Take Me Down Like I’m a Domino: Realignment in the Rest of the World

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

With the Big 12 on the verge of signing a large new TV rights extension deal with ESPN and Fox and seemingly heading toward a period of stability, conference realignment is looking more about completing the domino effect of the moves by the power conferences.

The merger of the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA is progressing at tortoise speed with 16 schools for now and periodic rumblings/threats that it may grow as large as 24.  There’s still the specter of the Mount USA Alliance losing Air Force to the Big East, but that would likely be the extent of any further defections.  Honestly, outside of the possibility of having to replace Air Force, I don’t see any real value in the Mount USA expanding further.  As of now, there can be an easily manageable 16-team conference with 2 logical 8-team divisions.  Adding any more schools would be the essence of expansion for the sake of expansion.  The Mount USA is already in a precarious position with how much their TV contracts would be valued today, so further expansion would likely just dilute any rights fees.  So, if the Mount USA is smart, the WAC will receive a reprieve.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic 10 is the new scene for hot conference realignment action.  Temple will be leaving for the Big East while Charlotte has been invited to the Sun Belt in connection with the school’s move-up to Division I-A football in 2015, which means the A-10 is looking for reinforcements.  Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com has reported that VCU, George Mason and Butler have had discussions with the A-10.  If this is consummated, I like the move from the perspective of all parties involved.  The A-10 would establish rivalries in the Washington, DC area (George Mason vs. George Washington) and Richmond (VCU vs. Richmond) while providing Midwestern bridge between its Ohio members (Xavier and Dayton) and St. Louis University by adding Butler.  In turn, the A-10 has consistently garnered multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament, which is something that none of the potential additions could count on in the Colonial Athletic Association or Horizon League, respectively.

If I were running the A10, I’d also be taking a look at current Horizon League members Loyola University Chicago and Detroit.  While they haven’t had recent Final Four runs like VCU, George Mason and Butler, those schools fit well with the large Catholic school contingent in the A-10, are located in large TV and recruiting markets, and provide a critical mass of schools in the Midwest.

Are these moves as titillating as the persistent rumors thrown around about the Big 12 poaching ACC schools such as Florida State and Clemson (which I don’t buy for one second)?  Of course not, but it’s important to note the range of the aftershocks of the realignment of the power conferences.  If the Atlantic 10 expands, then the Horizon League and CAA will likely need to find replacements, which means even more leagues further down the food chain are affected.  The drive for big-time college football revenue is impacting every type of Division I institution, including those that don’t play football at all.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

(Image from Manga Xanadu)

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Comments
  1. Badgerholic says:

    Badgers first!

    Like

  2. Badgerholic says:

    As a Milwaukee Panther fan, losing Butler would be a definite blow to the league. However we’ve lost St Louis, Xavier, Marquette, etc before us so we’ll find a way to persevere one way or another. Oakland has to be the top choice although its still a step down from what we’re losing.

    Like

    • JohnCassillo says:

      Why not push it further and try to grab teams in New York state, instead of heading west? Iona, Manhattan or Hofstra? BU or Vermont would also make sense.

      Like

      • JohnCassillo says:

        And if for some reason they did go west, Creighton, Drake, Bradley and/or Wichita State would be better adds than Oakland, Detroit or Loyola.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Creighton has a lot of support (as do Bradley and Wichita St.), but NE and KS are pretty far from the East Coast, and Drake & Bradley are in small towns (Omaha and Wichita aren’t exactly big cities either). Not that appealing to TV execs (which is what expansion is mostly about).

          Like

      • Richard says:

        George Mason and Butler have more support than any of those schools. VCU doesn’t, but does have recent success and an increasing brand.

        Also, if you haven’t noticed, with Temple (and UNCC) leaving, all of the biggest bball schools in the A10 (with the possible exceptions of St. Joe’s and UMass) are in the west now.

        Like

  3. wmtiger says:

    Go Wolverines!

    Like

  4. greg says:

    Hawkeyes undefeated in spring football.

    Like

  5. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

    Like

  6. XOVERX says:

    From the outside, my concern if I was, say, a Clemson Tiger would be the SEC. To my east, there is South Carolina. To my north, there is Tennessee. To my south, there is Florida. To my west, there is Georgia (and the rest of the SEC). In order to remain robustly competitive in country surrounded by the SEC, Clemson must be able to earn at, or close to, what schools in the SEC will soon earn.

    SEC schools command six out of the top 10 official NCAA gameday attendance leaders, and eleven out of the top thirty. The SEC television contract, which currently pays around $17M per year per school, will soon be renegotiated, due to recent expansion. By all accounts, that renegotiated SEC contract will at least match those of the PAC and the B1G, each of which provide about $21M per year per school. Would anyone be surprised if the SEC contract eclipses the PAC and B1G contracts?

    The question is: Will Clemson be able to remain robustly competitive with the SEC schools that surround it if Clemson remains a member of the ACC?

    The contract numbers for the ACC and Big 12 are now solidifying and are being widely reported by the mainstream media.

    As of February 6, 2012, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal reports that, including the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, each ACC school will soon make between $14M and $15M per year per school. See the article here: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/02/06/Colleges/ACC-TV.aspx

    The renegotiated ACC contract would be effective through 2026. A key quote in that Street & Smith article is this:

    “If the ACC is able to push the per-school average to more than $14 million, that would take the annual value of the deal from its current $155 million for 12 schools to more than $200 million for 14 schools. That’s a much more competitive position financially for the ACC.”

    Is a less than $15M per-school average really a “competitive position” for Clemson University viz-a-viz the SEC? And if the new ACC television contract is not really a “competitive position,” could membership in the Big 12 put Clemson into a “competitive position” with the SEC?

    From the same Street & Smith article, the Big 12 currently receives around $15M per school per year. The ESPN and Fox B12 contracts only extend to Tier 1 and Tier 2 (and, like the SEC, not Tier 3). In other words, the 10 teams in the B12 already receive more money off just Tier 1 and Tier 2 than Clemson is expected to receive after the ACC contract is renegotiated to include the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. With respect to Tier 1 and Tier 2, that doesn’t seem like too awfully bad a discrepancy — a million dollars, give or take.

    But it is bad. Really bad.

    Now we know that the Big 12’s Tier 1 ESPN contract is expected to come in around $1.4B, which will be synced to the existing $1.2B Tier 2 Fox contract. The latest report is from CBS Sport’s Dodd and McMurphy and is dated March 13, 2012:

    “The Big 12 is negotiating a new media rights deal with ABC/ESPN and Fox that would be worth at least $2.6 billion or $20 million annually per school, television industry sources told CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd and Brett McMurphy.”

    And here is that link: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/17774745/big-12-negotiating-media-rights-deal-worth-at-least-26-billion

    The latest rumors are that the Big 12 contract also contains an “escalator clause”. If the Big 12 signs at least 2 additional teams (there are restrictions on whom), there is an automatic escalator in the contract that will raise the total payout by $2.05M per team (this based on the added conference championship game). And, it is also rumored, the Big 12 negotiated an “opt out clause” that will allow the Big 12 to take the contract to the open market if the Big 12 expands to 12 or further (with ESPN/ABC having the right of first refusal on the renegotiated contract).

    Can there be any doubt that Clemson and Florida State are two of the schools that would move the contract to $24.1M per year per school?

    As set forth earlier, the ACC’s less than $15M contract includes Tier 3 revenue, while the Big 12’s $15M does not include Tier 3 revenue. So let’s now go ahead and factor in the Big 12’s Tier 3 income per school. Sorry, all I have is the 2009-2010 numbers, and these numbers are not broken out in Tier 3 television and Tier 3 other, but here they are:

    Kansas – $7,276,988.00
    Oklahoma St. – $6,395,000.00
    Kansas St. – $3,263,941.00
    Iowa St – $2,608,896.00
    Texas – $338,171.00 (for 2012, around $15M in Tier 3 television)
    Oklahoma – $317,361.00 (for 2012, around $5M in Tier 3 television)
    Baylor [no info]

    Does anyone seriously dispute that Clemson or Florida State would make any less in Tier 3 television revenue than, say, Oklahoma will make in 2012? In fact, if Clemson and FSU joined, suddenly Clemson and FSU are each making at least $29.1M per year as members of the B12.

    Big-time football schools like Clemson and Florida State can reasonably expect television revenue streams — at the very least — of $29.1M per year per school as members of the Big 12 Conference. That’s at least $14M more per year than what Clemson would make in the ACC!

    Less than $15M or at least $29.1M? ACC or Big 12? Which one would give Clemson the revenues to compete with the SEC? You pick.

    Now, it is certainly possible that SEC schools could wind up making as much or more than B12 schools. The SEC is a powerful football league, absolutely no doubt about it. And if Clemson can migrate to the SEC, who could blame them?

    But if Clemson cannot migrate to the SEC, due to South Carolina, and when it comes to waging financial warfare with the SEC — and that day is swiftly approaching — will Clemson be more successful in keeping up with the SEC as a member of the ACC? Or as a member of the B12?

    Is it helpful to Clemson if it is making less than $15M per year, locked into a contract through 2026, while its SEC competitors are making $25M per year, or $28M per year, or $30M per year, or more? Would the SEC schools obtain an edge — possibly a big edge? — in facilities, recruiting, assistant coaches, and amenities if the SEC made significantly more money than Clemson? Or does money not really matter all that much when it comes to college athletics?

    As a final matter, let me ask you this: Do you think a league that is comprised, in part, of Clemson, Florida State, Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virgina is the equal to, or near equal of, a league that is comprised, in part, of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana State, and Auburn?

    None of this means Clemson (or FSU) will join the Big 12. But it does mean Clemson should give it very careful, considered, and serious thought.

    Like

  7. duffman says:

    Congrats to Tubby and the Gophers

    Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      Has been a pretty decent winter for Gopher’s athletics…

      Women’s NCAA Hockey Champions
      Men’s Wrestling B1G and NWCA Nat’l Duals Champions/NCAA Tourney Runner-Up
      Men’s Hockey WCHA reg season title, and currently in Frozen Four.
      Women’s BB won their post-season tournament.
      Men’s BB in NIT title game.
      Men’s and women’s gymnastics teams in NCAAs.
      Swimming teams in NCAAs.

      Unfortunately, the baseball team is struggling (so far) this season.

      Hopin’ that some of this success will transmit to football… and NCAA berths for the BB team(s) next year…

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Hey, another sport where the B10-Pac Challenge starts early!

      Like

  8. joe4psu says:

    add

    Like

  9. duffman says:

    If I read the link correctly :

    ACC = 155 Million or ~13 Million per school
    1.86B / 12 = 155M, 155 / 12 = 12,916,667

    B1G = 224 Million or ~19 Million per school (this seems low)
    112 Million for CBS / ESPN / ABC + 112 Million for BTN = 224 Million
    1B / 10 = 100M, 72 / 6 = 12M, 2.8 / 25 = 112M : 224 / 12 = 18,666,667

    BigE = deal expires, no new numbers going forward

    B12 = 192 Million or ~19 Million per school
    2.5B / 13 = 192,307,692, 192,307,692 / 10 = 19,230,769

    PAC = 250 Million or ~21 Million
    3B / 12 = 250M, 250 / 12 = 20,833,333

    SEC = 205 Million or ~17 Million per school
    2.25B / 15 = 150M ESPN/ABC + 825M / 15 = 55M : 205 / 12 = 17,083,333

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Ranked by annual income :

      PAC = ~21 Million per school
      BXII = ~19 Million per school
      B1G = ~19 Million per school
      SEC = ~17 Million per school
      ACC = ~13 Million per school

      Like

      • wmtiger says:

        ACC received about a $2mil bump (per school) in revenue after their ‘look-in’… That deal still looks like one that could result in some schools leaving after seeing how much SEC, B10, Pac 12 & Big XII schools are likely to earn when the new tv deals are inked and the Pac 12 & SEC Networks are created.

        BTN revenues are far exceeding expectations, payouts (remember the B10 owns half the BTN) are exceeding the initial figures so the # listed above is $1.5mil – $2.5mil low.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I calculated 20.667 million for B1G (before BTN profits).
        100 million ABC + 12 million CBS basketball +112 million BTN + ccg around 24 million ($20-$25 million are the estimates I’ve seen).

        Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        If we are ranking by actual income, we should probably go by what people are actually getting paid right now. Timing matters.
        For 2012-2013 (this coming season) I show about:
        Big Ten- $18.1 million
        SEC- $13.75 million*
        Big XII- $13.6 million**
        Pac-12- $13.125 million***
        ACC- $10.47 million**** $13.47 million if everyone gets another $3 million right off the bat

        *Based on 12 team SEC, does not attempt to account for additions of Missouri and Texas A&M
        ** Based on assumption ABC/ESPN extension kicks in immediately
        *** ESPN/FOX deal only, network not accounted for
        ****Old ACC deal for 12 teams then adding

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Have you calculated this based on actual revenue figures or are you extrapolating based on assumed escalations (in some cases the escalation factor is known).

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            The short answer is it depends. Some conference (see the SEC) are very forthcoming with exactly how much money they made where. The Big Ten publicly doesn’t comment on financial figures, but Illinois gives the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the breakdown of BTN revenue and ABC/ESPN revenue every year and Michigan’s athletic department is public record after the June regents meeting annually. I’ve yet to see escalation factors flat out given anywhere though.

            In the above though, the SEC and Big Ten numbers are based on the average life of the contract values, contract length, and then looking at actual distributions to find a growth factor, and then projecting that growth forward over the remainder of the contract and checking the math against the known overall (or average annual) contract values. The Pac-12 number above is a math mistake on my part. Based on a Jon Wilner report the Pac-12 is estimated to get approximately $180 million in year 1 or $15 million per team ($13.8 million if the conference is taking an equal share). $180 million would represent exactly 80% of the average life of the contract value, and growing it at a straight 4% annually makes the math work perfectly there (perhaps a bit too perfect, but without actual revenue numbers yet it is the best we can do for now). The Big XII estimate was made under similar assumptions to the Pac-12 using average life of contract values and working backwards. You get somewhere in the $13.5 to $13.7 million range depending on whether you alter the escalation factor or begin the deal at a deeper discount. Similar results yield $10.3 to $10.8 million per school for each ACC team in a 12 team league.

            It obviously isn’t as precise as comparing reported average life values, but I think it gives a better picture of where everyone actually is at in a given year.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There have been some escalation factors reported, but I can’t remember which ones (Big 12 or Pac 12 or both?). I know the LHN is escalated at 3% annually.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            It does make a difference where you are in the life of the contract. For the LHN, they start at $10.98 million (IMG gets 17.5% of that), and if you escalate over 20 years you get to $19.3 million by the end.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            “It does make a difference where you are in the life of the contract. For the LHN, they start at $10.98 million (IMG gets 17.5% of that), and if you escalate over 20 years you get to $19.3 million by the end.”

            Correct, that is one of my main points in trying to figure out where everyone actually stands right now. Other than the Big Ten (and the Big XII before they extended) everyone is fairly early on in their deals. The way the escalation works is everyone starts at at discount to the average contract values, but in the back half of their deals will actually be making more than the stated average life of contract values.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Looks like in the near future, the B10 & Pac will be the top 2 with SEC at #3, B12 at #4, and ACC at #5 after all the look-ins. 5 years from now, after the new B10 deal, the B10 will be far ahead of everyone else for about a half-decade before new TV deals for a bunch of conferences are negotiated.

            Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Does that include the B1G’s share of BTN profits or just rights fees?

      B1G = 224 Million or ~19 Million per school (this seems low)
      112 Million for CBS / ESPN / ABC + 112 Million for BTN = 224 Million
      1B / 10 = 100M, 72 / 6 = 12M, 2.8 / 25 = 112M : 224 / 12 = 18,666,667

      Like

      • @joe4psu – Those figures don’t include BTN profits. There is also the new deal for the Big Ten Championship Game with Fox (about $23 million per year) that needs to be added on top of that.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          Also, do they include a likely pro-rata adjustment for the addition of Nebraska?

          Like

        • Nostradamus says:

          @Frank,

          It still isn’t 100% clear to me that said interpretation is the correct one yet. If you back to the original News Corp 10-Q, “The company will pay approximately $2.8 billion over the term of the contract for these rights.” Read literally the $2.8 billion over 25 year estimate is the rights fees Fox will pay the Big Ten. It doesn’t include anything from the conference’s 51% ownership stake in the network. Or your interpretation.

          Ourand and Smith at SBJ interpreted that or had someone interpret it as the following “The total payout over the term of the 25-year agreement is based on profit projections by News Corp…If News Corp. hits its financial projections, which are based on a guaranteed rights fee, an equity share agreement with the league, the full 25-year life of the deal and hitting all sales thresholds, it would translate into an average of $112 million annually paid to the conference and $10.18 million to each school.”

          Obviously, a very different interpretation. Here they are saying the $2.8 billion includes the News Corp’s profit projections. I’ll preface the rest of this by saying it is a bit early in the game to draw conclusions based off of the finances. Based on the known early Big Ten Network distributions to schools and extrapolating them forward for the remaining 25 years at a 4.4% annual growth rate gets you right to about $2.8 billion. Under this scenario, I would’ve projected Big Ten schools to get $6.77 million from the network in 2010-2011. We know they actually got $7.9 million. This is the first significant deviation from normal growth on the $2.8 billion/25 years.

          So each school got about $1.1 million more than “expected” or about 17% more than expected. That is $12.43 million overall more than expected ($13.56 million if the conference is taking an equal share). Under the interpretation that $2.8 billion/25 years is rights fees only you are left saying that the network only made $27 million last year. I’m not sure I buy their margins are that low. You could also make the argument that somehow the conference is still repaying Fox for the earlier years, but starting to see their share of the profit.

          Or the more likely scenario right now (to me at least) is that the Big Ten Network was $27 million ahead of Fox’s financial projections last year and that accounts for the bump the conference saw. This interpretation of course would mean that the $2.8 billion over 25 years does indeed include Fox’s profit estimates, but BTN is already ahead of them very early on in the game. I’m not sure what the answer to this is as it is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded.

          Like

  10. vp19 says:

    George Mason would boost the A-10’s visibility in the D.C. area, as George Washington has largely been ignored in recent years. If I were the A-10 commissioner, I might try to do likewise in metro NY, where Fordham gets lost in the shuffle. Hofstra might be a good choice, and if Long Island U. can parlay the nearby Barclay Center into some success, I wouldn’t rule out the Blackbirds, though it would be a considerable jump from the bottom-tier Northeast Conference. At least LIU has a genuine basketball heritage (two NIT titles when that tourney meant something).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      A10-I would think 12 would be a better number than their current 14. But perhaps Butler and VCU are hot enough to be worthwhile. Their real concern should be that they are losing their teams who don’t play in a HS gym. That could lead St. Louis, Xavier and Dayton to consider alternatives. UMass is already a risk to leave because of football. That basically leaves Richmond and Rhode Island and a bunch of schools with HS gyms.

      Like

      • OT says:

        A-10 has too much deadweight. No reason to have both St. Joe and La Salle (which plays in a gym on the 3rd floor of a building.) St. Bona is another one (tiny TV market in an area with 20% unemployment.)

        Like

  11. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Is anyone going to the Final Four?

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Brian, with the Buckeyes in, are you going?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No. I don’t have the money or the time. Besides, the title is clearly UK’s to lose and I’m not going to pay to watch Calipari win. I’m not even sure I’ll have time to watch the games on TV.

        Like

  12. bullet says:

    CUSA/MWC
    I think its about survival and separating themselves from the WAC/SB/MAC. Their presidents have commented that they think there will be a culling of FBS. 18 is really necessary so they don’t have to travel across country to play each other. This is really a TV alliance with the merger just a way of doing it.

    I think its in their benefit to have the WAC or Sun Belt disappear as a football conference. If they go to 18 that might happen and with 20 it would. The more schools that get into FBS, the more their recruiting grounds and markets get split and the more likely the big boys want to split. UTSA and Texas State make it more difficult for UTEP, UNM and Tulsa, and Rice and Tulane to a lesser extent. Right now the WAC and Sun Belt are looking for new members and are a place for FCS schools. If one or the other ceases to sponsor football, the resulting conference will be big enough it won’t be interested in FCS schools unless they are really attractive. And I don’t think there is anyone who fits that except maybe UNC-Charlotte who hasn’t even started playing yet (among the commonly mentioned schools-Montana is a small school in a small state, Applachian is a relatively small school isolated and in a state with 5 FBS schools, UC Davis and Cal Poly have no fan support, Georgia State is in the shadow of UGA/GT, UTA would be the 4th school in DFW-and none of those 6 are exceptional in basketball).

    I don’t really understand why, but a network president was quoted as saying a national conference had value and they would bid on it if given the opportunity (don’t have the link and don’t remember which network-but it wasn’t ABC/ESPN). 18 or 20 makes them a little more national.

    Like

  13. Wes Haggard says:

    Clemson and Florida State to the Big 12? Please. Big 12 will be lucky to add the City schools of Louisville and Cincinnati.

    Like

  14. Mike says:


    The Big East schedule came out Tuesday and when Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti spoke with media about it, he wasn’t very happy with the Scarlet Knights having just six home games and called for the Big East to compensate his school for the home game lost during the craziness of the Big East’s expansion.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/zone-read-rutgers-wants-big-east-pay-missing-143524917.html

    Also from the link:

    Craig James: “Basically, people don’t like him because he’s so awesome”

    “The Fiesta Bowl acknowledged Monday that it will probably have to pay $136,350 in back taxes to the IRS”

    Like

  15. B says:

    Butler, George Mason & VCU would be a great addition to the A10.

    Like

  16. OT says:

    Breaking news:

    Jon Wilner (SJ Mercury News) is reporting that Pacific is jumping from the Big West to the West Coast Conference (WCC). Press conference at 1pm Pacific Time on Wednesday.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/college-sports/ci_20273466/report-west-coast-conference-will-add-university-pacific?source=rss

    Not a surprise considering that Pacific was the only private school in the Big West, which are dominated by younger UC schools (Santa Barbara, Irvine, Riverside, David) and commuter schools from the Cal State system (San Diego State, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Cal Poly SLO)

    Pacific is a much better fit for the WCC than for the Big West.

    San Jose State is now stranded in no-man’s land (WAC), hoping for the Mountain West to extend a lifeline.

    UC Davis now needs a new travel partner in the Big West. Sacramento State would be ideal if the Big Sky were willing to give Sac State the same deal UC Davis and Cal Poly SLO got: Big Sky in football only, Big West in basketball and Olympic Sports.

    Like

  17. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    The Aggies have sold out of season tickets for the first time since Kyle Field expanded.

    http://www.theeagle.com/am/A-amp-amp-M-sells-out-of-football-season-tickets–70620002012-03-26T23-46-47

    Like

    • OT says:

      ESS! EEE! CEE!

      ESS! EEE! CEE!

      ESS! EEE! CEE!

      Like

      • bullet says:

        2 good attendance years and they are already talking about a 115,000 seat stadium (in a different article). Speculation was the last expansion was so they could be bigger than Texas instead of meeting demand. So they had 15-18k unsold season tickets.

        Like

  18. wmtiger says:

    We’ll see how well tickets sell after they win 7 games a season in the SEC.

    Like

  19. Mike says:

    Fox Considering Launching Its Own National Sports Network


    Murdoch and News Corp. is a little late to the game, as both NBC and CBS already have their own networks up and running. NBC Sports has the NHL, and CBS Sports has hosted key college football games in the past few seasons. And besides, they already have their Fox Sports local affiliates across the county. It doesn’t make much sense, until you begin to look a little deeper.

    ESPN has pissed a lot of television providers off because of the exorbitant fees required to carry the network. ESPN operates in a position of total power, because they air so much live content across several key sports. They know if a cable or satellite company played hard-ball and balked at negotiations, subscribers will bitch and moan, or worse, change providers.

    http://deadspin.com/5897213/fox-considering-launching-their-own-sports-network

    Like

    • Richard says:

      This is big news. Some one on here (Vincent?) noted that there are virtually no big sports properties up for bid besides the B10 and another league for about 10 years (and this new Fox Sports channel will need content).

      OK, found it:

      “The BCS deal does expire prior to the Big Ten negotiations in 2014. Notre Dame’s NBC deal expires in 2015. Other than that it is pretty smooth sailing. The NFL renewed their deals recently taking them off the market. NASCAR is in the middle of negotiations for deals that expire in 2014. The NBA deals go through 2015-2016. Then you have some more minor stuff like the Kentucky Derby deal expiring in 2015. Both U.S. Opens, etc.”

      Here was my post:
      “So it looks like the NBA & B10 will be the only major sports properties that hit the market in mid-decade (MLB will have to negotiate a new deal before 2013 as well), after which you’re likely in the next decade before any major properties likely open up. (Stuff like golf & tennis tournaments, Triple Crown races, and ND football just don’t provide enough inventory to be considered major.)

      $40M total TV revenue per school should be easy. Could be more.”

      OK, so NASCAR’s negotiating now and MLB will be negotiating national TV contracts soon as well. This new Fox sports network can bid for those. After that, there’s the B10 and NBA mid-decade, then nothing major for a half-decade (unless MLB signs another short-term deal).

      $40M average for the Tier 1 rights over the life of the new TV deal (and $40M total TV revenue per school at the beginning of the new contract) is what I’m expecting for the B10.

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        It was me that noted that. Realistically right now, you could likely expect ABC/ESPN, Comcast (NBC/NBC Sports formerly Versus), News Corp (Fox/FSN/FX/Former Speed Channel/BTN), and possibly Turner to all show up to the bidding table.

        Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Is Fox just after the market that *SPN has as a 24/7 sports network(s), and the gold mine in monthly fees, or are they preparing to take the B1G away from *SPN completely and feel that it is necessary to have a propaganda arm? People have noted that with *SPN’s control of all things sports, shifting 1st tier content completely to another network could be dangerous.

      Regardless, I am hoping for as much competition to *SPN as possible for sports news as well as live sporting events. The *SPN studio shows make me cringe, they’re almost all unwatchable. The only thing I watch on *SPN outside of live events is PTI. Kornheiser makes me laugh out loud almost every day, despite the penguin dance and Uranus jokes. 🙂

      By the by, has anyone figured out why the emails are sent out without formatting? They’re a pain to read if over a couple of sentences and if a post includes lists they’re garbled beyond recognition.

      Like

      • beIN Sports USA says:

        FOX Sports has 3 specialty sports networks, all of which are candidates for chairman David Hill to flip into “FOX Sports 1” by loading it up with U.S. college sports.

        FUEL TV
        SPEED
        FOX Soccer

        The Emir of Qatar may end up making the decision for David Hill.

        Why?

        beIN Sports USA has outbid FOX Sports (FOX Soccer) for the U.S. rights to Serie A (ITA) and Ligue 1 (FRA) starting in August.

        beIN Sports USA has also outbid the GOLTV-ESPN Deportes partnership and the new Univision Deportes Network for the U.S. rights to La Liga (ESP) in August. beIN Sports USA bid more than the combined revenue (advertising and subscriber fee) of GOLTV and ESPN Deportes.

        The big prize, U.S. rights to English Premier League for 2013-2016, will be sold this August. FOX Soccer has had EPL since 1998. The FOX-ESPN partnership will be up against beIN Sports USA this time, and beIN Sports USA is prepared to bid up to twice what FOX-ESPN are willing to pay.

        beIN Sports is owned by Qatar Media Corporation (the parent of Al Jazeera)

        David Hill might have no choice but to turn FOX Soccer into FOX Sports 1 because FOX Soccer might not have any major European soccer products on weekends after May 2013 (Scottish Premier League does not count.)

        beinsports.tv (coming in August)

        beinsportsusa.wordpress.com (unofficial)

        Like

        • joe4psu says:

          This is interesting. A post from an unofficial rep of binsportsusa.tv. Is this an advertisement placed in a message board?

          Anyway…If the Emir of Qatar can force Fox to take on *SPN aggressively for college sports content, especially the B1G, I’m all for it. I wonder if Fox is going to be aggressive in bidding for the BE content? Will this help the C-USA/MWC/Alliance? To build the network they are going to need content from somewhere and it has been shown previously there is limited top end content to be had over the next 5-10 years.

          Obviously they didn’t just wake up yesterday and decide to do this, they must have a plan. I am interested to see where this leads.

          Like

    • Mike says:

      Could FOX use the rights its local FSNs (i.e. MLB, NBA, and NHL teams) own for programming on its national channel?

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        If it would raise the profile of the teams, and possibly bump their income, to be on a more widely distributed network you would think that they would be for it but contracts are contracts and I have no clue how this would work. I wonder if it would it be possible to air the games on BOTH networks, the local/regional and the national. If Fox knows they have to eat losses for a few years and this is an opportunity to raise the profile of the national network it may make sense. Of course I am talking out of my hat here. As usual. 🙂

        Like

      • Richard says:

        This depends on who owns the national rights to an extent. Contracts would have to be reworked, but it could be possible.

        Like

      • beIN Sports USA says:

        No.

        FOX does not have out-of-market rights to those teams. The leagues themselves have out-of-market rights, which are on packages such as MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, and NHL Center Ice.

        One can make a case for flipping all 3 specialty networks (FUEL TV, SPEED, and FOX Soccer) into FOX Sports 1, 2, and 3 so that FOX will have much greater flexibility in moving programming around, as well as allow all 3 channels to be stuffed with college sports on evenings and weekends.

        One of the 3 will have to be flipped anyway, because David Hill will have no choice after the Emir of Qatar outbids FOX (or ESPN or Univision or anyone else in the U.S.) for anything the Emir wants to have for his new sports channels targeting U.S. market.

        FOX has already lost two U.S. media rights packages to Qatar Media Corporation and will probably lose another one in 6 months.

        Like

  20. joe4psu says:

    Posted here for those that don’t/won’t see it in the comments to the last blog.

    I just had a thought about the playoff and leveling the playing field. The top independents and teams that don’t win their division, or who come from a conference without a CCG, should have to win a play-in game. It would only be fair to those schools playing CCGs. So the playoff would include the top two or three conference championship game winners and the winner(s) of the play-in game(s). How many CCG winners and how many play-in game winners would be included in the playoff would be determined each year by circumstances.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I disagree about it being more fair. No one has forced the conferences to add CCGs. They have done it for their own profits not to make their champion any more or less legitimate. If it ends up hurting them, so be it.

      That said, I don’t think teams in a conference who didn’t win it should be involved. If the champion of a conference isn’t worthy of playing in the playoff, than neither is anyone else. If the champion is in, then they shouldn’t have to beat a team they already beat out for the conference crown.

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        CCGs (and larger conferences) aren’t going away. Conferences that aren’t at twelve, or more, likely will be soon. The CCGs are a de facto playoff game (and ought to be under the umbrella of the governing body whether it be the NCAA or the BCS or some new alliance). Adding “wildcard” games between independents, conference winners that don’t play a CCG and non-division winners from conferences with CCGs only adds to the excitement and, wait for it, money to be made.

        My goal is a playing field as level as possible. I think my suggestion does that even if the conferences that currently have CCGs weren’t forced to provide fans with more great games and make more money in the process.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          I like the concept in theory — it’s similar to MLB’s wild-card — but how do you implement it in practice?

          What I would probably prefer to do, if logistics allowed, would be to:

          * Require participating BCS conferences to have at least 12 members and a CCG (this looks like it could happen, as the Big 12 and Big East are drawing closer to such setups, joining the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC).

          * Give the four highest-ranked conference champions the top four seeds and first-round byes.

          * Make the two other conference champions the automatic fifth and sixth seeds.

          * Give the next six highest-ranked teams the seventh through 12 seeds, regardless of conference (or independent) status or CCG participation, with the caveat that seeds can be switched to avoid first-round rematches. This would mean the highest seed a non-BCS conference champion (or Notre Dame) could get would be the No. 7.

          A 12-team tournament might be too large for some, but it’s probably the best way to satisfy all BCS conferences while providing genuine impetus to win a CCG.

          Like

        • Eric says:

          I understand what you are saying and think it solves issues, but I don’t see it as leveling the playing the field in the end. I think if we look at how it would actually play out, instead we see it disadvantage schools which already have a difficult schedule.

          1. Big 12 vs. SEC champ: This example should be one where clearly the SEC champ had to do a lot more to get to the playoffs than the Big 12 champ given we’ve had 5 SEC teams in a row win the national title. When you break it down though, is that really true? The Big 12 champion will have had to play every single team in the Big 12 (9 games). The SEC team will have played everyone in its division and even with the CCG at most 3 teams in the other division (9 games). Let’s say it’s Alabama in the SEC and Oklahoma in the Big 12 and compare what their conference schedules. I’ll say Alabama’s non-division rotating game was South Carolina and their CCG victory was over Florida (one bigger name, one lesser).

          Alabama———Oklahoma

          LSU—————Texas
          Arkansas——–Oklahoma State
          Florida———–West Virginia
          Auburn——TCU
          Texas A&M——Texas Tech
          Tennessee—Kansas State
          South Carolina———Kansas
          Ole Miss———–Iowa State
          Mississippi State—Baylor

          In the end, I think we can say that Alabama’s schedule on average might be slightly harder than Oklahoma’s, but it’s not overwhelming and this is the toughest comparison we get. If we switched this to comparing the Big East champion instead, the Big 12 champions schedule would look a heck of a lot better, The Big 12 champion’s result would probably look better against the PAC-12 and often against the Big Ten.

          2. Notre Dame vs. Big Ten champ:
          For this I’m just going to look at last years schedules for Wisconsin and Notre Dame (should have probably done that above).

          Notre Dame——–Wisconsin

          Michigan State—-Michigan State (1st time)
          Michigan———–Michigan State (2nd time)
          Stanford————Nebraska
          USC—————–Penn State
          Purdue————Purdue
          Pitt——————Ohio State
          Maryland———-Illinois
          South Florida—-Oregon State
          Wake Forest—–Indiana
          Boston College-Minnesota
          Air Force———UNLV
          Navy————–South Dakota
          ——————–Northern Illinois

          Under this comparison, I’d give the edge to Wisconsin, but again not overwhelmingly. Again though is against one of the more difficult scheduling conferences. If you switched this to against a lot of the PAC-12 or ACC, I’d argue Notre Dame’s schedule is harder. If you switched it to the the Big East or Alliance (where an undefeated team will be in the top 4 champions) then Notre Dame’s schedule is unquestionably harder.

          Like

          • Actually the BIG is one of the easiest scheduling conferences. And Wisconsin is one of the lighter schedulers in the league, with five to eight easy to very easy games (bottom five plus some combination of Oregon St, Purdue and Illinois, depending how you want to define “easy”).

            Of the “big five” league champs in 2011, Wisconsin probably had the easiest slate. Certainly much easier than Oregon and LSU (an outlier tough OOC slate for them). Seems easier than Clemson (OOC against Auburn AND SC plus a somewhat tough Coastal draw). And OK St also had a fairly tough slate, given how tough the Big 12 was in 2011.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            vp19, Eric and Matthew (can someone explain to me why Matthew has 2 t’s?),

            There is no perfect way to determine a champion. I just want to point out a couple of things that stick out to me.

            1 – You should win your conference (CCG, or play in as the case may be). This is the most profound piece of the puzzle to me. It is also one of the easiest things to quantify, either you win or you don’t. And it is one of the few things that can be controlled 100% of the time. You can set up rules that make it so. Win the CCG or play in, or you’re out. Period.

            2 – Strength of schedule may be the hardest part of the puzzle to quantify, for selection or seeding. Seeding being an issue if home fields are used, as they should be, in the earlier rounds. While schools have some control, by selection of conference or OOC opponent, the cyclical nature of a particular opponents strength (conference or otherwise) cannot be controlled absolutely. There will never be a way to make scheduling totally “fair”. I do agree that conferences of equal size, that all have a CCG or do not, are MORE “fair” and should be strived for.

            While it is obvious that some conferences are tougher, the degree and the underlying fact itself is cyclical. I don’t see how anything can ever be done in regard to “fairness” in conference membership. The only thing that may make the system more “fair” is to take into account SOS so schools are rewarded if they play in a tougher conference in a particular year.

            3 – I STRONGLY believe that a small committee, considering SOS among other things, will make better decisions in general than computers and ill informed, possibly biased or worse, voters in polls. The goal should be to see championships won on the field.

            4 – It would definitely be easier to take into account more perspectives with a larger field. The seeding may still be an issue but the larger the field, and I’m not advocating a particular size (8), the more likely the most deserving teams will be included. “Deserving” being subjective. 🙂

            Like

        • Brian says:

          joe4psu,

          CCGs (and larger conferences) aren’t going away. Conferences that aren’t at twelve, or more, likely will be soon. The CCGs are a de facto playoff game (and ought to be under the umbrella of the governing body whether it be the NCAA or the BCS or some new alliance). Adding “wildcard” games between independents, conference winners that don’t play a CCG and non-division winners from conferences with CCGs only adds to the excitement and, wait for it, money to be made.

          My goal is a playing field as level as possible. I think my suggestion does that even if the conferences that currently have CCGs weren’t forced to provide fans with more great games and make more money in the process.

          You fail to provide any evidence of leveling the playing field. You don’t even provide evidence of a lack of a level playing field.

          On top of that, you predict the small conference will expand, which means they will have CCGs. That means you’re wasting your energy over a “problem” that will solve itself anyway. All that will be left is ND, and ND schedules a tougher slate than almost anybody.

          Your “wildcard” games certainly wouldn’t add excitement for me and I wouldn’t watch them (yes, I know I’m probably in the minority).

          Like

    • Brian says:

      joe4psu,

      I just had a thought about the playoff and leveling the playing field. The top independents and teams that don’t win their division, or who come from a conference without a CCG, should have to win a play-in game. It would only be fair to those schools playing CCGs. So the playoff would include the top two or three conference championship game winners and the winner(s) of the play-in game(s). How many CCG winners and how many play-in game winners would be included in the playoff would be determined each year by circumstances.

      Your fairness argument is mostly bogus. This is what duffman and I discussed not long ago.

      You have no basis for your claim of a lack of fairness. You say one plays 13 games while the other plays 12. I say it matters more which teams are on the schedule, not how many there are. Does one extra cupcake really make 13 games harder?

      Upcoming schedules, as far as we know:
      ACC – 9 ACC games + neutral CCG
      B10 – 8 B10 games + 1 P12 game + neutral CCG
      B12 – 9 B12 games
      P12 – 9 P12 games + 1 B10 game + campus CCG
      SEC – 8 SEC games + neutral CCG
      ND – 9-10 AQ games

      I don’t see unfairness there. The conferences with divisions allow the CCG teams to miss several of the top teams from the other division every year while the non-CCG leagues play a full round robin and miss nobody. Every champ or indy on that list plays at least 9 AQ opponents. If anybody was to cry foul, it should be the P12 for playing at least 10 AQs (11 for the champ) while the SEC can play 8 (9 for the champ).

      The point is, it’s quality of opponents that should matter, not quantity. Would playing at HI every year to have an extra game really make a playoff team’s schedule significantly more difficult? If not, then 12 versus 13 isn’t the issue. Since ND and the B12 champ play at least 9 AQs, the same as the SEC champ, the difference is in the other 3 or 4 games. I don’t see how playing one less non-AQ makes anything unfair here.

      I think you’ll find that ND and those 5 champs all tend to play at least 10 AQs in a season (11+ for P12), so the numbers are pretty fair.

      Now, the part of your fairness argument that makes some sense is for the division runners up. If you want to force the top 2 division runners up to play on CCG Saturday as an elimination game for the playoff, I’d be OK with that. It would require a rule change, obviously, and a neutral site on short notice. I wouldn’t promise the winner a spot, but I could see using it like a bracket buster game to eliminate the loser while helping the winner make their case. It would have given AL more credibility to me if they beat Stanford in December rather than everyone just assuming the SEC is that good. I still wouldn’t include non-champs, but at least this route makes them prove their worth.

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        Brian,

        Your fairness argument is mostly bogus.

        You are entitled to your opinion. Which I give consideration to in accordance to it’s worth. (We all know what message board opinions are worth) 🙂

        Oddly, I just wrote a post detailing my opinion on some things as you posted this. Check that out. I’ll read your post and respond if I think it’s necessary later.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          joe4psu,

          You are entitled to your opinion. Which I give consideration to in accordance to it’s worth. (We all know what message board opinions are worth) 🙂

          Oddly, I just wrote a post detailing my opinion on some things as you posted this. Check that out. I’ll read your post and respond if I think it’s necessary later.

          It is just my opinion, but I tried to provide the factual basis from which I reached my conclusion. Since you didn’t say why it was unfair, I couldn’t try to refute your points so I just made mine instead. I lay out why I don’t think the current method is unfair, or at leat snot in the way you indicate it is. I specifically said “mostly” because there was a chunk of your fairness point that seemed reasonable to me as I mentioned at the end.

          As for your post upthread, I agree with points 1-3. I don’t necessarily agree with 4 because it opens a whole different can of worms. Going to 8 introduces new problems and new disagreements while resolving a few things.

          Like

  21. Mack says:

    Since Aggie fans stand the entire game anyway, they can just cram more bodies in the same space.

    Like

  22. Dave says:

    Probably worth worrying about down the line for the A10 is the potential defection of the non-football schools from the Big East (quite likely if Louisville and/or UConn leave the Big East, even with Memphis and Temple on board). The new ‘basketball Big East’ conference would almost certainly raid the A10 for a few schools.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      Doesn’t the Big East already have 18 or 19 basketball schools? Wouldn’t 16 or less be ideal?

      Like

      • Dave says:

        Yes, but there are only 8 which don’t have FBS football in the Big East (FBS Indy Notre Dame, scholarship FCS ‘Nova, non-scholarship FCS Georgetown, and no football at the other five), and those would be the ones that might leave following a Louisville and/or UConn exit (Notre Dame might head elsewhere rather than joining a ‘Catholic Basketball League’). Hypothetical new conference would be non-football Big East + Xavier, Dayton, and possibly a few other northeastern / Great Lakes schools with good basketball and no football (and probably Catholic, or at least private).

        Like

    • bullet says:

      My thought is that the wrong people are doing the legwork. They’ve got high level dinosaurs doing the details. A lot of the difficulties are self-imposed.

      They don’t want 8. That resolves the conference champs issue as you can invite 5 or 6 and get 2 or 3 strong wildcards. Delany and Scott want conference champs because it benefits their conferences. Slive doesn’t because the SEC would be hurt. Neinas has been favorable as Ok. St. was hurt by that, but the Big 12 would be the biggest loser with such a rule based on BCS era history. (I understand the conservatism and the concern about impacting the regular season-but the real issue with 8 is that it might impact the bowls-2 or 3 wildcards?-we’ve already had Nebraska, OU and Alabama as wildcards in a 2 team playoff and the regular season is doing just fine).

      They are leaning towards semi-finals in the traditional bowl week after Christmas. That leads to weather issues that would be much less if done earlier in December. They HAVE looked at moving up the season which would allow semi-finals the weekend the ccgs are played now without interfering with finals any more than the ccgs do.

      They are actually considering limiting the final to one of the existing bowls for no reason other than tradition. Its not in the financial interests of the schools.

      They are still looking at the true +1 which, again, is for the bowls and not for the schools.

      They need some ADs or assistant ADs to come up with a few alternative plans and THEN go to the commisioners or better yet, the Presidents group of the BCS. I think the ADs or others might actually look at what a plan would result in and realize something like the true +1 solves none of the issues, except that it helps the Big 4 bowls.

      Like

      • hskrfb fan says:

        No matter what the fans seem to want, it looks like the best we are going to get is a 4 team playoff in the next couple of years. How about the following as a compromise:

        “Plus One/seeded 4 team hybrid”

        Use 2 of the 5 major bowls to host the semifinals.

        Jan 1st Rose Bowl: B1G champ vs P12 champ
        Jan 1st Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs at large
        Jan 1st Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs at large
        Jan 1st Cotton Bowl: B12 champ vs at large
        Jan 1st Fiesta Bowl: ND/Big East/other conf champ vs at large

        Jan 8th National Championship – awarded to the highest bidder years in advance (like the Super Bowl). No other “Bowls” are allowed between Jan 1st (2nd in some years) and the National Championship game.

        The Rose Bowl is allowed to have the following semi-final match ups between the B1G vs P12: 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3, or 2 vs 4 but not 1 vs 2 or 3 vs 4. If only one of the B1G or P12 champ finish in the top 2, the Rose would then host a semi-final game. If only one of the B1G or P12 champ finishes #3 or #4, then they would lose that champ to another bowl.

        The Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta would host a semifinal match if their conference partner finished in the top 2. They would lose their conference champ to another bowl if they finished #3 or #4.

        One of the biggest issues to solve is what system should be used to seed #1 – #4 (BCS, committee, a new formula).

        I think at least 3 of the participating teams should have to be conference champs. Non-Conference champs should have to be seeded either #3 or #4.

        2011-2012 example:

        Semifinal 1 would have been at the Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU vs #4 Oregon (no Stanford because only 1 non-champ is allowed)
        Semifinal 2 would have been at the Cotton Bowl: #2 Ok St vs #3 Alabama (Ok St gets the higher seed because they are a conference champ)

        The winners of the Sugar & Cotton Bowl would then play in the National Championship game at a neutral site on January 8th.

        I know this plan isn’t perfect or simple, but I think something similar to this could work.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          hskrfb fan,

          No matter what the fans seem to want, it looks like the best we are going to get is a 4 team playoff in the next couple of years.

          I haven’t seen any real evidence that fans clearly want more than 4 teams (internet polls don’t count).

          How about the following as a compromise:

          “Plus One/seeded 4 team hybrid”

          Use 2 of the 5 major bowls to host the semifinals.

          Jan 1st Rose Bowl: B1G champ vs P12 champ
          Jan 1st Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs at large
          Jan 1st Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs at large
          Jan 1st Cotton Bowl: B12 champ vs at large
          Jan 1st Fiesta Bowl: ND/Big East/other conf champ vs at large

          Jan 8th National Championship – awarded to the highest bidder years in advance (like the Super Bowl). No other “Bowls” are allowed between Jan 1st (2nd in some years) and the National Championship game.

          The Rose Bowl is allowed to have the following semi-final match ups between the B1G vs P12: 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3, or 2 vs 4 but not 1 vs 2 or 3 vs 4. If only one of the B1G or P12 champ finish in the top 2, the Rose would then host a semi-final game. If only one of the B1G or P12 champ finishes #3 or #4, then they would lose that champ to another bowl.

          The Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta would host a semifinal match if their conference partner finished in the top 2. They would lose their conference champ to another bowl if they finished #3 or #4.

          I’m struggling to understand why any of the parties involved would like this compromise.

          You keep the NCG too far into January, so the presidents are upset. TV probably wants it earlier too, so the NFL doesn’t crowd out the NCG talk.

          The Rose would prefer B10 champ vs P12 champ every year. They certainly don’t want to have to bring in outside conferences for a semifinal. The B10 and P12 would agree with them, most likely.

          Why would the Fiesta support losing the B12 and getting stuck with the BE?

          The other bowls won’t like losing their anchors. The bias in the rankings that favors certain conferences would become a huge issue (Sugar always keeps their champ, others keep losing theirs). The Orange and Fiesta bowls would rather have a fair share of semis than have to wait for ND/BE/ACC to be top 2. The others probably don’t want to let the Cotton into their club, either, and spreading out the champs just dilutes the system anyway.

          I think your compromise is the worst of both worlds, personally.

          One of the biggest issues to solve is what system should be used to seed #1 – #4 (BCS, committee, a new formula).

          That’s true regardless of system. It has a huge financial impact for the bowls in your plan, though, so the fight will get really nasty.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        My thought is that the wrong people are doing the legwork. They’ve got high level dinosaurs doing the details. A lot of the difficulties are self-imposed.

        I think this is more like congress. The staffers do all the grunt work to provide details and supporting info while the top people provide the big picture they want. Who do you think should be doing it? The presidents themselves? Nobody else but the commissioners and ADs are trusted enough to cull the options down to a plan or two to take to the presidents.

        They don’t want 8. That resolves the conference champs issue as you can invite 5 or 6 and get 2 or 3 strong wildcards.

        It resolves nothing. There have people on here advocating for all 11 champs to get in, and now you plan to pick the top “5 or 6” and skip the others for some at large picks instead. That isn’t a resolved issue. You’d have to go to 12+ with all champs getting in to resolve this issue, and we all know that size isn’t coming soon.

        Delany and Scott want conference champs because it benefits their conferences.

        That’s probably part of their motivation, but you don’t know how much. They probably also want the regular season to stay important and consider winning your conference an important thing. Until they decide how to split the money, there’s no guarantee this helps either conference.

        Slive doesn’t because the SEC would be hurt.

        Also at least partially true, but he can have other motivations. Maybe he honestly believes the second best team is often in the same conference as the best team, so they should have a chance to win the title. Until they decide how to split the money, there’s no guarantee this hurts the SEC.

        Neinas has been favorable as Ok. St. was hurt by that, but the Big 12 would be the biggest loser with such a rule based on BCS era history.

        As with Delany and Scott, he could be favorable for other reasons. Until they decide how to split the money, there’s no guarantee this helps or hurts any conference.

        (I understand the conservatism and the concern about impacting the regular season-but the real issue with 8 is that it might impact the bowls-2 or 3 wildcards?-we’ve already had Nebraska, OU and Alabama as wildcards in a 2 team playoff and the regular season is doing just fine).

        You say you understand it, but I don’t think you really do.

        One real issue with 8 is timing. They want to end the posteseason sooner, and they want the semis after Christmas to not mess with academics. That doesn’t leave a lot of space for another round. Note that a true plus one, which is still under consideration, would accomodate at least 8 teams so the number isn’t the issue.

        Wildcards certainly impact the regular season. When AL losing to LSU didn’t mean anything, it ruined the rest of the season for me. I’ll wish both teams extra bad luck for the rest of my life as payback. There was a huge outcry every time the BCS let in the wrong team like NE or OU or AL, and you want to codify that into the system as an “improvement” over the BCS?

        They are leaning towards semi-finals in the traditional bowl week after Christmas. That leads to weather issues that would be much less if done earlier in December. They HAVE looked at moving up the season which would allow semi-finals the weekend the ccgs are played now without interfering with finals any more than the ccgs do.

        They have looked at it, but starting earlier also brings weather considerations. It’s kind of warm in the south in July and August as you know, making it hard on the players in practice and the early games, and for the fans at the early games. How many extra heat stroke cases and such are worth it? How many players or fans dying a year is it worth to you? They have to consider that, in addition to whatever academic impacts it has (starting practice while summer school is in session, etc).

        They are actually considering limiting the final to one of the existing bowls for no reason other than tradition. Its not in the financial interests of the schools.

        1. You have no evidence that other places would pay significantly more.
        2. They may actually place some value on tradition and keeping ties to the past.
        3. They may place value on things that are important to some of the fans, like tradition.
        4. We don’t know what the big donors have been telling their schools about their preferences.

        They are still looking at the true +1 which, again, is for the bowls and not for the schools.

        1. Not everything is about money. There are actually more important things in life.
        2. They may ask the bowls to move up to accomodate a true plus one, because they still want the NCG to be closer to 1/1.

        They need some ADs or assistant ADs to come up with a few alternative plans and THEN go to the commisioners or better yet, the Presidents group of the BCS. I think the ADs or others might actually look at what a plan would result in and realize something like the true +1 solves none of the issues, except that it helps the Big 4 bowls.

        You are assuming none of this has happened. I’ll bet each commissioner has seen at least 20 plans from his presidents, ADs and fans. Heck, these meetings started with 60 plans just to make everyone aware of all the options out there. The presidents don’t have time to sort through a bunch of plans, so they are wisely letting the the ADs and commissioners winnow the list down to the top few from an athletics and TV POV with some basic guidelines from the presidentrs about the academic issues. When the short list is ready, the presidents will chime in and voice their concerns before making a decision. Then the athletics people will iron out the details.

        The problem for you is TPTB have multiple things to consider beyond pleasing bullet with their posteseason. Preserving tradition has value to them, in part because it has value to a lot of fans (especially fans who are already mad about moving to a playoff). Considering fans contain a lot of alumni and donors, they can’t just ignore it like you do.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I think this is more like congress. The staffers do all the grunt work to provide details and supporting info while the top people provide the big picture they want. Who do you think should be doing it? The presidents themselves? Nobody else but the commissioners and ADs are trusted enough to cull the options down to a plan or two to take to the presidents.

          *They’ve described who’s in the room and its very limited, about 15 or 16 people. They’re doing a lot of grunt work going through the options.

          They don’t want 8. That resolves the conference champs issue as you can invite 5 or 6 and get 2 or 3 strong wildcards.

          It resolves nothing. There have people on here advocating for all 11 champs to get in, and now you plan to pick the top “5 or 6″ and skip the others for some at large picks instead. That isn’t a resolved issue. You’d have to go to 12+ with all champs getting in to resolve this issue, and we all know that size isn’t coming soon.

          *It resolves the issue of getting one conference dominating it.

          (I understand the conservatism and the concern about impacting the regular season-but the real issue with 8 is that it might impact the bowls-2 or 3 wildcards?-we’ve already had Nebraska, OU and Alabama as wildcards in a 2 team playoff and the regular season is doing just fine).

          You say you understand it, but I don’t think you really do.

          One real issue with 8 is timing. They want to end the posteseason sooner, and they want the semis after Christmas to not mess with academics. That doesn’t leave a lot of space for another round. Note that a true plus one, which is still under consideration, would accomodate at least 8 teams so the number isn’t the issue.

          *A true plus 1 really only accomodates 2. You could easily have had Ok St/Stanford, LSU/Michigan and Alabama/Clemson in the bowls this year, leaving us with the same situation.

          They are leaning towards semi-finals in the traditional bowl week after Christmas. That leads to weather issues that would be much less if done earlier in December. They HAVE looked at moving up the season which would allow semi-finals the weekend the ccgs are played now without interfering with finals any more than the ccgs do.

          They have looked at it, but starting earlier also brings weather considerations. It’s kind of warm in the south in July and August as you know, making it hard on the players in practice and the early games, and for the fans at the early games. How many extra heat stroke cases and such are worth it? How many players or fans dying a year is it worth to you? They have to consider that, in addition to whatever academic impacts it has (starting practice while summer school is in session, etc).

          *Moving forward isn’t without issues. But how many players or fans have died in college in heat issues? As for fans, the issue is TV and the start times they want.

          They are actually considering limiting the final to one of the existing bowls for no reason other than tradition. Its not in the financial interests of the schools.

          1. You have no evidence that other places would pay significantly more.
          2. They may actually place some value on tradition and keeping ties to the past.
          3. They may place value on things that are important to some of the fans, like tradition.
          4. We don’t know what the big donors have been telling their schools about their preferences.

          *Every report has indicated a separate site would pay more. In addition the bowls are raising money for their various beneficiaries. #1 is just you arguing for the sake of arguing. #2 and #3 are part of the point I have been making.

          They need some ADs or assistant ADs to come up with a few alternative plans and THEN go to the commisioners or better yet, the Presidents group of the BCS. I think the ADs or others might actually look at what a plan would result in and realize something like the true +1 solves none of the issues, except that it helps the Big 4 bowls.

          You are assuming none of this has happened. I’ll bet each commissioner has seen at least 20 plans from his presidents, ADs and fans. Heck, these meetings started with 60 plans just to make everyone aware of all the options out there. The presidents don’t have time to sort through a bunch of plans, so they are wisely letting the the ADs and commissioners winnow the list down to the top few from an athletics and TV POV with some basic guidelines from the presidentrs about the academic issues. When the short list is ready, the presidents will chime in and voice their concerns before making a decision. Then the athletics people will iron out the details.

          *As I said above and has been reported, the commissioners are winnowing the lists.

          The problem for you is TPTB have multiple things to consider beyond pleasing bullet with their posteseason. Preserving tradition has value to them, in part because it has value to a lot of fans (especially fans who are already mad about moving to a playoff). Considering fans contain a lot of alumni and donors, they can’t just ignore it like you do.

          *Its not a problem for me. Clearly you are one of those who are mad about the direction it is currently leaning. But nothing is done until it is done. It could still go in lots of different directions, especially when they start talking about revenue distribution. There’s no guarantee they will figure that out.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “I think this is more like congress. The staffers do all the grunt work to provide details and supporting info while the top people provide the big picture they want. Who do you think should be doing it? The presidents themselves? Nobody else but the commissioners and ADs are trusted enough to cull the options down to a plan or two to take to the presidents.”

          *They’ve described who’s in the room and its very limited, about 15 or 16 people. They’re doing a lot of grunt work going through the options.

          I know those in the room are limited, but I don’t think those guys did all the research and prep work. I think the staffers are also at their beck and call to get extra info or answer questions. I’m sure they are doing work at night and during lunch and such to support the discussions. It’s not like most congressmen actually write the laws, you know, they frame the ideas and have the staff do the grunt work. I think that’s what’s happening here. Just my opinion.

          They don’t want 8. That resolves the conference champs issue as you can invite 5 or 6 and get 2 or 3 strong wildcards.

          “It resolves nothing. There have people on here advocating for all 11 champs to get in, and now you plan to pick the top “5 or 6″ and skip the others for some at large picks instead. That isn’t a resolved issue. You’d have to go to 12+ with all champs getting in to resolve this issue, and we all know that size isn’t coming soon.”

          *It resolves the issue of getting one conference dominating it.

          No, it doesn’t. The SEC could still have up to 4 of 8 teams.

          (I understand the conservatism and the concern about impacting the regular season-but the real issue with 8 is that it might impact the bowls-2 or 3 wildcards?-we’ve already had Nebraska, OU and Alabama as wildcards in a 2 team playoff and the regular season is doing just fine).

          “You say you understand it, but I don’t think you really do.

          One real issue with 8 is timing. They want to end the posteseason sooner, and they want the semis after Christmas to not mess with academics. That doesn’t leave a lot of space for another round. Note that a true plus one, which is still under consideration, would accomodate at least 8 teams so the number isn’t the issue.”

          *A true plus 1 really only accomodates 2. You could easily have had Ok St/Stanford, LSU/Michigan and Alabama/Clemson in the bowls this year, leaving us with the same situation.

          I think this is a semantics difference. I consider the bowls part of the plus one and you don’t, so 8-10 versus 2. And I don’t agree that your example results in the same situation this year. Everybody would have 1 more game to prove their worth and that is a huge difference. I’m not saying it would always clarify the picture, but it is clearly a different situation.

          They are leaning towards semi-finals in the traditional bowl week after Christmas. That leads to weather issues that would be much less if done earlier in December. They HAVE looked at moving up the season which would allow semi-finals the weekend the ccgs are played now without interfering with finals any more than the ccgs do.

          “They have looked at it, but starting earlier also brings weather considerations. It’s kind of warm in the south in July and August as you know, making it hard on the players in practice and the early games, and for the fans at the early games. How many extra heat stroke cases and such are worth it? How many players or fans dying a year is it worth to you? They have to consider that, in addition to whatever academic impacts it has (starting practice while summer school is in session, etc).”

          *Moving forward isn’t without issues. But how many players or fans have died in college in heat issues? As for fans, the issue is TV and the start times they want.

          Several players have died in the past few years, actually. I don’t know the number of fans, but there always some from heart attack and such. Extreme heat aggravates many medical conditions, and Ohio Stadium has had to turn the walkways into a virtual hospital for some really hot games due to all the heat stroke victims. This is a serious concern for the head of any institution.

          They are actually considering limiting the final to one of the existing bowls for no reason other than tradition. Its not in the financial interests of the schools.

          “1. You have no evidence that other places would pay significantly more.
          2. They may actually place some value on tradition and keeping ties to the past.
          3. They may place value on things that are important to some of the fans, like tradition.
          4. We don’t know what the big donors have been telling their schools about their preferences.”

          *Every report has indicated a separate site would pay more. In addition the bowls are raising money for their various beneficiaries. #1 is just you arguing for the sake of arguing. #2 and #3 are part of the point I have been making.

          The reports are comparing apples and oranges. LA/Pasadena has never been asked to bid for a NCG so nobody knows what they would bid. Ditto for the other sites (Miami, NO, Phoenix). Those same cities have managed to win Super Bowls over the years, so they must bid fairly well.

          As for points 2 and 3, your statement implies that the financial interests are all that should matter. I disagree, and point out other forms of value that TPTB have to consider.

          They need some ADs or assistant ADs to come up with a few alternative plans and THEN go to the commisioners or better yet, the Presidents group of the BCS. I think the ADs or others might actually look at what a plan would result in and realize something like the true +1 solves none of the issues, except that it helps the Big 4 bowls.

          “You are assuming none of this has happened. I’ll bet each commissioner has seen at least 20 plans from his presidents, ADs and fans. Heck, these meetings started with 60 plans just to make everyone aware of all the options out there. The presidents don’t have time to sort through a bunch of plans, so they are wisely letting the the ADs and commissioners winnow the list down to the top few from an athletics and TV POV with some basic guidelines from the presidentrs about the academic issues. When the short list is ready, the presidents will chime in and voice their concerns before making a decision. Then the athletics people will iron out the details.

          *As I said above and has been reported, the commissioners are winnowing the lists.

          Which is what I said, too (Swarbrick is an AD, and so would be BYU’s voice). You seem to want everybody to create even more plans and then have the presidents winnow it down and that makes no sense to me. There are too many individual schools to have the ADs (or presidents) do the winnowing. It takes a smaller group to do that effectively.

          “The problem for you is TPTB have multiple things to consider beyond pleasing bullet with their posteseason. Preserving tradition has value to them, in part because it has value to a lot of fans (especially fans who are already mad about moving to a playoff). Considering fans contain a lot of alumni and donors, they can’t just ignore it like you do.”

          *Its not a problem for me. Clearly you are one of those who are mad about the direction it is currently leaning. But nothing is done until it is done. It could still go in lots of different directions, especially when they start talking about revenue distribution. There’s no guarantee they will figure that out.

          No, I was never mad (or not for more than brief period). I just dislike it and will never be able to enjoy CFB as much. I long ago accepted that people were going to ruin the postseason, and thus the season, and thus the sport. I really wonder if I’ll even watch any non-OSU games in the near future. I’ve already cut back on going to games, and watching will be next. I may not even watch OSU in 5-10 years. I hope the playoff kills the sport and the playoff fans choke on it. Then they’ll go away and the sport can return as what it should be.

          Like

    • Mike says:

      Although there are 12 voices in the room, only six really matter: SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC, Big 12 and Notre Dame.

      Have the seven fathers become six?

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        The Big East is undergoing testing to determine whether it has sufficient potency to be a father..

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The answer to this question is in another question. How many members of the 2014 Big East were AQ teams continuously since 1998? Or even 2003? (Hint-which BE schools were playing football in 1869?).

          Like

        • indydoug says:

          Why wouldn’t ND be undergoing the same test to determine its potency as well?

          Like

      • wmtiger says:

        Big East is irrelevant in football…

        ACC has stolen Miami, VT, Boston College, Syracuse & Pitt from them over a little more than the last decade… Big 12 has stolen WV…

        Big East in terms of football has little left in terms of major markets, they’ve lost the states of Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Massachusetts, New York & Pennsylvania… That is a lot of population to lose. ACC became a football power at the Big East’s expense.

        Like

        • joe4psu says:

          You may want to consider that Temple is in fact in PA, USF and UCF are in fact in FL and that the huge states of TX and CA are now part of the conference. Is the penetration the same? No. Not today anyway.

          I’m still of the opinion that the BE agreeing to a new tv contract with NBCSports, or even Fox now, could be a very positive thing for the conference. To be the networks one and only, it’s reason for existing, should really motivate the network to market and support the conference. Rome, and *SPN, were not built in a day. The BE was a BIG reason that *SPN eventually succeeded though and I could see the same being true for another network.

          Like

  23. beIN Sports USA says:

    FOX Sports Chairman David Hill has the option to convert either of the 3 channels below into “FOX Sports 1” by beefing it up with U.S. college sports on evenings and weekends:

    SPEED – over 80 million households – expanded basic or digital basic almost everywhere

    FUEL TV – about 36 million households – Choice Xtra (digital basic) on DIRECTV, but sports pack almost everywhere else

    FOX Soccer – about 40 million households – expanded basic or digital basic on Time Warner Cable/Bright House/DISH, but sports tier on most others

    Of the 3, the most vulnerable is FOX Soccer in my opinion.

    Why?

    1. FOX Soccer draw less than 100,000 viewers during the evenings, when no live product is available.

    2. FOX Soccer has already lost the U.S. media rights to the Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 after 2011-2012, to beIN Sports USA, which plans to launch up to 3 new soccer channels in the US (Spanish, English, and French.) beIN Sports USA is backed by Qatar Media Corporation. (the parent of Al Jazeera) with production to be handled by MEDIAPRO of Spain (via a Miami-based subsidiary Imagina U.S. that specializes in Hispanic markets in the Americas.)

    http://beinsportsusa.wordpress.com (unofficial website; official website will be beinsports.tv )

    3. beIN Sports USA is prepared to bid twice what the FOX Sports-ESPN partnership are willing to pay for the U.S. media rights to the English Premier League in 2013-2016. Even if FOX were to recruit Univision Deportes Network (launching on April 7 on DISH, channel 823) as the 3rd partner, the FOX-ESPN-Univision partnership might still not be able to outbid beIN Sports USA, which is fuel by Qatari “petro currency”

    4. beIN Sports USA has already outbid both the GOLTV-ESPN Deportes partnership (incumbent) and Univision Deportes Network for the U.S. rights to the Spanish Primera Division (La Liga ) in 2012-2015. beIN Sports USA’s bid exceeded the combined annual subscription and advertising revenue for GOLTV and ESPN Deportes combined. (GOLTV and ESPN Deportes earned less than $35 million/year in subscriber fees. beIN Sports USA bid in the $120-135 million range or $40-45 million/year.)

    5. The NewsCorp-ESPN partnership in Asia, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), has a history of walking away from rights to the English Premier League when “irrational” bidders fueled with “stupid money” enter the markets, first in Hong Kong after May 2004, then in China/Singapore/Thailand after May 2007.

    6. FOX cannot allow FOX Soccer to retreat from expanded basic and digital basic back to the sports tier prior to FIFA World Cup 2018.

    ==

    Bottom line: “FOX Sports 1” is coming, and David Hill’s decision on which channel to flip into “FOX Sports 1” may be decided for him by the Emir of Qatar.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Makes a lot of sense. Good points.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      beIN Sports USA,

      Please feel free to take your corporate cheerleading elsewhere. If I wanted to see ads I wouldn’t block them in my browser. Personal opinions are great, but being the corporate shill is annoying. I wish your company nothing but failure and will refuse to ever watch it or pay for it. Happy bankruptcy.

      FOX Sports Chairman David Hill has the option to convert either of the 3 channels below into “FOX Sports 1″ by beefing it up with U.S. college sports on evenings and weekends:

      SPEED – over 80 million households – expanded basic or digital basic almost everywhere

      Speed is basically the NASCAR channel, and it overlaps with football season too much to be useful for this purpose. Saturdays are full with other racing-related programming and the network has been fairly successful so I doubt they kill it off.

      FUEL TV – about 36 million households – Choice Xtra (digital basic) on DIRECTV, but sports pack almost everywhere else

      Limited penetration, and pulls a much younger demographic than CFB. I don’t think they want to lose this demographic, but it could pair well with some CFB to make it more prominent and expand the demographics. It would need a major package to get broad carriage, though, and what conference wants to risk that?

      FOX Soccer – about 40 million households – expanded basic or digital basic on Time Warner Cable/Bright House/DISH, but sports tier on most others

      An easy choice to sacrifice except that everyone keeps projecting soccer to become big in the US. You’d hate to kill the channel just before a soccer boom so ESPN gets all the soccer.

      Of the 3, the most vulnerable is FOX Soccer in my opinion.

      Why?

      1. FOX Soccer draw less than 100,000 viewers during the evenings, when no live product is available.

      2. FOX Soccer has already lost the U.S. media rights to the Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 after 2011-2012, to beIN Sports USA, which plans to launch up to 3 new soccer channels in the US (Spanish, English, and French.) beIN Sports USA is backed by Qatar Media Corporation. (the parent of Al Jazeera) with production to be handled by MEDIAPRO of Spain (via a Miami-based subsidiary Imagina U.S. that specializes in Hispanic markets in the Americas.)

      Who cares? These are second rate European leagues and will be in foreign languages. Talk about your niche markets in the US.

      3. beIN Sports USA is prepared to bid twice what the FOX Sports-ESPN partnership are willing to pay for the U.S. media rights to the English Premier League in 2013-2016. Even if FOX were to recruit Univision Deportes Network (launching on April 7 on DISH, channel 823) as the 3rd partner, the FOX-ESPN-Univision partnership might still not be able to outbid beIN Sports USA, which is fuel by Qatari “petro currency”

      4. beIN Sports USA has already outbid both the GOLTV-ESPN Deportes partnership (incumbent) and Univision Deportes Network for the U.S. rights to the Spanish Primera Division (La Liga ) in 2012-2015. beIN Sports USA’s bid exceeded the combined annual subscription and advertising revenue for GOLTV and ESPN Deportes combined. (GOLTV and ESPN Deportes earned less than $35 million/year in subscriber fees. beIN Sports USA bid in the $120-135 million range or $40-45 million/year.)

      Yawn. Who are you trying to impress? The Emir can go f himself (and Al Jazeera) for all I care, and Rupert Murdoch too. If someone wants to lose billions on soccer rights just to prove they can afford to lose billions, more power to them.

      6. FOX cannot allow FOX Soccer to retreat from expanded basic and digital basic back to the sports tier prior to FIFA World Cup 2018.

      Sure they can. They may or may not do so, but they certainly can.

      Like

  24. beIN Sports USA says:

    Gus Johnson is now on Twitter. @GusJohnson

    His first tweet was from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy. He watched AC Milan vs FC Barcelona in person on Wednesday:

    He had a credential around his neck, presumably because FOX Sports Media Group holds U.S. media rights to the UEFA Champions League through 2015.

    Now that’s cold blooded…

    Like

  25. bullet says:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-29/college-football-tournament-not-favored-by-public-poll-says

    That’s the title of the article. Poll was done by Seton Hall. And basically, it sounds like the Big East does polls about as effectively as it does football. To quote the poll director about a playoff, “Every proposal that has been laid out has been fairly unacceptable and this year’s game was controversy free.” Yes, he really said that and expects his poll to have credibility.

    Interesting thing about the poll-there was a 44% for BCS, 37% for “tournament.” But among people who follow closely, the % for a “tournament” went up to 61%.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      The numbers sound reasonable to me. The super sports fans favor a playoff at 61%, while casual fans were only at 37%. This is something I think many playoff advocates forget. There are more casual fans than super fans, and the casual fans aren’t on their side.

      The really casual sports fans was at 50%, probably because they don’t really care much one way or the other as they’d only maybe see the NCG anyway.

      Like

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