in South Carolina your whole life. You know the teams and you know the coaches," Grant said.
The network is extremely popular in SEC country, but Connolly says that he hopes that it continues to grow.
"If the network can be a home for not just SEC fans but for college sports fans who want to be entertained and want to see an angle or story they haven't seen elsewhere that they instantly think of the SEC Network," Connolly said.
The growing network has reached over 90 million during it's three months of operation.
The presentation was part of the annual Buchheit family lecture series. The series is sponsored by the Buchheit Family Endowment, which provides undergraduate scholarships and graduate and doctoral fellowships to students of the university's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.