When business plans collide: FSU, ESPN and conference realignment

Even though he’s backtracked a bit from his initial pique, FSU’s Andy Haggard has pretty much ensured that the Seminoles’ future in the ACC will be the topic du jour for at least the next few days.

Gaming things out, Dennis Dodd has raised a killer question – even if he’s forgotten who the Big 12 commissioner is – in this post:

… We’re getting ahead ourselves (sic). For now, ESPN would almost certainly discourage Florida State from leaving. FSU to the Big 12 would devalue that just-signed ESPN extension. Meanwhile, with expansion, the Big 12 would be soon asking for more money.

Sure, the money might cancel out but wouldn’t ESPN be sick and tired of reopened multi-billion dollar deals? Don’t forget the network is currently in negotiations with the SEC trying to figure out what the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri are worth.

What’s going to happen? Remember the immortal words of Boston College AD Gene DiFilippo last year when Syracuse and Pittsburgh came to the ACC: “ESPN is the one who told us what to do.”

That’s an interesting dilemma for the WWL, isn’t it?  The thing is, Dodd doesn’t even touch on the other irony here.  If FSU is whining about financial disparity as a member of the ACC, wait ’til it gets to the Big 12, home of the ESPN-partnered Longhorn Network.  The ‘Noles ain’t seen nothing yet.

One thing’s for sure in all this:  ESPN isn’t in it for its health.  Or FSU’s.  Or the ACC’s.  Or the Big 12′s.

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10 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil

10 responses to “When business plans collide: FSU, ESPN and conference realignment

  1. Joe

    “One thing’s for sure in all this: ESPN isn’t in it for its health. Or FSU’s. Or the ACC’s. Or the Big 12′s”

    We forget that at our peril.

  2. gastr1

    I concur re: the statement about moving to the Big 12 a.k.a. the Texas League…what are they thinking? This can’t be real on FSU’s part, right? Empty threats to leverage a better position?

  3. The only leverage FSU has that no one else in the Big 1+11-2 has is the size of the Florida TV market. While FSU didn’t necessarily add anything to an SEC package, they would add to the Big 12 package in a way that Nebraska & Oklahoma never could and would be able to negotiate a similar deal to Texas.

    • gastr1

      But would Texas let them? They essentially are the Big 12 and have not wanted to play nice with others for some time.

  4. Scott W.

    We have to remember why ESPN is doing this also. They’ve lost major ground in all of the most popular sports and because CFB isn’t a unified entity they can sway parts of it with $ and play the pieces off of each other. The thing is you can’t orchestrate every detail and present something as an organic product. People will go elsewhere for the sport (as much as they can) and we will have the result that is presented in the next post. ESPN has a scorched earth policy, from their former anchors to the very things they present. Which brings me to my next point, don’t watch Gameday!

  5. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I’m more troubled by what is going to happen vis-a-vis the renegotiation of the ESPN deal with the SEC. What happens when/if the suits at the WWL decide that the addition of A&M and Mizzou adds nothing financially to the current deal–or not very much? Instead of getting 1/12th everybody in the conference gets 1/14th, which translates into less $$ per institution.

  6. Cojones

    Then they simply wouldn’t renegotiate the contract. And we would give CBS a shout. No problem.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      How long is the current deal with ESPN? Wouldn’t all the teams in the SEC be stuck with 1/14th of the same $$$ for whatever time is left on the contract? Anyone? Bueller???