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SEC Network hires Tim Tebow for pregame show SEC Nation, additional ESPN duties

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Jan 1st 2014 12:10 pm
Tim Tebow is pictured on the `ESPN College GameDay` set prior to the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Game (ESPN Images photo by Phil Ellsworth)
Tim Tebow is pictured on the "ESPN College GameDay" set prior to the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Game (ESPN Images photo by Phil Ellsworth)

Will make analyst debut during ESPN's VIZIO BCS National Championship coverage Jan. 6 from Pasadena

Former Florida quarterback and Heisman winner Tim Tebow has been hired as a college football analyst for the SEC Network launching in August. Through a multiyear agreement, Tebow's primary role will be as an analyst for SEC Nation, the network's traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week beginning Aug. 28. In the months leading up to launch and after, he will contribute to a variety of ESPN platforms, including "SportsCenter," ESPN Radio, and the network's Heisman Trophy coverage, offering in-depth perspective as a legendary Southeastern Conference player.

On Monday, Jan. 6, Tebow will make his first appearance as an ESPN analyst during pregame coverage of the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship. He will contribute to the 9 a.m. ET edition of "SportsCenter," "College Football Live" (3 p.m.) and "College GameDay Built by The Home Depot" (7 p.m.). He will also be part of studio coverage for the new College Football Playoff (semifinals and championship game), which begins next season.

Tebow is the first college football analyst hired for the SEC Network. He joins a commentating roster that includes Joe Tessitore, host of "SEC Nation," and Paul Finebaum, host of "The Paul Finebaum radio show."

"Tim is a SEC icon with a national fan base and broad appeal. He will be a significant contributor to the compelling content we will deliver with the SEC Network," said Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president of programming, college networks. "Tim brings a wealth of knowledge about the game, the conference and the passion among SEC fans."

"I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity," Tebow said. "When I was 6 years old, I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC."

Tebow and Tessitore's first "SEC Nation" show will air from Columbia, S.C., Thursday, Aug. 28, for the Texas A&M at South Carolina game. The game will be televised exclusively on the network. The show's two-hour (10 a.m.-noon) Saturday debut will be Aug. 30 from Auburn, Ala., when Arkansas visits Auburn. "SEC Nation" will air every Saturday throughout the SEC college football season and offer an immersive look at game day around SEC campuses.

" 'SEC Nation' will be a tent pole program for the network and, as a recent SEC star, Tim Tebow was the ideal candidate to deliver first-hand insight into the coaches, players and programs," said Stephanie Druley, vice president production, college networks.

Tebow's role with ESPN will not preclude him from continuing to pursue playing opportunities in the NFL.

The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network, which will launch in August. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7, including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC's 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as "SEC Storied," spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform.

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