When is a football conference not a football conference?

When it’s merely a content delivery system for an effing cable network that’s more interested in driving subscriber numbers than in winning football.  Truly pathetic, although I’m sure Delany will be lionized by his presidents if he pulls it off.



Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

13 responses to “When is a football conference not a football conference?

  1. PatinDC

    Ugh. That would be a terrible move for MD . They can’t even afford a to pay a real football coach, how would they afford the buyout. MD is an integral part of the ACC.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I guess Delany is going after TV markets, but going for Maryland and Rutgers looks pitiful, and it’s degrading to the Big 10.


  3. SSB Charley

    As the Senator correctly notes, this is about one thing and one thing only: cable subscribers for the Big Ten network. The Big Ten Network charges $0.10 per subscriber in cable markets not in the Big Ten’s footprint. It charges $1.00 per subscriber in cable markets in the Big Ten’s footprint. Assuming that holds true for the markets for Rutgers and Maryland, that’s about $120 million in new revenue for the Big Ten (h/t to my Illini buddy Chris, who did the math).

    The question is whether the Big Ten Network will be able to charge its normal rates in NYC and DC, which are pro sports markets that couldn’t care less about college sports in general, and college football in particular. I doubt the NYC market will provide that rate. But if the BTN can only get $.50 per subscriber in NYC, that’s still about $42 million in new revenue for the Big Ten just from that market. That’s not too shabby. If the SEC wants to stay up in the revenue wars, it will likely have to have an SEC Network based on a similar revenue model and charge higher rates for its subscribers. Given the demand for SEC sports in the SEC footprint, I imagine this will be fairly likely.


    • Governor Milledge

      Good info.

      The Senator can probably confirm this with anecdotes of his ACC days, but I know my dad, a double Wahoo in his own right, at one point held Maryland basketball season tickets just to get his fix while living in DC. MD, as much as any traditional ACC school, loves its basketball, and including a hefty portion of basketball on the BTN will only drive the region’s subscribers to pick up the Network.

      Now, does this make sense for them? Probably not as a founding ACC member, and especially in the basketball arena. However, they backed themselves into their own corner by hiring the Connecticut coach over their own prior “Coach in Waiting” James Franklin, or even Mike Leach. The football revenue loss backed them into cutting 7 varsity programs, which triggered the BTN to come a’courting with their channel revenue.


  4. Mayor of Dawgtown

    This actually a very smart move for the Big 10 and Rutgers, less so for Maryland if the Terps have to pony up the $50 Mil. I remember thinking at the time the ACC had that vote: “Is this legal? The conference didn’t give member schools the chance to leave BEFORE the vote.” If I’m Maryland’s lawyer I advise the Terp administration to tender the old exit fee amount and litigate if the ACC doesn’t accept it.


  5. sniffer

    May I stage the obvious, again? Arrogance and Greed. These are the early stages of Alzheimers and the patient is college football. 15 years from now, my grandson and I will have conversations about football that are vague and confusing. HR will look at me with sadness and pity as I talk about “old things”.


    “Who’ playing?”

    “They don’t play anymore, D-Pop, they activiate physically. You’re so cute.”

    “Who’s playing?”

    “Rykers Island Institute against Asheville Crystal Tech. Tech got in because that fossil Spurrier refused to play Cal-Las Vegas. Said they didn’t play anybody.”


  6. Always Someone Else's Fault

    I read that the UnderArmor CEO-Prez-whatever (basically becoming to Maryland what Phil Knight has been to Oregon) just cashed in $64 mill of his UnderArmor stock. Could be a complete coincidence.

    Looking more and more like we’re going to end up with 4 football-first conferences with most of the money and a series of niche providers nibbling on the left-overs.

    As for the B1G, it more and more looks like the conference with the most lucrative audiences and the worst product.


  7. Kirwan, the chancellor of the UMd system, is co-chair of the Knight Commission. The WaPo story on the move has some gag-inducing spin from an anonymous insider about how the move is really all about academics.


  8. The Lone Stranger

    Nothing sexy about the Turtles or Rutgers. But, hey, they are both sterlling academic paragons to burnish the austere reputation of the B1G. Right?


  9. Keese

    No offense Senator, but what does it matter what conference these teams play for? If Maryland wants to go and get railroaded in the big ten instead of the ACC…why would I care where/who these teams face in the regular season. If they can take advantage of ESPN and better support their programs financially…good for them


  10. Uglydawg

    I’m nowhere as wise as the Senator, but I’ll add to your question….If the move of MD is the thread that finally unravels an already frayed ACC, what happens to the few good programs like Clemson and FSU and even GT? There may be a chain reaction that will very greatly involve the SEC having to make a move. I kiddingly nominated Baylor as the next SEC addition, and I do think it would be wise to balance aTm with another Tex program to keep them from getting too muscular. You would then need another team out of the East and FSU, or Clemson would certainly be hard to ignore.
    I honestly wish everything would just stay the same.