The Mike Leach presser is going about as you’d expect.
The Mike Leach presser is going about as you’d expect.
Think CBS is the big loser in the SEC’s full embrace of Mickey? Not so fast, my friend.
Whether CBS ends the contract prior to the expiration date isn’t known (at least publicly) at this time, but by the fall of 2024, if not sooner, the SEC will have one broadcast partner: ESPN.
If you thought the most influential network in college sports was SEC-heavy now, just wait.
The financial implications for the Pac-12 are obvious:
The SEC currently distributes approximately $44 million annually to each school.
If we estimate $325 million annually for the SEC ‘Game of the Week’ package, the net gain for the conference (over the current CBS deal) is $270 million.
Or an additional $19 million per school per year.
That would push the SEC’s annual campus distributions to about $63 million — more than the Big Ten’s current Brinks truck delivery ($52 million per school) and approximately double what the Pac-12 currently sends home to each of its 12 members.
And there’s this: The Big Ten’s Tier One deals with Fox and ESPN expire in 2023, one year before the Pac-12’s rights are up.
We should expect that $52 million per-school figure in the Big Ten to increase substantially.
In other words:
Even if the Pac-12 were to receive a whopping 50 percent annual increase in media rights from its next deal(s), it would still lag far behind the SEC and Big Ten in annual take-home pay.
That money is used for facilities, for student-athlete welfare services, for coaching staff salaries and to manipulate non-conference schedules (i.e., buy games) to create the best chance for success.
But that’s not all! What else do we have for our contestants, Jay?
Because the SEC isn’t moving to ESPN just for the money.
Nope, the SEC understands the value of exposure — of providing its greatest export with access to all Disney-owned media outlets.
And you had best believe Disney will make whatever adjustments are necessary once it owns every last shred of SEC football.
The conference already has a Tier One deal with ESPN, and the SEC Network is owned by ESPN.
Add the ‘Game of the Week’ package, and the SEC and ESPN — which means the SEC and Disney — will be one in the same.
Expect to see SEC football all over ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ABC.
Expect to see kickoffs across all the viable broadcast windows, from 12 p.m. Eastern through 9 p.m. Eastern (which is 8 p.m. on some SEC campuses).
Expect to see more than one SEC game on ABC — yep, doubleheaders on broadcast TV.
… Disney isn’t spending $300+ million to acquire a single game each week because it wants that game.
It’s envisioning a 12-hour, multi-network, linear-and-streaming, everywhere-you-turn blast every Saturday for 15 Saturdays, plus whatever it can leverage from the land of ‘It Just Means More’ for the remaining 350 days.
And that’s a problem for the other conferences.
If the SEC gobbles up more ESPN and ABC broadcast windows during prime Eastern/Central viewing hours, there are fewer opportunities for the Pac-12.
And therein lies the real genius of Larry Scott — not in actually getting a great media rights deal for the Pac-12, but in convincing the Pac-12 presidents that pot of gold is always around the corner.
I’ll say this for Joe Alleva — he’s pretty entertaining when he’s got no more fucks to give.
“I still have a lot of friends in the ACC,” Alleva said. “I talked to them, and after that I didn’t want any part of Jimbo. I would never have hired Jimbo. He was never on my radar. Now, fans and some people in the department wanted him, but I never wanted him.
“I could have made a change (at the end of the 2015 season). I recommended not to. Because I would have been forced to hire Jimbo. I would rather have had Les. But if I didn’t hire him, the outcry would have been ridiculous. So we had that meeting during the (Texas A&M) game, and I made the recommendation to keep (Miles).”
Even that was merely damning with faint praise.
“The sad thing is it should have been that way for a long time,” Alleva said. “Think of the players Les Miles squandered and didn’t utilize properly. Talking to Les was like talking to a wall. The key (in) getting to a championship level is utilizing talented players. It’s that simple.”
I can only imagine what a retired Greg McGarity might say one day.
I’ve got to give some credit to SI.com’s Michael McCann for writing an entire column on the legal ramifications of the Mays family saga. If you’re looking for an end game on Cade’s transfer waiver request, this is probably as good a suggestion as you’ll get:
Mays would seem to have a more compelling waiver argument by arguing that a transfer to Tennessee would reflect family hardship. Such hardship is an accepted rationale for a waiver. Mays would need to show that the transfer is motivated by a recent injury or illness to an immediate family member. He would also need corroborating documentation from the Vols’ athletic department that he would be allowed to depart from the team to provide care to this family member. Under NCAA rules, this family member must be located within 100 miles of the university.
Mays could argue that he is transferring back home to help out his parents, particularly his dad, in light of the hand injury. His parents’ lawsuit, which details the suffering of Kevin Mays, could help him in that regard. While the injury occurred more than two years ago, it stands to reason that Kevin Mays’s recovery—which has included multiple operations—has not gone as well as he hoped. Perhaps he needs care from sons Cade and Cooper, both of whom will be with the Vols next season. Kevin Mays is also from Knoxville, the same city as the University of Tennessee, meaning the 100-mile stipulation would be easily satisfied.
That would explain why Mars has indulged in a public pissing match with Greg McGarity. Playing the family hardship card, I don’t think Georgia’s cooperation is necessary to get the waiver, so crap like this is merely gratuitous flexing.
At the 1:45 mark, Corch goes all in on the Gators for 2020.
The games are inventory for television programming, and even if the ratings are modest, almost any bowl will draw more eyeballs than something else, particularly on a weekday afternoon.
That’s why ESPN owns 14 bowls, and the network will add two more to its portfolio in the 2020 season even though viewership has trended mostly downward since the playoff era started in 2014.
“It’s an indication of college football’s strength that you could have games that really don’t matter between teams people don’t typically watch that can get over a million viewers,” Sports Media Watch editor Jon Lewis said. “There are diminishing returns, but there’s a long way to go before you would see a reduction. In fact, I doubt you’ll see a reduction any time soon. You might see other networks try to get into having their own bowl games.”
That is all.
Geoff, we get it.
You like getting free Waffle House stuff.