Network programming ain’t cheap these days.

To sweeten the pot to get Maryland to jump ship from the ACC, the Big Ten reportedly threw in a $20 million to $30 million travel subsidy.  As the move in conferences is expected to cost the Terps about $3 million per year more in travel expenses, that amounts to a pretty lengthy sweetener.  And now that’s out there, you can expect any new possibilities for Jim Delany’s reality shows to have their hands out for something similar.

Of course, none of that helps Maryland’s fans out with their increased travel expenses.  But they’ll be able to tune in to the Big Ten Network.  It’s a whole new tradition!


Filed under Big Ten Football

11 responses to “Network programming ain’t cheap these days.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    That’s an indemnity against Maryland’s lawsuit payout to jump the ACC.

    What still gets me is why all the fuss over Maryland?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The DC and Baltimore TV markets.

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        I was figuring that in Mayor, but Maryland arouses about as much local passion as Georgia State. And other Big Ten fans in that area can already see a full schedule.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I used to live in DC. When the Terps were good they had a big following. They can be good again but they have to get rid of Edsell first.

        • GaskillDawg

          The Big Ten makes a lot of money due to the Baltimore and DC markets even if few watch. See, the subscription price to cable and satellite companies for the Big Ten Network varies between the price in States in which the Big Ten has a team and States in which it does not. I do not recall the factor by which it varies but I want to say it is times 10. Thus, the Big Ten gets, let’s say, $1.00 per subscriber in Maryland today. When MD joins the network, without doing a thing, gets $10.00 per subscriber, even if no one watches.

          The reason that happens is providers bundle sports programming. The consumer cannot select individual sports channels ; you get them all in the package. A household in Baltimore that gets sports packages just so they can get the golf channel will increase money to the Big Ten whether they ever watch a college football game ever.

          • Puffdawg

            I’ve heard this, but I don’t get why the price would go up just because physically there is a team there. Wouldn’t the increased price be driven by ratings – people actually watching? The cable providere wouldn’t include the Big Ten network unless there was a public demand for it. Then the people who didn’t want it would get screwed but they would be in the minority.

            • GaskillDawg

              The price goes up when an area has a big ten team because that is the terms of the contracts between the cable companies and the network. The cable companies need programming; the cable companies really do not care whether a subscriber actually watches the History Channel or Discovery so long as the subscriber pays his or her bills.

              The subscriber does not sell just the sports channels that there is a demand for. The subscriber cannot say, “I want Golf Channel but I do not want to pay for the NHL Network.” Cable Companies sell sports channels as a bundle. The guy in Ohio who wants the NBA Network has to get the sports package that includes the Big Ten Network. When the subscription fee for the Big Ten network goes up it is passed to the subscriber.

              • James

                So there’s a devil in the details here: this doesn’t give the Big Ten any significant default money, what it does is allows them to go to every cable provider in MD and NJ and demand they get carried on basic cable in those areas, thus getting their fee (up to $1, this has to be negotiated one-by-one) times the number of households, which is a lot of money.

                But there are two major risks here by the B1G: (1) What about the greater DC and NYC areas, can they get on basic there? and (2) at what price? Just because Michigan companies are paying $1 because there is enough pressure for Michigan and MSU games doesn’t mean the same applies to the NYC suburbs in NJ over Rutgers football.

                I’ll probably end up being wrong on this because I’m no expert, but my guess is this whole things marginally backfires — UMD and RU dramatically lessen the average fans & revenue per school (excluding TV), and I’m not convinced they have the numbers to win the NYC battle. Besides, when this whole bundled thing blows up, the Big Ten is in a way worse position than before these last two additions.

  2. JG Shellnutt

    We could say the same about Mizzou…except that it was obvious we needed to add 2 at a time, not just aTm alone.

  3. Dog in Fla

    It’s a long way to the top of the B1G if you want to rock ‘n roll from Terpistan