Big Ten Media Rights / Conference Realignment

Austin
The fact that some big ten teams play defense has really thrown them for a loop huh?
 
Consider the source, a former radio host (now unemployed?) from Salt Lake CIty getting some publicity, before lending any credence to this story. Nebraska to a Big 12 without Oklahoma doesn't pass the sniff test.
 

Deleted member 10676

D
Guest
What a cluster----. Picked nobody and managed to totally PO about 15 schools in the process. Is kind of interesting reading the Big XII hate on Houston, Cincy, BYU, CF, USF and a few other boards I sampled. None really wanted to join that about-to-die conference anyway.

Not sure how you could take the old Big Eight and Southwest Conferences and screw it up into today's Big 12 but --
 
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
What a cluster----. Picked nobody and managed to totally PO about 15 schools in the process. Is kind of interesting reading the Big XII hate on Houston, Cincy, BYU, CF, USF and a few other boards I sampled. None really wanted to join that about-to-die conference anyway.

Not sure how you could take the old Big Eight and Southwest Conferences and screw it up into today's Big 12 but --
The Longhorn Network.
 
The Big 12 had one unsexy nuts and bolts candidate in Cincinatti. They would have been sort of the Big 12's equivalent to the Big 10's Rutgers.

After that, there really weren't any good, let alone great options. Houston would have been like the Big 10 adding Pitt or Iowa St. Perfectly fine schools and athletic departments that wouldn't add one single television set to their tv deal. BYU would have been like the Big 10 adding Notre Dame, with all the negatives (different type of institution, history of doing things their own way, etc.) but without any of the positives (geography, mutual history, east coast following, etc.).

Anyone else and you're talking about a lot of non-entity schools and football programs that the TV networks were simply not going to pay the additional $25 million a year to televise, and would have caused Texas and Oklahoma to start exploring their options elsewhere.

To me, this all just underscores how badly the Big 12 misread the landscape in failing to get Louisville and Cincinnati at the same time they took West Virginia.

So the Big 12 didn't make the Big East mistake of (repeatedly) expanding just to expand regardless of fit to the ultimate detriment of the long term stability of the conference. But the Big 12 is still in a sort of limbo as the least of the "Big 5" and the most likely to be pillaged the next time the PAC 12, SEC or Big 10 gets the expansion itch.
 
The Big 12 had one unsexy nuts and bolts candidate in Cincinatti. They would have been sort of the Big 12's equivalent to the Big 10's Rutgers.

After that, there really weren't any good, let alone great options. Houston would have been like the Big 10 adding Pitt or Iowa St. Perfectly fine schools and athletic departments that wouldn't add one single television set to their tv deal. BYU would have been like the Big 10 adding Notre Dame, with all the negatives (different type of institution, history of doing things their own way, etc.) but without any of the positives (geography, mutual history, east coast following, etc.).

Anyone else and you're talking about a lot of non-entity schools and football programs that the TV networks were simply not going to pay the additional $25 million a year to televise, and would have caused Texas and Oklahoma to start exploring their options elsewhere.

To me, this all just underscores how badly the Big 12 misread the landscape in failing to get Louisville and Cincinnati at the same time they took West Virginia.

So the Big 12 didn't make the Big East mistake of (repeatedly) expanding just to expand regardless of fit to the ultimate detriment of the long term stability of the conference. But the Big 12 is still in a sort of limbo as the least of the "Big 5" and the most likely to be pillaged the next time the PAC 12, SEC or Big 10 gets the expansion itch.
This is a misguided analysis.

First of all, the Big 12's TV contract, which runs through 2025, automatically provides for pre-negotiated increased revenue in the event of expansion. That is why ESPN and Fox Sports have been so vocally upset during this process. It didn't matter which underwhelming schools the Big 12 picked, they were going to be on the hook for the bill either way. And it appears that the networks have sweetened the pot in order to kill this expansion deal.

Secondly, remember the history here. The Pac 16 was a done deal in 2010. It was only a ludicrous last-minute bribe from ESPN to Texas (the Longhorn Network) that prevented that tectonic shift from happening. Ever since then the Big 12 has been a fundamentally extortionate relationship in which the schools that have suitors elsewhere (OU and Texas) can demand anything they want from the schools whose time as major conference programs is over when the conference inevitably breaks up (Iowa State, TCU, Kansas State, etc).

Texas and OU pushed for expansion as they saw it in their short-term football best interests. But the other schools know that their endgame hand is stronger in 2025 if they are fewer in number and stronger on average. That puts them in a position, potentially, to bribe Texas and OU to keep the conference together. Add 2 or 4 lesser mouths to feed and the numbers just don't work.

So here are the questions going forward.

1. Is the Pac 16 still possible? Adding Utah and losing Texas A&M to the SEC most likely killed this for good. But a Pac 16 with Texas and OU is the only way 4X16 will ever occur. The Pac 12 has no incentive to come East for table scraps.

2. Can the Little 8 bribe Texas and OU to keep the conference alive beyond 2025. Do they even want to? Do they have a TV partner to make it happen?

3. Do the B1G, SEC and ACC want to go to 16 and let the Pac 12 have an easier playoff path?

4. If the answer is yes, where does everyone go?

The TV deals end in 2025. The future will all be in writing by 2024. The real backroom dealings will probably start a year or two even before that. And the rumors will never stop. Ah college sports...
 

Deleted member 10676

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Guest
One thing I learned yesterday, which may have already been covered on here, is there are only 3 AAU schools in the Big 12. Texas, Kansas and Iowa State. For future reference.
 
Plainfield
Second and Chalmers; 3. Do the B1G said:
We've been hurtling down this path since the B1G took in PSU and we'll eventually regret it. There will eventually be 4 super conferences that resemble the NFL more than what we've loved about college football.

Damn Cubs.
 
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This is a misguided analysis.

First of all, the Big 12's TV contract, which runs through 2025, automatically provides for pre-negotiated increased revenue in the event of expansion. That is why ESPN and Fox Sports have been so vocally upset during this process. It didn't matter which underwhelming schools the Big 12 picked, they were going to be on the hook for the bill either way. And it appears that the networks have sweetened the pot in order to kill this expansion deal.
It was definitely a money grab & they got the money without expanding

Secondly, remember the history here. The Pac 16 was a done deal in 2010. It was only a ludicrous last-minute bribe from ESPN to Texas (the Longhorn Network) that prevented that tectonic shift from happening. Ever since then the Big 12 has been a fundamentally extortionate relationship in which the schools that have suitors elsewhere (OU and Texas) can demand anything they want from the schools whose time as major conference programs is over when the conference inevitably breaks up (Iowa State, TCU, Kansas State, etc).
The Big 12 extortionate relationship predates the PAC 16 deal, it has always been this way.

Texas and OU pushed for expansion as they saw it in their short-term football best interests. But the other schools know that their endgame hand is stronger in 2025 if they are fewer in number and stronger on average. That puts them in a position, potentially, to bribe Texas and OU to keep the conference together. Add 2 or 4 lesser mouths to feed and the numbers just don't work.
I wonder if letting Houston in might have been a nice end play for the rest of the conference, making it harder for Texas to leave later...but it would be a speculative gamble

So here are the questions going forward.

1. Is the Pac 16 still possible? Adding Utah and losing Texas A&M to the SEC most likely killed this for good. But a Pac 16 with Texas and OU is the only way 4X16 will ever occur. The Pac 12 has no incentive to come East for table scraps.
Not convinced OU & Texas stay together in the end, but PAC 12 definitely has geography problems with expansion.


2. Can the Little 8 bribe Texas and OU to keep the conference alive beyond 2025. Do they even want to? Do they have a TV partner to make it happen?
I think this is the other way, how much will they let Texas exhort them...problem is most have no other choice.

3. Do the B1G, SEC and ACC want to go to 16 and let the Pac 12 have an easier playoff path?
This seems to be more about money than playoff path...I think any of the 3 bite on ND or Texas and don't think twice, I'm sure the SEC would take OU as well. After that it gets interesting on if/who would go next & maybe how scared the ACC would be if it gets poached.

4. If the answer is yes, where does everyone go?
The answer I think depends largely on Texas & ND, they will have the most choices & they will be negotiating...if ACC network is a success & B1G/SEC don't poach ACC first, then ACC may well be willing to play the game to add ND full time or Texas/OU more than B1G or SEC. Personally I think OU jumps first chance they get if politics will let them.

The TV deals end in 2025. The future will all be in writing by 2024. The real backroom dealings will probably start a year or two even before that. And the rumors will never stop. Ah college sports...
 
Plainfield
I'm not sure I saw this number before. This is from an article discussing Michigan's $240MM debt:

"A reason for that is due to the Big Ten signing a new six-year media rights deal with ESPN, that coupled with FOX and CBS Sports, would bring in $2.64 billion over six years, roughly $188.6 million to each school during that duration."

http://www.thescore.com/ncaaf/news/1241631-michigan-athletic-department-240m-in-debt
 
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Plainfield
ESPN layoffs. What does this mean for our current and future TV contracts? YouTube?
 
ESPN layoffs. What does this mean for our current and future TV contracts? YouTube?
We've already seen that it's tough to be a "middle man" these days, people are going straight to the source for the most valuable content. Started with the phone companies, next was cable companies, now it's content providers like ESPN. Netflix saw this coming when they couldn't acquire the rights to new shows, so they started producing their own content. So the Big Ten Network becomes more critical for distributing the content the league owns and what changes is the distribution model itself. I think you'll see more efforts around making Big Ten games directly accessible via streaming and then we'll have to see about how the bundling goes with the new world around distribution of other content.
 
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Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
We've already seen that it's tough to be a "middle man" these days, people are going straight to the source for the most valuable content. Started with the phone companies, next was cable companies, now it's content providers like ESPN. Netflix saw this coming when they couldn't acquire the rights to new shows, so they started producing their own content. So the Big Ten Network becomes more critical for distributing the content the league owns and what changes is the distribution model itself. I think you'll see more efforts around making Big Ten games directly accessible via streaming and then we'll have to see about how the bundling goes with the new world around distribution of other content.
I agree with all of this, and I think ESPN over-estimated the market for a lot of their "content." When you look at who was let go it was a lot of writers who might have a couple of short on-camera segments per week, most of which was just a re-hash of their online columns. A lot of ESPN's "news" consisted of interviews with sports writers about their opinions as opposed to interviews with people who actually participate in the team/sport/whatever.

This is also true for journalism in general, where it seems that recapping random tweets about the latest event is in some way enlightening and educational to the public at large, rather than compiling actual facts, doing research, and, you know, actual reporting. Such is life in the post-information age.
 
San Francisco
We've already seen that it's tough to be a "middle man" these days, people are going straight to the source for the most valuable content. Started with the phone companies, next was cable companies, now it's content providers like ESPN. Netflix saw this coming when they couldn't acquire the rights to new shows, so they started producing their own content. So the Big Ten Network becomes more critical for distributing the content the league owns and what changes is the distribution model itself. I think you'll see more efforts around making Big Ten games directly accessible via streaming and then we'll have to see about how the bundling goes with the new world around distribution of other content.
True.

It'll be really interesting to see how the economics shake out in the next 10 years. The logic for adding Rutgers and Maryland was the cable bundle - more fees from more homes on the East Coast. What happens in a streaming / subscription world where you can tie revenue directly to a school (because you will know the school of the subscriber)? Imagine, for example, Rutgers or Northwestern getting a 1/14 share, but only accounting for 1/30 of streaming subscribers. To date expansion has been a win for everybody, but it's not difficult to see the tension that will arise within conferences when some schools don't bring their fair share of streaming revenue.

I think this model could actually be good for Illinois in the long term in terms of the balance of power since we have one of the largest fan bases for streaming subscriptions. But Whitman better shore up his other sources of revenue in the next few years - the next contract negotiation could be ugly.
 
The logic for adding Rutgers and Maryland was the cable bundle - more fees from more homes on the East Coast. What happens in a streaming / subscription world where you can tie revenue directly to a school (because you will know the school of the subscriber)? Imagine, for example, Rutgers or Northwestern getting a 1/14 share, but only accounting for 1/30 of streaming subscribers. To date expansion has been a win for everybody, but it's not difficult to see the tension that will arise within conferences when some schools don't bring their fair share of streaming revenue.
And what's worse is that adding Rutgers and Maryland means a lower percentage of marketable football games.

It was a comically short-sighted decision. Now that Josh Whitman has used that short-term influx of cash to go into the red investing in miraculous, desperately, urgently needed coaching hires I guess I can't really complain as much, but the Big Ten will pay the piper for that decision for decades to come.
 
The Transfer Portal
And what's worse is that adding Rutgers and Maryland means a lower percentage of marketable football games.

It was a comically short-sighted decision. Now that Josh Whitman has used that short-term influx of cash to go into the red investing in miraculous, desperately, urgently needed coaching hires I guess I can't really complain as much, but the Big Ten will pay the piper for that decision for decades to come.
Hey man, we needed Rutgers to officially end the Groce Era. Not all heroes wear capes.