I doubt anyone is surprised to hear that CBS has been able to bump its ad prices for SEC telecasts up 10% over last year (h/t MrSEC.com). But the fine print might surprise you.
… Buyers say there will be a lot of college football games to advertise in this season, especially with Fox adding primetime games to its schedule. But CBS’ SEC package has a limited number of high-rated games with top-ranked teams and the threat of a potential sellout is pushing agencies to do business now and pay CBS’ price. [Emphasis added.]
Get that? It’s not the new teams and the new markets driving the increase. It’s the teams that were already conference members, highly ranked this season – like Alabama, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina – that are.
Now maybe there’s added value we’re not seeing yet. But that CBS is already getting a premium without even knowing what the final product looks like should tell you everything you need to know about how badly Mike Slive and his crack team of negotiators undervalued the conference when it struck those deals with CBS and ESPN. And – no offense to everyone at Missouri and Texas A&M – what an awkward move the conference had to make with expansion to correct its error.
Gee, I wonder how the SEC will do with the next set of broadcast deals. A sixteen-school conference may be just around the corner.