Here’s a fantastic deep dive by Andy Staples ($$) on what’s coming as the current broadcast deal nears its end.
Three basic points of consideration:
- The property is significantly undervalued by current-day standards. “The SEC title game commands the highest percentage of the transaction, but CBS pays $55 million a year for a 15-game package of the SEC’s best contests. That averages out to $3.67 million a game for a product that probably could command more than five times that price on the open market now.”
- Certain Johnsons are being measured. “In fiscal year 2018, the first year that included its most recent media rights deal, the Big Ten made $759 million. The SEC made $660 million. The biggest reason? The SEC is severely underpaid for the most valuable package of games in college football.”
- There is a non-monetary value to CBS being the broadcast partner. “That exposure had helped turn the SEC from a regional brand into a national one, and Slive and Gerber considered it critically important to keep that platform available to the league.”
I can’t imagine the conference is willing to compromise on any of those three issues in the upcoming negotiations. If there are likely to be three main bidders in CBS, ESPN and Fox, which of the three is most likely to give the SEC what it wants in return for what might very well be the crown jewel of college football broadcast deals?