May 27, 2012
I’ve decided to add a new post on Sundays and will update that during the week.
June 2, 2012
Honesty is the best policy…
…West Virginia was included in the Big 12’s 2011-12 bookkeeping, however. That’s because the school received $10 million in the form of a loan to help pay the settlement with the Big East. As reported back in February, the Big 12 gave the money to WVU with half to be repaid with interest and the other half to be forgiven.
…Until that time, WVU will get partial shares of Big 12 revenue sharing – a 50 percent share in 2012-13, rising to 67 percent the next year, then 85 percent and a full 100 percent in 2015-16.
Still, as Friday’s announcement of the Big 12 cuts show, even the smallest of those percentages is greater than what the school reaped from membership in the Big East. The expected $9 million share this year is actually on the high end as a matter of course, thanks to WVU’s Orange Bowl appearance and recent success in NCAA basketball tournaments. All of that – bowl revenue, NCAA tournament credits, etc. – is included in the revenue sharing doled out by conferences.
…To start a network, the SEC and ESPN would need an arrangement that makes it a viable financial risk for both parties. ESPN owns the majority of SEC football games for another 12 years, so the SEC can’t shop a channel on the open market until then. There would have to be added value on ESPN’s side as well to go in together.
The earliest an SEC channel could start is 2014, although there’s no given that it could be functional by then. That is the year ESPN receives back all of the syndication rights it sublicensed to Fox Sports and Comcast.
…Four years ago, ESPN provided groundbreaking money and exposure to the SEC in exchange for most of its content. The biggest asset was acquiring nearly every football game not owned by CBS (usually one per week) or each school (one per season).
ESPN constructed the arrangement specifically to prevent the SEC from starting its own channel. The SEC receives an average of $150 million a year from ESPN over 15 years, according to the SportsBusiness Journal, which first reported the channel discussions. “We sort of broke ground on major media contracts and I think the others have followed along and actually moved the ball a little bit further,” Machen said.
…Until the SEC expanded, it was riskier for the league to try a channel because the conference’s geographic footprint had about 21 million cable homes. The SEC’s states now have about 30 million households, rivaling the Big Ten’s cable population.
June 1, 2012
…“That’s total hogwash,” Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver told me Thursday. “I promise you there’s nothing going on with Virginia Tech and the SEC. … It’s just so stupid.”
So many networks will keep the value high for college sports. Will it keep going up?
…Is there enough viewer demand for multiple sports networks? And can the newer all-sports networks pose a challenge to ESPN as far as siphoning away viewers?
Sports fans have an unbelievable appetite for sports content. People laughed when ESPN launched as a standalone sports network [in 1979]. Then each time they started a new network like ESPN 2 and ESPNU, there were skeptics. But there is plenty of room for everybody. We have a fantastic opportunity to find an audience and grow.
So, really, why did the SEC — a conference with a five-year national championship streak, the nation’s biggest and most intense fanbase, and a record-smashing television contract that still hadn’t lost its “new car smell” — decide to fix what wasn’t broken and expand by two teams in 2011?
This one tweet from CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy explains almost everything:
…Lined up side-by-side, the SEC has increased its per-team payouts by a little more than $600,000 from last year to this year, while the Big Ten has done so by $1.8 million. Percentage-wise, that’s a 3 percent increase vs. a 7.9 percent increase–and in raw figures, a bump for the Big Ten three times that of the SEC. (For what it’s worth, the Big 12 announced Fridaythat it’s distributing some $19 million to its member schools.)
Neinas: “It’s no secret. We meet and talk about the Big 5.” That does not include Big East.
…Irish echoes may be waking up to conference affiliation sooner than they thought.
“I think they’re interested in what’s happening in the BCS, because that’s gonna impact their future,” Texas AD DeLoss Dodds said at Big 12 spring meetings. “They need to know what’s going on there before they decide if they’re gonna make any kind of adjustment in their affiliations.”
…“I’ve got really positive feelings about Notre Dame. The possibility of them being a part of our conference would be a great discussion to have.”
San Diego State and Boise State stand to earn about $7.8 million annually from the new TV deal coming up for the Big East Conference, according to estimates by an independent national market research firm.
…According to Navigate:
•Football-only members in the Big East stand to make $7.8 million per year. Basketball-only members would make $3.2 million per year, and full members in all sports would make $11 million. SDSU and Boise plan to join in football only on July 1, 2013.
•If SDSU and Boise State stayed in the Mountain West instead of joining the Big East, the Big East deal still probably would be at least double that of the Mountain West.
…•Even if Boise State decides not to join the Big East, SDSU and other football-only members of the Big East still would make about $7.3 million, according to Navigate.
…•If the Big East added BYU, the Big East would add value for all football members, though not by much. Navigate Research projects the TV revenue share for football-only members would jump from $7.8 to $8 million annually if it included BYU.
May 31, 2012
NCAA president Mark Emmert believes another round of conference realignment could be sparked by schools trying to position themselves to play in a proposed four-team college football playoff.
…”If there’s going to be significant movement by FBS institutions over the course of the summer,” Emmert said, ”it will be driven by that.”
Twice as much money to push realignment…
…One BCS source said the new television contract could “more than double” the current deal.
Walker does a good job of explaining what went down with the Sun Belt and where they stand.
…Here’s how it would work: If the Big 12 goes to a dozen teams (or 14, or 16) it would reinstall a conference championship game. That would crystallize what the Champions Bowl announcement helped formalize — that the base of power in college football exists with the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC and Big 12.
“It absolutely does that …,” Dodds said of the bowl that kicks off in 2014. “It puts us in the role of being in the top four.”
In that scenario, the Big Four all would have conference title games. That means eight division winners playing off for four conference titles in leagues that have won national championships in 16 of the last 18 seasons. Given that history, each of those division winners, playing the top schedules in the country, could conceivably be in the running for the national championship.
See where this could be headed?
“That eliminates the ACC, Big East and Mountain West,” Dodds said. “That eliminates a lot of football teams, but you’re accurate in what you’re saying.”
…The new Big 12 TV deal is expected to be announced any day, perhaps here this week as a celebration of the league’s new-found strength. Within that deal is a clause that will give any new expansion candidates the same money as the current members (estimated to be at least $20 million per year).
One industry source said that number applies whether the Big 12 invites, “Appalachian State or Florida State.” And according to another industry source, ESPN wouldn’t stand in the way of Big 12 expansion even after negotiating a new deal with the ACC.
…“Yes, we did (discuss expansion),” Neinas said. “The athletic directors confirmed their position that they are content with 10 members at the present time.”
Neinas was asked if Florida State was discussed during the expansion conversation.
“No, the concentration was, ‘Are we happy and satisfied with 10?’” Neinas said.
…“We feel well positioned at this time with 10,” Pollard said. “At the same time, we recognize that the landscape continues to change. We’ll all wait to see what happens with the BCS. But at this point we feel that we are best positioned as a 10-member league.”
May 30, 2012
…–The money issue. SDSU football decided to move to Big East primarily because of a huge projected increase in TV revenue. The Aztecs expect to increase their annual TV revenue from about $1.2 million in the Mountain West to at least $6.4 million in the Big East, based on estimates from SDSU’s TV consultants. But what if those estimates are wrong and the real number comes in far lower?
“The way I would describe that in general terms is that this does have all the elements of a chess match in that each institution is trying to advance their athletic programs and academic programs, “ Hirshman said. “As different information comes in, we’re all going to be thinking about what we might do differently. We’ll have to evaluate that when it comes… if there are significant changes.”
Hirshman said the $6.4 million figure is the “most conservative estimate” SDSU received. Even if the deal is a few million less than that, it’s still likely to be worthwhile. Negotiations for the new Big East TV deal begin in September.
“While there is variability in some of the estimates, all the estimates continue to indicate a substantially greater number than is associated with our current Mountain West television contract,” Hirshman said.
May 29, 2012
Was there funny business involved in the ACC giving away the store to *SPN?
And Slive says the SEC isn’t expanding.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive on expansion: “Right now, we aren’t looking to get any bigger.”
According to Les, B12 expansion is a done deal.
…The latest denial of contact from a high-ranking FSU official comes ahead of the start of the Big 12′s annual meetings this week in Kansas City. Certainly the topic of expansion will come up at some point during the meetings, although it appears there’s no consensus among the current membership to add to its current 10-member league.
Is Delaware planning something?
…”We have not heard a thing and we have not approached them and they have not approached us,” said Andy Haggard, the chair of FSU‘s Board of Trustees. “If anybody approaches us, we are certainly going to listen to them. We have an obligation to Florida State to listen. You can’t close the door.”
The door to a possible relationship may begin to open this week when the Big 12 conducts its annual meetings in Kansas City, Mo.
…The Big 12’s television contract – and its payouts to member schools – is certainly a topic FSU stakeholders will find interesting.
The FSU athletics department’s board of directors approved earlier this month a 2012-13 budget that contains a $2.4-million shortfall.
Apparently, Florida State’s money woes run even deeper than that. The Democrat has learned that the department is unlikely to balance its 2011-12 budget, which closes June 30.
…Haggard, however, repeated to the Democrat that he has had no discussions with the Big 12 and would not comment specifically on any rumors linking FSU to the Big 12.
“There are so many rumors and so many things out there,” Haggard said. “There’s nothing to talk about really.”
May 28, 2012
I don’t remember this…
…The SEC already has lucrative broadcast deals with CBS and ESPN for football. But that was before expansion, and the conference has an opt-out clause.
May 27, 2012
…Athletics director Jim Weaver said the Hokies don’t plan to go anywhere.
In a perfect world, that would quiet the rumors that Virginia Tech is a SEC target and might be interested in membership.
Unfortunately, the college athletics world is far from perfect.
Weaver said Seth Greenberg was safe in his job of men’s basketball coach. Then he fired Greenberg.
…As for expansion, whether it’s Florida State or Clemson or Miami or Notre Dame, don’t look for anything soon. Acting commissioner Chuck Neinas was quoted in Saturday’s Dallas Morning News saying that losing four members and gaining two in a span of less than two years has given Big 12 membership reason to pause.
…Amid a series of routine announcements during a daily address to the small number of reporters covering the meetings, Kramer said:
“After meeting with the athletic directors and presidents, the conference will be expanding by two schools to 12 next year and we’ll go to divisions.”