BY Bill Crockett
(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — What’s going on with the SEC Network? After yet another botched University of Kentucky basketball tip-off, many fans were left shaking their heads in disgust. Infuriated fans scrambled, desperately trying to locate an alternate channel broadcasting the UK-Lamar game. Scheduled for a 6:00pm tip, viewers watched in horror as the lead-in program, an SEC volleyball match between Texas A&M and Ole Miss, went well past the slated start time.
Why were Kentucky fans so mad? Due to extended SEC volleyball coverage, UK’s passionate fan base missed the majority of the first-half—that’s not a good idea for a fledgling network. An avid fan myself, it’s easy to sympathize with fans’ frustration regarding the network. Befittingly, an irate Big Blue Nation immediately flooded social media and cried foul against the SEC Network—and rightfully so. Shouldn’t a UK basketball game take precedence over volleyball?
Sunday’s programming nightmare wasn’t the first such occurrence this year. A double-overtime soccer match between No. 8 South Carolina and No. 20 Florida also took precedence over UK’s exhibition game versus Georgetown. Similarly, the SEC Network resumed their basketball broadcast of UK-Georgetown deep into the first-half. What happened to switching programs based on regionalized coverage and level of interest? Isn’t that standard procedure for big boy networks?
Basketball ultimately boils down to making shots and the SEC Network’s bricked coverage of Kentucky basketball left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Thankfully, I covered the Kentucky-Lamar game as a member of the media and experienced all the action firsthand. Upon returning to work today, however, many of my co-workers expressed the same dissatisfaction with respect to the SEC Network’s lack of coverage. Do we really have to lag behind the ACC Network? Here’s hoping the negative publicity leads to policy change. It goes without saying that basketball fans deserve far better treatment than this. Come on SEC Network, get with the program!