per Barnhart’s blog today.
First off, for those that think the conference has made an unwise financial decision with regards to the length of the deal, consider this:
I spoke to Slive again last night. You could hear him smiling through the phone. “We’ve got some work left to do but this is big for our conference,” he said. “But this is very important step for the Southeastern Conference. We are all very happy.”
Slive didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. Financially speaking, at least, this hasn’t been a guy who’s known for making dumb moves. If he’s that ecstatic over the deal, I suspect it’s pretty favorable for the SEC.
Barnhart believes the CBS deal sounds the death knell for an SEC TV network. However, interestingly enough, he thinks it’s likely to encourage ESPN to step up and take in the rest of the slack.
… When I talked to Slive Thursday night he insisted that all options “are still on the table” when it comes to the possibility of the league forming its own TV network like the Big Ten.
I have no inside information but I don’t believe it will happen for one reason: The SEC doesn’t need it now.
The league obviously got the deal it wanted from CBS, giving them an exclusive national broadcast for the next 15 years. ESPN loves putting the SEC in prime time and will step up to the plate. I’m hearing ESPN would like to own the rest of the SEC’s TV rights and then be able to sell what they don’t need back to folks like Raycom, who will do the 12:30 p.m. games. To do that, ESPN would have to pay a premium. Keep your eye on that one.
Bottom line: Fox is screwed. For a long, long time.