SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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C Spire to carry SEC Network on its new digital HD television service

Southeastern Conference college football fans received some welcome news today as C Spire announced that it will include the SEC Network as part of its new digital HD TV service.

The addition of the SEC Network is part of comprehensive, multi-year distribution agreement between the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) and the Walt Disney Company. C Spire is a member of the NCTC.

With the launch of one of the most anticipated sports networks just days away, C Spire will offer the SEC Network as part of an over-arching deal with the NCTC that includes a robust lineup of Disney’s top quality sports, news and entertainment content to be delivered across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices.

C Spire secured rights to the programming from ESPN through the NCTC agreement in time for the launch of the new network on Aug. 14. The first SEC football games to be televised on the network will air on Thursday, Aug. 28 with Temple at Vanderbilt and Texas A & M traveling to Columbia to take on South Carolina. Every SEC football team will play on the network in the first month.

“We’re pleased to give SEC fans who subscribe to our C Spire digital television service access to this must-have college sports programming and content along with top-tier family channels,” said Suzy Hays, senior vice president of Consumer Markets for C Spire. “The addition of the SEC Network and digital platform rights enhances the overall value of our television service to consumers.”

The agreement paves the way for consumer access in all C Spire Fiber to the Home cities in Mississippi who have qualified for the company’s next-generation 1 Gigabit per second ultra-fast broadband Internet access, related digital HD television and home phone services.

“C Spire TV customers will benefit greatly from this latest renewal deal,” said David Preschlack, executive vice president of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Disney and ESPN Networks Group. “They’ll continue to receive the great content we deliver and have the ability to access that content on multiple digital platforms.”

As part of the new, multi-year NCTC deal, C Spire will introduce several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH and video-on-demand products, Fusion, the SEC Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN Bases Loaded, along with existing services like ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN3.

C Spire will offer its consumers broad access to existing authenticated products like WATCH ABC authenticated on-demand content, WATCH ABC Family, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Junior, WATCH Disney XD and WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN Bases Loaded through the networks’ own WATCH sites and apps.

“These products will give our customers more opportunities to access live and video-on-demand content, both at home and remotely on their computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices,” Hays said. The company will begin offering the digital TV service late this summer in Quitman, Ridgeland and Starkville.

“C Spire has multiple SEC schools in our footprint and we are home to some of the most passionate college sports fans in the world,” Hays added, noting that a recent online poll of 6,400 SEC football fans by Bleacher Report indicated that nearly 80 percent were willing to switch providers to ensure they have access to the SEC Network. “As a company that gets its inspiration from our customers, we couldn’t envision offering a TV service that didn’t give them a chance to continue experiencing the rich history and tradition of some of the most storied rivalries in sports.”

The SEC Network is expected to air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, including at least 45 exclusive SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games and other events from across the Southeastern Conference’s 21 college sports.

For more information on C Spire’s digital TV service, visit www.cspire.com/fiberhome.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $45 billion in its Fiscal Year 2013.

About C Spire

C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class service and a superior, comprehensive suite of customer-inspired wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.

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