A few morsels to nosh on as we wait for Saturday to get here:
- The third quarter has been berry, berry good to Georgia this year.
- Here’s a handy yards per play chart.
- Mark Schlabach tells you why he thinks Georgia is going to upset Alabama. So much for that ESPN monolith that hates the Dawgs.
- Bobby Hebert: “I know this and I actually believe this, and people say ‘oh come on;’ but I know I’ve forgotten more football than Les Miles knows…” Amazing his name isn’t being brought up with all the head coaching openings out there right now.
- If this report is true, it’s a sign that some Vol fans have too much money.
- Patrick Garbin suggests that Georgia’s offensive line is doing better than we might think.
- A heartfelt plea for Georgia to beat Alabama: “The primary reason I’m hoping for a Georgia win on Saturday is because it would mean we could avoid the snotty, unending pontificating in advance of a BCS title game featuring two of the bluest bloods in college football.” Amen to that.
- Georgia players believe they learned a valuable lesson from last year’s SECCG.
- I don’t think there’s much to this story, but if the NFL were to ban cut blocking, can you imagine Paul Johnson’s recruiting sales pitch to high school offensive linemen? “Come to Georgia Tech, where we’ll teach you to become proficient in a technique that’s banned at the next level.”
Which is rich as shit:
But Disney is grateful for those $6.1 billion in affiliate fees from ESPN that help stabilize revenues each quarter. Ad revenues at ESPN, now $3.3 billion, can fluctuate depending on the economy (total ESPN revenues, including the networks, magazine and website, are $10.3 billion). Affiliate fees, paid by cable companies to channel owners each month, have steadily grown 8% annually at ESPN in recent years. ESPN and ESPN2 are both in more than 100 million homes and command $5.13 and $0.68 per month, according to SNL Kagan. The next highest among widely available channels are TNT at $1.18 and Disney Channel at $0.99 says Kagan. The average fee for basic cable channels is $0.26.
ESPN is worth $40 billion according to a research report this summer from Wunderlich or barely ten times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $3.9 billion. Disney as a whole is currently worth $84 billion (Hearst owns a 20% stake in ESPN with Disney owning the rest).
That is some serious market clout.
Be grateful that we dodged a bullet that Michael Eisner fired, though.
He told the New York Times when the merger was announced, “We know that when we lay Mickey Mouse or Goofy on top of products, we get pretty creative stuff.” Eisner added. “ESPN has the potential to be that kind of brand. ABC has never had our resources, and we haven’t had ESPN. Put the two together and who knows what we get.”
How ’bout Lou Holtz and Goofy? Or Mickey as ESPN’s Game Day guest picker? (Or regular panel picker, for that matter?)
Although I have to admit that Minnie Mouse might make a better sideline reporter than some of the folks the WWL trots out.
Step right up and dig in.
Georgia – South Carolina draws Herbstreit and Musburger for the call.
A little later than usual, but still plenty to nosh on:
More nourishing items than you can shake a stick at:
- ESPN is high on Georgia prospects for the 2013 draft: “No other team had more than three prospects on the list. Georgia had four off its defense alone, led by senior nose guard John Jenkins, the No. 5 overall prospect on the list.”
- This year’s Georgia motto – “Our team. Our time. No regrets.” – is team driven.
- Is there going to be a struggle naming selection committee members? If so, I’d be glad to help.
- When you’re facing an NCAA investigation, the news that you’ve had to disassociate your program from a booster ain’t the kind of news you want to be making.
- Run Lindsay Run asks the musical question “Does UGA under-recruit or under-develop offensive linemen?”
- Win projections for every team at College Football by the Numbers.
- Georgia and Florida try not to look ahead to their second-week matchups.
- Brian Cook thinks the SEC is allowing in-stadium replays of controversial plays from the TV network feed “to prevent biased home-field folks from ramping up outrage by selectively picking favorable angles”. No doubt Marc Curles agrees.
- Here’s the list of ESPN’s top 25 markets over the last decade or so. I wonder if the guy who thought the ACC needed to break into the Boston TV market still has a job.
This Andy Staples piece on how the relationship between television and college football has developed since the courts tossed out the NCAA’s control of broadcast rights is a must read. He does a brilliant job of showing how the schools have slowly come to realize the power they have in the marketplace and how ESPN anticipated where the market was headed sooner than its competitors did and used that awareness to build its broadcast empire.
But it’s his where-things-are-going conclusion that should really make you think:
Money and technology remain the wild cards. The NFL rakes in such huge sums because it is a single seller. It is the only entity selling elite professional football. There are five sellers (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) of elite college football. That holds prices down somewhat. Will those leagues someday merge and sell their media rights as a single entity for an even more astronomical sum? They did it as the BCS for postseason games, and they’ll do it again with the playoff. If they ever chose to pool regular-season rights, they’d be the CFA all over again. The Pac-12′s Scott sees significant barriers to that, but with college sports still undervalued relative to their earning potential, anything is possible. [Emphasis added.] “It would be no small undertaking,” Scott said. “But I’ve said for some time that I do see — over time — you’ll see further consolidation of conferences or more consolidation for how rights are sold. As there is more sophistication in the college space, you realize that value for schools is left on the table because of fragmentation. I think markets tend to correct.”
Anybody who doesn’t see D-1 football being radically restructured in the next decade or so is being naive. There’s simply too much money not to.
Did you know that Craig James’ replacement on ESPN’s Thursday Night college football broadcast once played Pee Wee football with David Greene?
And speaking of ESPN, the big news about the ginormous new contract it’s signed for the Rose Bowl broadcast rights through 2026 isn’t what that portends for how much the playoff broadcast rights are worth or the value of the Champions Bowl’s TV rights (although Slive is probably pinching himself over his good fortune there). No, it’s that the WWL is sending a clear message to its rivals that it won’t be a pushover as all these new postseason deals come up for negotiation.
Consider what it’s committed itself to with the Rose Bowl: “The Rose Bowl’s new $80 million annual rights fee represents a 167 percent jump from the $30 million the network currently pays.” [Emphasis added.] That’s for a game that in many years is going to have a reduced importance as the new four-team playoff takes hold.
Expect more preemptive bids. And expect that ESPN’s influence over the college game won’t miss a beat.