The sharpest tool in college football’s shed

From the latest installment of “How Does Larry Scott Still Have a Job?“, an ever-continuing series:

Though the Pac-12 has an enviable TV footprint, with five of the top 17 markets in the country — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and Denver — it doesn’t translate to the balance sheet under the terms of its television deals. The Big Ten distributed as much as $54 million in TV revenue to its schools in the 2018 fiscal year, dwarfing the $29.5 million the Pac-12 paid out. The SEC paid out as much as $43.7 million to its schools, while the Big 12 was at $38.8 million and the A.C.C., whose revenues will get a bump this year with the start of its conference network, was at $29.5 million along with the Pac-12, whose payout decreased by $1.5 million from 2017[Emphasis added.]

In this day and age of the value of live broadcast, how in the world does a P5 conference with plenty of major TV markets in its wheelhouse pull something like that off?  It just takes the right kind of vision from the right kind of visionary.

That’s how long the Pac-12 will have to wait to see if Scott’s big bet pays off: the decision not to partner with ESPN or Fox in forming the Pac-12 Network (as other conference networks have) while waiting to cash in on a bidding war for all its TV rights when they expire — a battle among not just traditional networks but also newer contenders like Amazon and Google.

Or so the hope goes.

At the moment, it has been a costly decision. Not only is the conference left with far less money, it also has far lower viewership because cable and satellite companies aren’t compelled by a partner like ESPN or Fox to take the Pac-12 Network as part of a bundle of sports networks. As a result, the Pac-12 Network, which was introduced seven years ago, is in only 18 million homes, less than a third of the audience for the SEC Network and the Big Ten Network, and about half of that for A.C.C. Network, which started in August.

“We determined that we didn’t want to sell the Pac-12 Network — there was anticipation that it would grow — and when the landscape changed, we’d be able to negotiate a better deal and cash in,” Ray Anderson, Arizona State’s athletic director, said. “That’s been a painful wait.”

The truly amazing thing is that their best scenario has the pain continuing until 2024.  And my bet is that Larry “But I feel like it’s my job to regularly think outside the box” Scott will be collecting steady paychecks all along the way.

Man, I’m in the wrong line of work.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

11 responses to “The sharpest tool in college football’s shed

  1. Argondawg

    You have to be a special kind of dumbass to jump out of the way of the money avalanche falling on P5 schools right now. I am glad he is not managing my portfolio.


  2. spur21

    Football isn’t as popular on the west coast as it is on the east coast. Folks out there have many choices when it comes to using their free time.


    • The ‘folks have more choices argument is ridiculous’. It’s just not popular.
      I live in LA and people just don’t GAF about college football out here. They do love Pro though and make plenty of time to watch that.


      • Macallanlover

        Agree, he is right about them not caring for CFB, that is correct, the “having more things” to do with their time is a myth. They simply value other choices more than CFB, and that is why the conference sucks on attendance, and why no one is demanding their network. We all have good restaurants, music concerts, movie theaters, professional sports options, country clubs, outdoor activities, etc., even the bigger cities everywhere have operas and symphonies. Depends on your priorities, no matter where you live.

        I only get around 16 Saturdays a year for CFB, those restaurants are open every other day if I want to dine there. Scott has mis-played this hand for years, guess they don’t believe in holding him accountable for not achieving his goals. I actually get to watch the PAC 12 less this year as they have put some of the better games on their conference network which isn’t available to most fans. I was one of those East Coast guys who watched a PAC 12 game almost every week, not an option any longer.


      • spur21

        Did you even read what I said or are you simply looking for an argument?


  3. 79Dawg

    U-verse used to carry all 3 Pac-12 network feeds here in Atlanta, but I discovered first weekend of the season we apparently don’t get any anymore… RIP.
    Still don’t get ACC Network either, which is really gonna suck if the Tech game gets put on it (which is probably a lock, right?)….


  4. Texas Dawg

    “But I feel like it’s my job to regularly think outside the box”
    Unfortunately for the PAC-12, the box that he is thinking outside of is a broken down, rain soaked box in the dumpster behind the dollar store.


  5. Down Island Way

    Senator, if you think for a west coast minute we will allow the trade of you for a comfy commish job on the left coast….ain’t gonna happen my friend, larry ” check casher” scott is not welcome at GTP on a full time basis


  6. Doug

    Meritocracy in the United States isn’t dead, but it’s been beaten mercilessly and left bleeding in a gutter.