Last edited by KrAzY3; November 20th, 2012 at 11:23 PM.
I don't think Missouri was the best possible addition. North Carolina would be better, Notre Dame as unrealistic would be better (if they were an equal partner in a conference), and I think A&M was an absolute home run. However, Missouri has a lot more to offer than I think most people realize. They delivered two major markets, they are the only D1 school in their state, so they pretty much bring the entire state with them, they actually earn more in athletic revenue than VT does. And, if you want the kicker, Missouri had more fans at their Kentucky game this year than VT had at their FSU game. I just think VT is overrated because of recent football success, which they (hopefully) couldn't keep up in the SEC.
Virginia is in a strange place right now. Northern Virginia is such a different beast from the rest of the state that many no longer consider it Virginia. It's grown rapidly over the past twenty years and it's changed character completely. It might as well be in Jersey for all that is has in common with the rest of the state. There’s a sense of visceral distaste for what has happened, and a sense of mutual disregard between each side. NOVA believes that ‘real’ Virginia is full of backwater hicks while old Virginia looks at the transplants as a crew of cultural savages. Due to population growth NOVA is increasingly influential at the state level. Still old ways die hard, and Richmond is the ultimate insiders club.
UVa is mostly old Virginia but the demographic shifts in NOVA are having an effect on the university. I think the decision will come down to culture (to a degree) and money (to a much larger one). We'll also need a home for our non-revenue sports.
http://asylum.rydas.com/conference-e...lege-football/ - I find it interesting to see how much has changed.
The football conference thing is where you get into diminishing returns in my opinion. It doesn't matter if you add Oklahoma, or North Carolina. The SEC teams are still going to go .500 in conference play. To see this in play, look at Alabama and Texas A&M. I thought A&M was a legitimate football power, but I hoped not a disruptive one. As it was, they nearly kept the SEC out of the championship game. In turn, had A&M remained in the Big-12 they might be a title contender this year. It worked out, but you can't just pile football power on top of football power without adverse results. It's a bit like eating a piece of pie and going to get a second piece. Yes, that first piece was just fantastic, but that second piece might be too much.
There is a value in football "brands". Unquestionably, Oklahoma and Notre Dame for instance, are huge football brands. However, there are also fads. There are football brands that have risen and might fall. Miami, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Utah... If you want a perfect example, look at how the ACC is now viewed. Then, consider how someone would have responded in the 1990s if you told them Miami and Florida St. would be in the same conference and it wouldn't be considered good at football. There is a risk to adding football powers, especially ones that expect a lot of wins. A conference can only produce so many 10 win teams and you risk devaluing your brands if you try to cram too many together. Look at the SEC East. Missouri has been an easy win, yet Georgia and Florida's "brand" looks good right now. Not many people consider it might look good BECAUSE of the other teams that are struggling. So, one could argue Missouri did in fact improve the SEC's football brand.
Broadcast does make brands important. Oklahoma vs. Alabama would be huge in broadcast TV. We all know that, and CBS would probably fork out some real money to have that game each year. However, Alabama vs. Texas A&M was the second highest rated game of the year. People derided A&M for not being a football power, and many complained it wasn't Oklahoma instead. Well, would Oklahoma have garnered higher ratings? A conference can grow brands if they choose wisely, but for instance a Notre Dame is a program that pretty much any broadcast partner has promised increased funds over. I believe that brands matter the most in areas of weakness. For instance, the ACC's football brands are important, the Big 12's remaining football brands were important to their survival. The SEC? Basketball brands might hold more value at this point in time.
Cable is usually regional. So, you get into a whole other type of demographic. This becomes more about the enthusiasm of your coverage area, vs. national appeal. The SEC performs especially well in this regard because markets like Nashville, Jacksonville, and Birmingham have shown tremendous enthusiasm for SEC games. So, you shift away from just brands, and towards the enthusiasm for college football. I think attendance numbers help a lot here, as you can't expect great enthusiasm for a program that has low attendance. There is a value for programs like North Carolina, even in college football. If they can bring out 56K while struggling in football, you can believe their regional games will have decent viewership, and they are a large state. A VT, if they maintain their football success is going to command more viewers though, obviously.
A network is where things really change. You suddenly don't care about ratings, or even brands much at all. You simply care about how many subscribers you can reach. This is what makes states like Oklahoma less valuable, and states like Maryland more valuable. It's all about the TV sets. All you need to do here is just have enough interest to get cable providers to pick up your programming. This is also where basketball actually picks up in importance. You will only have a limited number of football games available on a network, however, there will be quite a few basketball games available for programming. So, if you add a program with an interesting enough football program to get on providers, and a good basketball program, you are creating something that consumers would likely enjoy.
The Big 10's move was extremely cynical. You'd better believe they had deals on the table with providers that said they would get into certain markets if they added Rutgers and Maryland. They also took a cue from other expansions in recent years. They went for the don't rock the boat approach. They are not disrupting their football brands, they are just increasing their wealth. They might have gone a little too far though, as the programs they added have very little value outside of their network.
I think more will come to light on this but as far as I can see it, this is more about Notre Dame than it is about Maryland and Rutgers who, lets face it, are not real significant sports brands.
I think it played out like this... Delaney had been courting ND for ever to join the B1G. ND wanted to join but just not for football which, as a sport/brand, can stand on it's own w/o conference affiliation (obviously). Delaney did not like that deal cause really it was ND football, and the ability to renegotiate the TV contract as a result of that (creating a bidding war between ESPN & NBC). For leverage, ND was talking to the ACC about joining for all sports but football and the ACC in their stupidity made an offer, eventually thinking football would come over, to allow ND to join for all sports but football and share all ACC revenue including football w/o having ND having to kick in their football revenue to the ACC pie. Once ND had this offer from the ACC they shopped it to Delaney and he called their bluff by turning it down. Now, what ND accomplished was to really get into Delaney's jock and he then devised the plan, by inviting Maryland to the B1G, to weaken the ACC and thereby the attractiveness of the ACC conference to ND either as a parting blow to ND or, more likely, a strategy to get ND to reconsider their alliance with the ACC and instead choose the B1G as they become more powerful w/ 14 schools.
An additional advantage to the deal is that by adding MD they can not charge $1.00 instead of $0.10 for each cable subscriber that has the B1G Network as part of their package, which is already most of the Baltimore/DC market.
Rutgers, who in spite of what the Syracuse alum/supporters will tell you, does carry the NJ/NYC TV market. Delaney, along with every other commissioner of a neighboring conference, has been talking to their AD for years dating back to the start of the most recent round of conference expansion/realignment. They are close friends apparently and to get to 14 teams, Delaney pulled the trigger offering Rutgers an invite knowing he had MD in the bag. Again, the B1G Network gets $1.00 instead of $0.10 per home that has the network in that market which is everyone from what I can tell.
From Delaney's perspective, they best part of these deals is that he can immediately start to re-negotiate the TV deals based on MD & Rutgers joining but they won't share in the revenue until they actually join and even then their take will be prorated and phased in over time... This is a HUGE windfall of cash for the conference which AGAIN makes the B1G more attractive to ND. Add to that now additional leverage on ND that if they think the ACC is heading in the wrong direction (which is more likely as now FSU, NC State, VT are event bigger targets for the SEC and BIG12) than ND will start to reconsider their alliance with the ACC. If they are considering the B1G then they better move fast cause there are only 2 more spots left before they hit 16 which is the number most this would be the max.
No, I am not a conspiracy theorist and I don't have a tin foil hat. I just don't it wise to underestimate Delaney. He is too smart, with too big an ego, and certainly someone capable of thinking this through and managing this on multiple fronts to his advantage. Not sure, if the above scenario is true, that Slive is on his level and able to play this advanced game of conference realignment warfare!
“I think that a lot in life comes down to expectations sometimes, and we didn’t come here looking for a moral victory.”— Nick Saban
To summarize, the Big Ten is going after dollars and media control rather than anything to improve competition on the field. This could go a long way to influencing a selection committee in the forthcoming playoff. The SEC seems more insistent on maintaining the overall competitive nature of its conference but that not might not count for much if the media is already eating out of somebody else's trough.
Personally, I think the SEC better get with it. If they are indeed serious about launching a network then they need to roll it out and start trying to tap some of these same markets. Personally, I think the conference is seriously underselling the potential of its basketball and baseball as foundations for supporting a network. The SEC simply needs to get in more homes with the brand it has already established. Alabama needs to be in a position where it is playing a game every 4 years in the Dallas-FT Worth, DC, Atlanta, and Charlotte markets.
Slive certainly has found it more difficult to negotiate a true SEC Network because the current contract holders with the SEC properties see it as a threat. An SEC Network will undoubtedly take a few games away from ESPN to fill out the SEC Network's own programming appeal. Sure, it would likely only be those ESPNU-tier games that aren't technically blockbuster revenue generators. Still, I'm sure that the SEC broadcasts on ESPNU are a driving force in service providers relenting to ESPN's demands that ESPNU be a part of the standard sports package.
That is probably why we've heard stuff that the SEC Network could potentially be a lot like the Longhorn Network where ESPN provides most of the equipment and practically runs the network's operations. Slive probably prefers something more like the Big Ten Network where the conference has complete control over the broadcasts. It has higher overhead but greater long-term profitability. It makes no sense to pay for equipment and operators at some favorable-to-ESPN revenue share when it is probably cheaper long-term to buy the equipment and put the operators on payroll. ESPN is probably pushing this as the method to leave the current contracts but Slive isn't sold on it.
I'd agree with him given the LHN failure. When you let ESPN into the picture, they aren't going to do the things needed to allow this network to stand on it's own. Remember, they ultimately want people watching Sportscenter, College Football Live, etc. You aren't going to get their best effort and the quality of the LHN broadcasts and programming kind of shows this fact. If you want a BTN type network which has programming that has drawn interest from their partisans, you need to have full control. ESPN doesn't want you taking ideas for documentaries that they could make into a 30-for-30. Imagine something like Ghosts of Ole Miss, Croom, etc made by an SEC Network. ESPN realizes that the SEC Network is competition and they'll do everything they can to neuter it if you let them into the picture.
This is the predicament the SEC finds themselves in now. ESPN fed the SEC and its fans grapes and wine for so long - now ESPN can put the squeeze on the SEC now that it controls pretty much all the relevant college football content. I dont think the SEC can truly maximize its revenue potential until it consolidates its CBS broadcast rights into one package, maybe to ESPN/ABC or Fox guaranteeing a national broadcast of a game or games each week. I think if the SEC wanted to set itself apart from a broadcasting standpoint the conference should partner with the NFL Network to develop and market the programming for the SEC. Think about that for a minute... CBS is a joke in representing the SEC all the while you let baffoons like Brando, Danielson, Lundquist talk down the very thing that is responsible for their paycheck every week. If you put it in these terms you see how easy it would be for the SEC to be wiped off the map in short order if we somehow went through a period where our conference was not the competitive elite. Where would the conference be right now if LSU and Bama werent so competitive given the status of the other programs in the conference?
Hey everyone... I am new to this forum and this is my first post...
I know this thread is about Maryland and Rutgers, but...
Has anyone read the report about SDSU moving over to Big East... I am curious why are these west coast teams coming over to the east coast conferences... First it was Boise St. and now SDSU