I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the presidents have settled on a new postseason structure for college football. ESPN’s generosity made their job easier.
… Current rights-holder ESPN is in an exclusive negotiating window that ends later this week, according to BCS executive director Bill Hancock. Sports Business Journal reported last week the network was close to a deal worth as much as $500 million annually and perhaps as much as $7.3 billion over the life of the 12-year contract. But there was at least some sentiment to test the value with potential bidders like Fox, NBC or Turner.
Navigate Research, a Chicago-based firm that measures the value of marketing and media rights, originally estimated the package might be worth from $400-450 million annually. On the open market, Navigate’s director of analytics Jeff Nelson estimated the annual value could reach $550-600 million.
“It’s clearly very, very valuable,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Monday.
The current BCS TV deal pays $180 million a year.
When you’re looking at a tripling of revenue, it’s easy to afford to spread around a little more green. So the big dog threw the little dog a bone by guaranteeing access to one of the major bowls to the Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences. That’s not exactly what the mid-majors wanted (and note that the Big East has officially slid to the next level). But it’s what the market left them with.
The Group of Five couldn’t find traction for its own contract bowl within the system because there was no market for it. While the Rose and Sugar Bowls will be worth $80 million, a contract bowl featuring the best of the Group of Five would have been worth a fraction of that figure.
The current Liberty Bowl is comparable to what a contract bowl would have looked like featuring the best of the Group of Five vs. Pac-12/Big 12 as was proposed. The Liberty features the Conference USA champion against an SEC No. 8 selection. Its TV rights per year are $1 million according to a source.
Call it Jim Delany 1, Antitrust Proponents 0. Math is a cruel mistress sometimes.