May 10, 2012 – 2
May 26, 2012
…”Well, we continue to be amazed at the size of these deals,” said sports economist David Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California. “What the landscape looked like a year or two ago has obviously changed dramatically. … But clearly they are now in a relatively disadvantageous position based on the comings and goings in their conference.”
But New York-based sports media consultant Lee Berke believes that history will show that the Big East was wise to wait.
“As tempting as it may have been, the marketplace has only gotten hotter in the interim,” Berke said. “There are only a relatively fixed number of major college and professional sports out there, but there is an increasing number of potential outlets bidding for those properties. … Honestly, I think there they are going to do substantially better. They’ve added some strong up-and-coming football schools in strong markets throughout the country. I think that’s going to pay off for them, with the caveat that they remain stable.”
And, indeed, representatives from NBC Sports and Fox met with Big East officials in Florida at the annual conference meetings last week. ESPN was also present, and it seems that all three outlets have strong interest in the conference.
The current deal with ESPN expires in June 2013 and ESPN has exclusive negotiating rights starting in September. The challenge for the Big East between now and then is to keep the conference structure in place.
San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk came away from the Big East meetings in Florida this week feeling more committed than ever to the conference and its future.
That’s largely because, during the meetings, Boise State reaffirmed its commitment to the Big East after bouts of uncertainty over the last month.
…ESPN, Fox and NBC have all expressed interest, but it remains uncertain how valuable the reconfigured Big East is. Media speculation ranges from a contract that would guarantee football-only members like San Diego State $6.5 million annually to one that would net closer to $3 million. Either figure would represent a significant increase over the $1.2 million the Aztecs receive from the Mountain West, but would be a far cry from the $17 million-plus that schools in every other BCS conference get, and might be offset by the rise in transportation costs.
“The Big East is the last major conference going to the marketplace, and there are multiple bidders that are interested in the property, so that lends itself to some good competition,” Sterk said. “And there may be partnerships with some of the sports networks.”
In other developments from the Big East meetings:
- The ADs voted to hold the conference championship game on the campus of the higher-ranked divisional winner starting in 2013, dropping a plan for a matchup in New York City.
- The Big East threw its weight behind a national playoff model that emphasizes conference champions over a selection committee to pick the four teams.
Thursday night, Clemson board of trustees chairman David Wilkins raised eyebrows across college football by saying that CU hadn’t received overtures from another league, but “if we receive a viable option, a viable proposal presented to us by any league, this board has the responsibility to consider it, and we will consider it. Until then we’re committed to work and we will work to make the ACC the strongest conference possible.”
…1. School presidents — The top dog at any school will want what’s best for his college athletically, academically and financially. He’s the official voice of the school. Any comment from one of these guys will likely be aimed at making sure his school doesn’t look like it’s just Jock U.
2. Trustees — While the president is the face of a school, he gets his power from the board of trustees. And trustees can be very easily influenced these days. Boards often include a school’s richest booster. They can include ex-athletes (Derrick Brooks served as an FSU trustee until recently). They can include some loose-lipped, reactionary folks who care more about football wins than the long-term good of their school as a whole. And they can include some pointy-heads who could give a flip about sports. They’re basically loose cannons and no one can know who’ll talk or what they’ll say next.
3. Athletic Boosters — These are the folks who can influence trustees. Their checks to a school’s athletic department help pay the bills and fund new facilities. They truly care more about football (or basketball at some schools) than educational rankings and membership in the exclusive AAU.
4. School Donors — The yin to the boosters’ yang, these folks can also exert pressure on board members. It’s their checks that pay for new libraries, new academic programs, and new classrooms. For this bunch, athletics is just a small part of what a university truly is.
5. Everyday Fans — Through the power of social media and their own wallets, Joe Grad and Steve Sidewalk-Alum now have more influence than ever before. They can shape opinions, spin tall tales, and stir up enough passion to influence boosters and trustees.
May 25, 2012
…“It’s not uncertainty for us,” Weis said. “A year ago, if I were the (Kansas) head coach, I’d probably be talking about uncertainty. Right now, it’s uncertainty for all the other teams that are outside the four conferences right now.”
Weis’ comments added credence to the growing belief that a four-conference power structure has emerged in college athletics: The SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12. And for now, Weis says, Kansas and the Big 12 appear to firmly among the elite.
“I’m just happy to be part of … one of the four conferences that everyone is looking to get in,” Weis said. “Because the Big 12, a year ago, was a mess. It was a mess. Everyone thought it was gonna dissolve. No one was gonna be there. Where was KU gonna end up? And now, KU ended up doing just fine.”
…There has been talk that Boise State and San Diego State are having second thoughts about joining the Big East Conference. Thompson has said he has had in-depth discussions with Boise State, but it ultimately decided to stick with its plan to go to the Big East in football. Thompson said Boise State has not yet submitted a letter of withdrawal to the Mountain West and that San Diego State withdrew in football only.
Very, very interesting. Want to understand Tier 3 and other income better? Read this! As always, TIFWIW:
I really hate to link to any WV rumor board, but can’t find the original source yet. Really try to avoid reposting entire posts, but there is just too much gold to excerpt. Chock full of info and offers a better and more nuanced understanding of all that gets inaccurately lumped into Tier 3. Legit? I dunno, but it sure sounds more knowledgeable than 99% of the lunkheads arguing over Tier 3 and related issues.
…• There will be competition for the Big East TV rights when negotiations begin in the fall as there is more demand in the market with NBC in play with Fox, ESPN and CBS. However, no industry sources believe the Big East will command more dollars then the other five major conferences (SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC).
• There remains a desire among some member schools to leave. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of their situations told ESPN.com that Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told the Big East board of directors that the Cardinals want to be in the Big 12 or the ACC, opting for transparency by making members aware of his school’s true intentions.
…• One veteran of the Big East said that had the league accepted ESPN’s nine-year offer last year, estimated at $1.4 billion, then Pitt and Syracuse would not have left for the ACC since it would have showed stability. Instead the offer was voted down by a 12-4 vote.
Post on Frank The Tank’s blog:
in response to zeek:
I’m not really sure we’ll ever see an ACC network. Outside of the Maryland to South Carolina region, would it be feasible? What parts of the Northeast do you get with BC, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh? Georgia Tech and Florida State/Miami would probably face coverage issues as well… It worked for the Big Ten because they’re [...]
Just heard Swofford say the new 15 year contract allows for “look-ins” every 5 years to further enhance revenue such as the possibility of an ACC channel.
…For weeks and months, I had been told the Big 12 was good with 10 schools. Nine conference football games. Home-and-home in basketball league games. Good. No need for a Big 12 championship football game because it would only risk knocking a possible undefeated or one-loss team out of a national title shot with an upset.
But last week I talked to some people who said, “Well, if it’s the right two.” And that was different from what I had heard before.
I was also told that studies had been done looking at what value might be added if any of the original members of the Big East (Louisville, Cincinnati, etc.) would bring to the Big 12, and that report did not come back favorably, sources said.
That leaves some interesting candidates who could probably benefit from having the ability to launch their own network. The most likely to benefit from such an opportunity would be Notre Dame and Florida State.
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