The economics behind conference realignment:
Also, there are limits:As more games air, "the audience becomes more fragmented when presented with more viewing options across both traditional television outlets and digital platforms, which can ultimately lead to smaller audiences for any given broadcast," said Sam Sussman, an ad buyer at Publicis Groupe's PUB.FR +0.92% Starcom.
ESPN plays down those worries. "There is always a concern any time there could potentially be more product in the marketplace than there is demand, but so far the demand for the sport is still insatiable," said Ed Erhardt, president for customer marketing and sales at ESPN.
Ad buyers and some marketers worry that media companies will try to pass along the costs of exorbitant TV-rights deals. "Marketers are not going to sit there and float the numbers to pay for the rights fee—it's not going to come at our expense," said Kevin Collins, an ad buyer at Interpublic's Initiative.
Ads during sporting events are the only ads most likely to actually be seen, so ad buyers are going to being paying much more for sports ads. Everything else gets DVR'd and skipped over these days. Most people want to watch sports live, they're not suddenly going to switch to google click through ads on the internet instead of buying time during a big Saturday night matchup on ABC or ESPN.Ad buyers and some marketers worry that media companies will try to pass along the costs of exorbitant TV-rights deals. "Marketers are not going to sit there and float the numbers to pay for the rights fee—it's not going to come at our expense," said Kevin Collins, an ad buyer at Interpublic's Initiative.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to write about conference realignment. The Big 10’s raid of the Big East and the ACC and the subsequent countermove of the ACC’s addition of Louisville set in motion events that are harder and harder to track.
It was easy to get details when the Big 12 was the only conference on the hunt, not so easy when the Big 10 entered the scene, and damn difficult when you introduce the competing interests of the Big 10, Big 12 and SEC. Now take that difficulty level and multiply by the number of ACC teams positioning to get out of dodge with the biggest paycheck possible.
What’s certain? What’s probable? What’s unlikely? What’s the buzz?
Here’s what I’m certain about after talking to three separate Big 10 sources. The Big 10 will not stop at 14 and 16 may just be a rest stop on the way to 18; and maybe more
I’m also certain that the Big 10’s endgame is Notre Dame.
The Big 10’s addition of Maryland and Rutgers may have been, at least on the surface, mysterious and explainable only by the value added to the Big 10 Network. Yet a look at the Big 10’s markets and a quick comparison of Notre Dame’s top television markets (in terms of ratings & estimation of fans) shows a justification of Delaney’s strategy.
With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers the Big 10 has Notre Dame’s important markets covered with the exception of Boston and Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles market is out of reach for the Big 10 but the Boston TV market is not.
Sources within the Big 10 and Boston College have confirmed the Big 10 has approached Boston College and BC believes it is next in line for Big 10 expansion.
Boston College is eager to leave the ACC and many within the ACC tell me that BC’s departure would almost be welcome–except they don’t consider the appeal of Boston College to Notre Dame.
If the Eagles leave the ACC the Big 10 would have 9 of the 10 top markets for Notre Dame included in the Big 10 network with 2 of those markets coming at the expense of the ACC.
Georgia Tech would also add to the Big 10’s appeal to Notre Dame and detract from the ACC’s.
Certainly the Big 10’s motivations for expansion include adding inventory to the Big 10 Network and an everyday presence is the rich recruiting grounds of the south, but it appears the primary motivating factor is the gut the ACC and make the Big 10 the only viable option for Notre Dame.
Doubting the Big 10 would go to such lengths to acquire Notre Dame – what the Big 10’s television deals would be worth with Notre Dame as full member.
Now comes the part that Big 12 fans will not want to hear.
If the Big 10 expands to 16 and plans to add Notre Dame they would have 17 members.
They won’t stop at 17. The Big 10 has targeted FSU as #18.
Sources within the Big 10 tell me that Jim Delaney and Eric Barron have had discussions about the Seminoles joining the Big 10.
Obviously FSU doesn’t fit the academic profile of the Big 10. Obviously Louisville didn’t fit the academic profile of the ACC either. It simply doesn’t matter.
FSU would add valuable TV territory and more importantly add a southern presence for the Big 10 and Notre Dame for recruiting purposes.
Last summer FSU told the Big 12 it would not consider membership without a southern partner. Georgia Tech provides FSU the southern partner it would require in the Big 10.
Clearly FSU prefers the Big 10 to the Big 12. The lure of the additional money of the Big 10 Network gives the Big 10 a natural advantage and the academic reputation of the Big 10 would sooth FSU’s faculty over leaving the ACC.
Sources at Ohio State tell me the Big 10 plans to move shortly after the Orange Bowl by adding Boston College. Delany believes the ACC will be forced to counter with the addition of UCONN and it’s the Huskies that will give Eric Barron and FSU the excuse they need to move.
Barron will claim the ACC is no longer a viable home for FSU football and he will be right.
Louisville is a good program but they lack the tradition or the track-record to elevate ACC football. The Cardinals have one of the best athletic departments in the country and should be admired, but they do not have the stature to save the conference.
Pitt and Syracuse have struggled to compete in the Big East and their administrations have shown a lack of commitment to football.
And what happens to ACC football when their only choice is to add UCONN?
What happens is that FSU and GT leave for the ACC and–as much as I loathe to write it–UNC and Duke leave for the SEC.
We can expect the Big 10 to act shortly after the Orange Bowl.
Tomorrow I’ll write what this means to the Big 12 and West Virginia.
that would be great for the big 12 .... we would add Clemson Ncstate Va tech and Miami ... and then either stay at 14 or pick 2 more from the scraps .. and the ACC is dead .. might have to take UVA to go with va tech .. and then we take either syracuse or IMHO a better option and take Louisville ..
This is so dumb. Stop ruining college football!
That article is from the "Dude of WV". He's so full of shit, it's not funny. He has over, done the ultimate troll job, even getting the FSU president to mention him by name in a presentation.
He has an agenda and that is to hurt the ACC whom he personally feels slighted West Virginia University when the ACC added Pitt and Syracuse. I don't think he has any contacts with the University, beyond drinking buddies that are drinking buddies of some one that works at the University. I would assume, that many people here on Land Thieves are as or more plugged into the University of Oklahoma.
Bottom Line: Everything that "the Dude" (and MHVer3) writes is 100% pure fiction. Although any good fiction writer can take scenario's that are believable enough to have a few come true. Jules Verne predicted Nuclear Sub-marines doesn't mean he had an inside connection to the Navy.
Here is where "the Dude" and "MHVer3" seem to have gone wrong in their fiction writing:
1) Louisville vs Maryland, or BC vs UConn don't hurt the ACC much if at all. Seems equal swaps. If the ACC and it's member schools are fine before they should be fine now. The ACC also has 14 member now. They could lose 2 schools and be just fine (maybe even better) at 12. Would losing BC and Syracuse to the B1G really hurt them? BC and GT?
2) The "insiders" assume that money is the ONLY thing that matters. It's important sure, and probably the number one issue, but there is also the desire to be in a conference of regional schools that are similar to yours. Get the money close...or close enough then as a school president you look at other "issues". Right now, none of the "core" (as I see them) ACC really want to leave the ACC. If they did it would be because the money is too great to turn down.
3) North Carolina and Duke to the SEC would be the LAST move to happen. UNC and Duke ARE the ACC. They would be the last out the door. UNC and NC St. share the same Board of Regents so they are tied. Wake Forest isn't going anywhere. So that's 4 schools that are tied down.
4) if UNC and Duke don't go to the SEC than the SEC doesn't have many options. They could look to Virginia and Virginia Tech, but those are tied pretty closely too. UVA pulled strings to get VaTech into the ACC. I don't think it would be politically easy for Va. Tech to leave. WHICH MEANS...THE SEC MAY NOT ADD ANY SCHOOLS AND STAY AT 14!!..and if they don't take any ACC schools then no ACC schools will be forced or need to leave!
5) The B1G is looking for markets, and large ones for it's Cable Networks. They are the wild card. They are the ones that can add more schools and have schools pay for themselves just by population and local cable subscribers.
6) The Big 12 is happy. I know that's hard for many to grasp. We have TV contracts in place for several years. We have income certainty. We are right now the 2nd highest paid conference (by team income) of all the conferences!!!!! Again, the B1G and the SEC and even the PAC might make more money than the Big 12 in the future, but right now, and for several years, the Big 12 is right there, (and if you look back to my #2...just be close to the money). It's not like the Big 12 is the ****ing Big East.
7) the PAC isn't going to expand with crappy MWC teams. If they are good with 12 then the Big 12 can be good with 10 (or 12). If in the future, the Super-Conferences do happen, and the PAC does need to expan then the Big 12 will break up. The Big 12 won't be one of the final 4 standing conferences. The big 12 schools will feed the PAC, the B1G and the SEC. The left overs if any will join the left-overs of the ACC/Big East. (for those that worry, OU will be fine...we're OU...Iowa St could be screwed royally though)
your #7 is not close to the truth ..
"The Dude" is the internet at its very worst.
The only thing that keeps me optimistic about expansion is I strongly believe the B1G is going to continue expansion and realistically the ACC is the only conference they can poach from and gain anything. Louisville was an upgrade over Maryland. The next round of defections will be tougher to replace.
If the Big 12 has few quality choices to add to expansion, so does the PAC. The PAC's most valued expansion targets are in the Big 12. If the Big 12 is doomed as many think, then the PAC is a natural landing spot for the schools.
Any PAC expansion will have to account for the league's desire to be California-centric. Either the add will need to offer enough to replace that desire (Texas/money), or the the add will need to not take away from California. SDSU gives the league a 5th Cali team, in a market that's only peripherally covered by the current PAC teams. Boise St. makes sense in a "we need another national brand" kind of way. Add in that Boise is the 3rd largest city in the PAC NW, already affiliates with the PAC in wrestling, will have a 50K seat stadium, and would probably have a strong rivalry potential with Wazzu, Oregon, Utah, etc., right out of the gate, and it makes some sense. Not as a first choice, but it still makes some sense.
Meanwhile, the Big 12 (which might have been the best top to bottom conference in the country) self-cannibalized and ended up with 2 ranked teams in the AP.
I've heard a few conversations, at OU that the PTB think that super-conferences will ultimately split and collapse when Cable TV is no longer a viable product, and everything is streaming online. At that point the Universities and fans will want to see traditional rivalries both online and in person (and ticket sales are still a HUGE income stream for a University). The fans want to be able to drive to OSU or to Dallas to see the teams play. They connect mentally and emotionally to regional traditional rivals, and it's this connection that will sale internet subscriptions and tickets.
Also he understands that to keep the legislature happy & funding OU, he needs to keep the OSU fans/grads in the legislature happy as well.
On a personal note, his wife went to school there, and the Veterinary Department actually bares his name as he started the program while he was Governor of OU, and he's good friends with Burns Harges who is an OU Law alum.
the tv money will never become not viable ...... who we pay the money to might ... ie we pay the 3.50 a month directly to espn ... instead of have the cable/satellite middle man ..
Also the problem with streaming is that you would basically have to go to team sites for games. And in the end it would end up costing more money if you wanted to watch other teams play because you would have to pay how ever much per site. Wouldn't it be easier to have all games on a centralized force anyway? Say sign with ESPN.com to stream all their games? It would be no different from using cable in the end.
The state legislature has a pretty significant OSU advantage and the wild card is whoever the Governor happens to support.
A lot can happen in 13 years…. Boren will be gone and we will have new political leadership.
But it will be best if they side with whatever best advances the OU cause and not have OU held back because they feel sorry for OSU.
You'll notice with the T3 rights for the Big 12 almost all of schools set up a streaming arm, and have installed their own HD tv studios on campus.