Scott Reid of the Orange County Register hangs a big ol’ “kick me” sign on the backs of all of the idiot school presidents and conference for leaving all that TV money on the table by turning their backs on a football playoff.
… BCS officials have spent the week congratulating themselves in private over the ESPN deal that is a 56 percent jump over the BCS’ current 4-year, $320-million contract with Fox. But even if you figure in ABC’s $30-million annual fee to televise the Rose Bowl the deal is but a fraction of what CBS pays out each year to televise the NCAA basketball tournament and what some longtime college and conference administrators say an eight or 16 team post-season would command. CBS’s 11-year NCAA basketball tournament deal is worth $6.2-billion. In other words by taking a playoff tournament off the table, college football is costing itself more than $400-million a season. [Emphasis added.]
$400 million a year. That’s a staggering amount of money. So here’s my first question – if the presidents and conference commissioners are the greedy bastards everyone says they are, why are they leaving that kind of jack laying around? Does Mike Slive, who just squeezed the hell out of CBS and ESPN on new SEC TV contracts, strike anyone as the type of guy who’s willing to let bygones be bygones when it comes to negotiating a postseason deal? How about Jim Delany, who went to war for a year with Comcast over Big Ten TV? You think he’s the kind of guy who’s OK with leaving any money on the table?
What gets me about Reid’s argument is that he’s comparing apples and oranges and hoping nobody notices. CBS broadcasts 65 games of March Madness. Is it logical to expect the same amount of TV money for a quarter of the number of games in a football tourney?
Reid also conveniently forgets about those conference regular season broadcast deals, like the ones the SEC just struck. How much would those be devalued if D-1 football adopted an extended playoff?
Now it may be that a playoff would be a financial boon to schools not in BCS conferences, but before you make the silly argument that a playoff is being blocked so that the decision makers can
… keep the gravy train rolling for those constituencies – the bowls, fat cat boosters and administrators – at the expense of their schools’ and their sport’s economic best interests…
you might want to ask if that’s really how the numbers add up for the average SEC school. I suspect that Mike Slive has squeezed the numbers a lot harder than Reid gives him credit for. It doesn’t add up, as much as Reid wants it to.
Hey, I at least want to give him credit for this nice piece of snark, though.