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Cingular dials up SEC deal

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Cingular dials up SEC deal

Atlanta Business Chronicle - 9:38 AM EDT Wednesday

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Cingular Wireless LLC is making a connection with the South's most popular college sports conference.

Atlanta-based Cingular will become the exclusive telecommunications sponsor of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as part of a multi-year deal with HOST Communications. Cingular said it will get branding presence during key SEC championship competitions and other SEC events, including football and basketball.

Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed.

Cingular will provide exclusive video content from key SEC events, which may include game highlights and press conferences, through its Cingular Video wireless service. Cingular also will become the exclusive presenting sponsor of SECsports.com, the official athletic Web site of the conference. The portal has been re-branded as "SECsports.com powered by Cingular," and Cingular will present all SEC video-on-demand content on the site.

"Cingular's sponsorship with the Southeastern Conference will be another example of our commitment to college athletics," said Steve Sitton, president of the Southeast Region for Cingular Wireless. "Cingular is dedicated and eager to assist the SEC in its efforts to provide quality and beneficial opportunities to student-athletes on and off the field. And, through the SEC video content available on a wireless phone, SEC fans can stay close to the action no matter where they are."

Cingular is a joint venture between Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) and San Antonio, Texas-based AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which are set to merge by the end of the year in a $67 billion deal. Cingular's second-quarter profit jumped 267 percent to $540 million on $9.2 billion in revenue.

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