LSU won’t have to wait long to make its SEC Network debut.
ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announced the network’s 16-game football schedule for the first four weeks of the 2014 season Thursday, including LSU’s Sept. 6 home opener against Sam Houston State.
Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
LSU’s Aug. 30 season opener against Wisconsin will be on ESPN at 8 p.m. from NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) in Houston.
Also included in the SEC Network schedule is Louisiana-Lafayette’s Sept. 13 game at Ole Miss and Nicholls State’s Sept. 6 game at Arkansas.
Kickoff for both games is set for 3 p.m.
The SEC Network, which is scheduled to go on the air Aug. 14, will typically have three football games per week throughout the regular season.
Kickoff times are 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 or 6:30 p.m., according to ESPN.
LSU has lobbied to get as many night kickoffs as possible from the SEC Network as well as the conference’s prior TV partners, CBS and ESPN.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said he has received assurances from the networks that LSU’s desire for night home games will be given strong consideration.
“There are no guarantees,” Alleva said Thursday. “But I hope we’re on at night as often as possible.”
That includes hopes that CBS will once again select the LSU-Alabama game — Nov. 8 in Tiger Stadium — for its once-a-year prime-time slot. The prime-time game is part of the annual CBS day-night doubleheader.
A CBS spokesperson said the network will be announcing its plans soon, possibly as early as the SEC Spring Meeting, May 27-30 in Destin, Florida.
SEC schools will have all of their football games televised either on CBS, one of the ESPN networks or the SEC Network. There will be no more pay-per-view telecasts such as TigerVision, LSU’s former in-house network.
The SEC Network’s football coverage will kickoff Thursday, Aug. 28 with a doubleheader: Texas A&M at South Carolina at 5 p.m., followed by Temple at Vanderbilt at 8:15.
There will be six games shown on Sept. 6, two per time slot, with LSU-Sam Houston State and Lamar-Texas A&M both kicking off at 6:30 p.m.
According to the SEC, all six games will be made available to SEC Network subscribers, with one game on the SEC Network channel and the other on an overflow channel which will be made available that Saturday.
According to the website GetSECNetwork.com, only two of the five major providers in the Baton Rouge area have so far signed agreements to carry the SEC Network: AT&T U-Verse and Dish Network. Cox, Eatel and DirecTV have not signed on yet.