Conference Realignment

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Dan

Admin
Welcome to the Conference Realignment/Media Rights thread.

Big Ten signs new media rights deal (link).

USC & UCLA to join the Big Ten in 2024 (link).

Texas & Oklahoma to join the SEC, possibly in 2024 (link).
 
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#6      
Frank the Tank - GOR

fyi...a take on the GOR; short story GOR is likely locked in (based on Big 12 version - ACC doesn't seem to be public), not that the GOR couldn't be challenged; more that there is too much uncertainty in how much it would cost; case in point is Texas/Oklahoma choosing to wait 2 years to leave rather than challenge.

IMO...calculation may be different for ACC near end of contract since $ delta between what Texas/Oklahoma make today and SEC is not be the same ballpark as the gap ACC will have by 2036
 
#7      
Frank the Tank - GOR

fyi...a take on the GOR; short story GOR is likely locked in (based on Big 12 version - ACC doesn't seem to be public), not that the GOR couldn't be challenged; more that there is too much uncertainty in how much it would cost; case in point is Texas/Oklahoma choosing to wait 2 years to leave rather than challenge.

IMO...calculation may be different for ACC near end of contract since $ delta between what Texas/Oklahoma make today and SEC is not be the same ballpark as the gap ACC will have by 2036
Good info on the conference dissolution thing being a red herring and a dead end.

It seems pretty clear to me that the rubber will meet the road if and when all parties are willing to bite the bullet and just make these conference swaps with the media rights still belonging to ESPN's ACC deal via the GOR.

For ACC teams leaving for the SEC that all seems relatively clean because ESPN keeps all of its inventory and just saves a bit of short term money out of Clemson or whoever's pocket.

If an ACC team wants to join the Big Ten on the other hand, I'm not sure how our network partners would feel about that.

In any event, this is years down the road. The media deal we just signed expires in 2030, that's when these questions will get asked.
 
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It seems pretty clear to me that the rubber will meet the road if and when all parties are willing to bite the bullet and just make these conference swaps with the media rights still belonging to ESPN's ACC deal via the GOR.
Interesting take and that could certainly change things...Any thought on what could drive this? Personally with the GOR rules, disinterested members and super majority seems very unlikely that the conference driven by the members worried about finding a home wouldn't let this happen.

Maybe ESPN money to buy GOR to direct a Clemson/FSU/...to SEC vs B1G?

If so maybe near end of contract & ACC knows Clemson or whoever is leaving anyway it might be worth taking a little extra cash to cut Clemson loose early...but can't see a whole lot of value in that for ESPN since Clemson could still join the B1G in the end if they wanted/ESPN has Clemson rights already in ACC/next TV deal likely in the horizon.
 
#9      
Interesting take and that could certainly change things...Any thought on what could drive this? Personally with the GOR rules, disinterested members and super majority seems very unlikely that the conference driven by the members worried about finding a home wouldn't let this happen.

Maybe ESPN money to buy GOR to direct a Clemson/FSU/...to SEC vs B1G?

If so maybe near end of contract & ACC knows Clemson or whoever is leaving anyway it might be worth taking a little extra cash to cut Clemson loose early...but can't see a whole lot of value in that for ESPN since Clemson could still join the B1G in the end if they wanted/ESPN has Clemson rights already in ACC/next TV deal likely in the horizon.
You gotta keep the two things separate here.

There is conference membership on the one hand. Who you play, who's on your schedule.

Then there's media rights on the other hand, what TV station owns the right to broadcast the games.

The GOR has kept those two in lockstep in every case so far, see Oklahoma and Texas serving their full sentence in the Big XII. But IN THEORY, the GOR only protects the second one (and in the PDF copy of the ACC GOR that has made the rounds that is explicitly stated, the rights go to ESPN regardless of what conference the granting schools may join).

So Clemson home football games are owned by ESPN for $30 million per year until 2036 and there's nothing Clemson can do about that. But there's nothing stopping Clemson from making those Big Ten games rather than ACC games.

Fox is not going to like Clemson vs Michigan and Clemson vs USC airing from Death Valley in primetime on ESPN. Clemson is going to suffer a lot making less than half the TV money of all of its conference opponents. But they COULD do it, that would not violate the GOR. Maybe the B1G doesn't want Clemson anyway, just using them as a hypothetical example.

14 years is too much, it's too crazy, there's too much uncertainty involved for all parties to do this now. But these schools are going to get very, very desperate for any remaining golden tickets to the B1G/SEC duopoly, and Fox and ESPN are very aware there are only a couple of schools worth having left. Unthinkable compromises may become thinkable.
 
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So Clemson home football games are owned by ESPN for $30 million per year until 2036 and there's nothing Clemson can do about that. But there's nothing stopping Clemson from making those Big Ten games rather than ACC games.
I understand this a bit different or maybe just saying it different...but Clemson football rights seem to be owned by the ACC, which has sold broadcast rights to all the ACC games to ESPN. The subtle difference is that ESPN doesn't pay Clemson $30 million/yr, that is only Clemson's share of the conference payout after paying bills and other conference revenue. But I can't imagine in the conference rules Clemson doesn't have a commitment to play a conference schedule & if they would choose to play the B1G or SEC then Clemson has to leave the conference and lose even the 30 million payout. With the B1G or SEC not getting any more TV games/money out of Clemson through 2036 that would seem to be a nonstarter for both conferences. So I have a hard time seeing where either the B1G or SEC sees much value in moving before the end of the GOR...obviously as you get close to the end the money is fading to zero and compromises becomes possible. But it will be on Clemson's part, not seeing much motivation for the B1G/SEC or networks to compromise
 
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I can't imagine in the conference rules Clemson doesn't have a commitment to play a conference schedule & if they would choose to play the B1G or SEC then Clemson has to leave the conference and lose even the 30 million payout.
Hmm. That's a really good point.

You can drive yourself half crazy thinking about this stuff. Luckily I'm already fully crazy so I'm actually moving in the right direction.
 
#17      
I understand this a bit different or maybe just saying it different...but Clemson football rights seem to be owned by the ACC, which has sold broadcast rights to all the ACC games to ESPN. The subtle difference is that ESPN doesn't pay Clemson $30 million/yr, that is only Clemson's share of the conference payout after paying bills and other conference revenue. But I can't imagine in the conference rules Clemson doesn't have a commitment to play a conference schedule & if they would choose to play the B1G or SEC then Clemson has to leave the conference and lose even the 30 million payout. With the B1G or SEC not getting any more TV games/money out of Clemson through 2036 that would seem to be a nonstarter for both conferences. So I have a hard time seeing where either the B1G or SEC sees much value in moving before the end of the GOR...obviously as you get close to the end the money is fading to zero and compromises becomes possible. But it will be on Clemson's part, not seeing much motivation for the B1G/SEC or networks to compromise
The GOR explicitly refers to the “ESPN Agreement”. ESPN would need to modify their agreement to facilitate realignment. Which I imagine they’d be willing to do if they benefitted from it, for example by getting a hypothetical weekly B1G game out of it.

If the B1G wants UNC, VA, and FSU or Miami, and GT during next TV negotiation then I’m pretty confident they could get ESPN to push those changes through in exchange for a share of B1G games. The benefit to the B1G in making that move is by weakening the SECs options, and gaining market share.
 
#18      
The GOR explicitly refers to the “ESPN Agreement”. ESPN would need to modify their agreement to facilitate realignment. Which I imagine they’d be willing to do if they benefitted from it, for example by getting a hypothetical weekly B1G game out of it.

If the B1G wants UNC, VA, and FSU or Miami, and GT during next TV negotiation then I’m pretty confident they could get ESPN to push those changes through in exchange for a share of B1G games. The benefit to the B1G in making that move is by weakening the SECs options, and gaining market share.
Anything is possible to negotiate, but I don’t see it.
1) ESPN has the ACC deal way below what they would have to pay the B1G for those rights & they just walked away from the BIG deal because it was too much.
2) There are still the remainder of the conference that has a vested stake in not letting that happen and owns the GOR & has the majority control of any vote.
3) looks to me like it will be very expensive to get out & neither ESPN, the B1G, or the SEC are going to give up serious money in what is clearly a money grab by the B1G & SEC
 
#19      
The $2.2B being referred to is the estimated TV rights revenue for the expanded playoffs:
Hypothetically, would it be worth it to the B1G and SEC to work together to take 4 each from the ACC, assuming a super majority of 2/3 would be sufficient to dissolve the conference and invalidate GoR?(since nobody seems to have seen the ACC bylaws we don't know what it would take; could be majority, 2/3, 3/4 or some other permutation, I'm just assuming 2/3 for the sake of discussion). Then doing the same to the Pac-12?

Essentially, would the additional revenue from cannibalizing the playoff share of those conferences sufficiently outweigh any dilution of revenue on a per school basis from the media deal?
 
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Anything is possible to negotiate, but I don’t see it.
1) ESPN has the ACC deal way below what they would have to pay the B1G for those rights & they just walked away from the BIG deal because it was too much.
2) There are still the remainder of the conference that has a vested stake in not letting that happen and owns the GOR & has the majority control of any vote.
3) looks to me like it will be very expensive to get out & neither ESPN, the B1G, or the SEC are going to give up serious money in what is clearly a money grab by the B1G & SEC
All good points, and this all may just wait out the ACC GoR until 2036. The new expanded CFB playoff will probably bring some stability as well. No one is going to give up money. I think it would be more the case of ESPN realizing that the opportunity to own B1G rights with new teams is greater than the depreciated losses in the existing ACC deal from losing those teams.
 
#24      
Best winning percentage in the last 15 years for teams west of the Mississippi who haven’t already been offered admission to P5 conferences:

1. Boise St .807
2. San Diego St .611
3. Air Force .597
4. Louisiana-Lafayette .579
5. Fresno St .559
6. Nevada .550
7. Louisiana Tech .548
8. Arkansas St .535
9. Tulsa .531
10. Utah St .511

Not a lot of appealing options there. Will the PAC just bite the bullet with Boise St?
 
#25      

Mr. Tibbs

southeast DuPage
Best winning percentage in the last 15 years for teams west of the Mississippi who haven’t already been offered admission to P5 conferences:

1. Boise St .807
2. San Diego St .611
3. Air Force .597
4. Louisiana-Lafayette .579
5. Fresno St .559
6. Nevada .550
7. Louisiana Tech .548
8. Arkansas St .535
9. Tulsa .531
10. Utah St .511

Not a lot of appealing options there. Will the PAC just bite the bullet with Boise St?
not as sexy school nor sexy location, but none of those other schools save SDSU are either.
they blew their chance with BYU 10 years ago, that ship has sailed