A Powerful League Piles Up Its Advantages

5602-Football Tiger Stadium

Courtesy Steve Franz, Louisiana State U. Sports Information

As football season kicks off this week, SEC fans, like those at Louisiana State U., have much to celebrate, including more television exposure than any other league.

On a quiet block in this sleepy Southern town sits an ordinary office building that, but for a few football helmets visible along a row of office windows, gives little hint of being the center of the college-sports universe.

But thanks to a $3-billion television agreement that kicks in with the start of the college football season this week, that is exactly what the Southeastern Conference, headquartered here, has become.

The 15-year deal with CBS and ESPN, the richest in the