Amidst the sighs of relief from the chattering class that the NCAA only expanded the basketball tourney by three, there’s been surprisingly little comment about the money from the new TV deal. Groo hits on something that I wondered about when I saw the news:
… The deal is worth $771 million per year. That’s up nominally over 40% from the $545 million the former deal paid, but that previous deal was signed 11 years ago. You’ll have to do the math to see if the tournament has kept up its value in real terms (vs. inflation), but at first glance it doesn’t seem as if the tournament is worth a great deal more now than it was at the end of the 1990s.
Does it occur to anyone patting the NCAA on the back today that the reason it didn’t push on to a 96-school tourney was because there wasn’t enough money in it to justify spreading the wealth that much further?
The market giveth and the market limiteth… a lesson not lost on the BCS suits, I suspect.