While I’m on the subject of things that don’t make sense to me, here’s another.
Officials from the ACC and Pac-12 are discussing a broadcasting partnership with ESPN that would bring together the two Power 5 leagues from opposite coasts for a mutually beneficial relationship, sources tell Sports Illustrated.
The proposal, still in its infancy, heavily involves the ESPN-owned ACC Network. Under the plan, the ACC Network—or a renamed entity combining the two leagues—will have exclusive rights to broadcast Pac-12 games to West Coast households through ESPN cable providers. The agreement is not a merger or consolidation of the leagues but is instead built around a media rights agreement with the worldwide leader in sports—an effort to clap back at the Pac-12’s loss of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.
While the joint move could feature marquee nonconference matchups from the West and East Coasts—think Clemson-Washington or Miami-Oregon—the primary reason behind the partnership is the TV property. This would replace the failed Pac-12 Network with a reliable provider that can reach millions of homes out west.
“The TV Property”? What? The reason these two conferences are in the shape they’re in relative to the Big Ten and the SEC is because their broadcast rights are worth significantly less. How exactly is giving East Coast viewers an extra serving of Pac-12 football, and vice versa, supposed to ameliorate that? I know synergy’s been a popular buzz word in marketing classes for decades, but this strikes me not so much as synergy as it’s something South Park’s Underpants Gnomes might cook up.
The part I really don’t get here is Mickey’s. They’re smarter than the Clampetts running the conferences, so what are they seeing here that I’m not? The only thing I can come up with is that the ACC Network is a bigger money loser than I thought, so if they can buy additional rights cheaply enough, it might make some sense. But wouldn’t it make more financial sense to help blow the ACC up and shepherd a few teams the SEC’s way?