Mike Slive expects new TV deal

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive said Saturday that the league is making progress toward a new television deal and he expects it to be finalized before the end of the year.

The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC puts the conference in new, large television markets, and the upcoming deal is likely to be one of the most profitable in college athletics.

Slive said they've been negotiating with their TV partners for several months and they're encouraged by the progress they've made.

Slive and the conference are also at work to determine where the Champions Bowl, which will feature the champions of the Big 12 and SEC or replacement teams from those leagues will be held. The bowl will be in the rotation for semifinal games in college football's new postseason format, which starts in the 2014 season.

"We're going to be working in conjunction with the Big 12," Slive said. "I don't anticipate a decision until the end of the month or very early in October. The process is well underway."

He was in College Station to welcome the Aggies into the conference and flip the coin before Texas A&M played No. 24 Florida. He planned to watch most of the first half before traveling to Columbia to catch Missouri's game with Georgia.

Slive is excited about the addition of the two schools to expand the conference to 14 teams.

"For Texas A&M and Missouri, it begins a new era, and for us it begins a new era," Slive said. "When you start a new era with an inaugural day, it's a day that people will remember. We haven't expanded since '92 and these two teams are only the third and fourth teams admitted to the SEC in almost 80 years."