ESPN has reached a multi-year deal with Dari Nowkhah to host the SEC Network and its weeknight news and information show, SEC Now. The deal comes on the heels of Nowkhah's 10-year anniversary with ESPN, having established himself as one of college sports' most versatile hosts. The 24-hour network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN will debut on August 14, 2014.
"You would be hard pressed to find a sportscaster with more passion than Dari Nowkhah has for covering a range of college sports," said ESPN's Stephanie Druley, vice president, production, college networks. "He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that is needed for a network that will cover all of the conference's 21 sports."
Nowkhah began his career at ESPN on SportsCenter and has been the main anchor for ESPNU since 2011, hosting a spectrum of studio shows on the 24-hour college sports network. Most notable to SEC fans, he was the primary SEC Studio host for the syndicated college sports package (produced by ESPN Regional Television) for the last four years. He is well known across the country for his show CFB Daily on ESPNU and his radio show Dari & Mel co-hosted by NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper.
In addition to his leading role on SEC Now, Nowkhah will continue to contribute his college sports knowledge and expertise on the Dari & Mel show and other ESPN Radio opportunities throughout the year.
"The best thing about college sports is the passion of the fans, and top to bottom, there is no conference that matches the SEC in that category," said Nowkhah. "To be a part of the SEC Network and continue my role with ESPN Radio is the perfect situation for me."
SEC Now will debut on August 14, 2014 at 6 p.m. ET and air every Monday through Friday on the SEC Network. The weeknight airings will be televised from the SEC Network studio set in Charlotte. Set renderings (seen here) were revealed at SEC Spring Meetings.
SEC Now will be produced by Brad Buchanan under the direction of Coordinating Producer Pete Watters. Buchanan is an ESPN veteran working on SportsCenter and College GameDay and most recently producing College Football Live. Watters has more than 17 years' experience and will oversee studio programming for SEC Network.
Additional SEC Network studio talent and programming details will be released at a later date.