From that Andy Staples piece I linked to earlier today:
A note on the SEC Network and nine conference games: The assumption is that ESPN would want more conference games to improve the quality of its inventory. This certainly would not improve the quantity of inventory. Adding a ninth conference game would actually reduce ESPN’s inventory because it would put seven SEC schools on the road for an additional week. Since most SEC schools schedule mostly home payday games out of conference, the eight-game schedule, in practice, would probably produce five or six more home games that ESPN could broadcast. In an age when a 3 a.m. replay of the Central Florida-Ball State Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl nets 610,000 viewers, quantity might be more important than quality.
I’m not exactly sure Mike Slive would agree with that last point. But I’m not sure how relevant Staples’ whole argument is there, because it leaves out an important part of the equation. CBS would love to see the conference improve the quality of its inventory. And considering it just redid its broadcast deal with the SEC without handing over an additional penny of revenue for the next ten years, I bet the conference would be interested in determining how much that love is worth. (If it doesn’t already know, that is.)
Oh, yeah – as a fan, it goes without saying that I’ll pick quality over quantity every damned time. If I’m dying to watch a noon Sun Belt game, that’s what ESPN the Ocho’s for. Save the filet for Verne and Gary.