Domino effect?

Couple of things went down yesterday that make me wonder if they might be related.

First, this.

The Big 12 and Pac-12 have ended talks about a potential merger or partnership after multiple conversations between the conferences across the last couple of weeks. The Big 12 ultimately walked away from the negotiating table Monday night after reviewing its options, sources tell CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

The Big 12 reportedly approached the Pac-12 first with the leagues discussing options including a full merger, pooling television rights or a scheduling partnership, according to ESPN. Ultimately, the Big 12 believed a merger might be most beneficial but decided it had better options as adding many of the Pac-12’s programs would not help the league substantially increase its media rights revenue.

Might this be one of those “better options”?

Notre Dame would remain independent if it can earn at least $75 million annually in media rights revenue from current broadcast partner NBC, sources told CBS Sports. The Fighting Irish’s deal with the network is set to expire in 2025.

For NBC to feel comfortable raising Notre Dame’s valuation to such a level, it is seeking “shoulder programming” (in this case, games played before and/or after Notre Dame’s contests) from a Power Five conference to enhance its college football coverage.

When such a move had been speculated previously, the Big Ten was the conference mentioned most often as a target. However, the Big 12 has emerged as a strong option to fill NBC’s shoulder programming needs.

… Outgoing Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had not heard anything specific on NBC targeting the Big 12 for additional programming but said such a move “makes sense.” The Big 12 may be one of the few leagues with inventory available as its media rights deal also expires in 2025.

I never thought taking Notre Dame’s sloppy seconds would amount to much of a lifeline for a P5 league, but apparently that’s where we might be.  Go figure.

22 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

22 responses to “Domino effect?

  1. I’m surprised that a full merger of the Big 12 and Pac 12 into a western conference wouldn’t be attractive. The only major market that wouldn’t be covered would be LA/SoCal.

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    • godawgs1701

      Major markets would have teams featured, yes, but a merger doesn’t really solve the problems that the two conferences have right now. Dallas and Houston are close to Big 12 schools, yes, but are the eye balls going to be watching Texas or Texas Tech on Saturday? San Francisco’s a major media market, but is is a college football market? Things like that have to be considered.

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      • I agree with all of that. They must have some knowledge of what their media rights are worth without Oklahoma and Texas. I would think that the addition of Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and the Arizona schools would have added value to the total rights package with or without California.

        Liked by 1 person

        • godawgs1701

          I agree, but it sounds like the Pac 12 side of the equation was overvaluing what they were bringing to the table if the Big 12 walked away. Even without the big anchor schools, the Big 12 seems to have more programs that have been winning big in the past decade or so with the additions of Cincinnati and UCF. I wouldn’t have figured that would be enough, but NBC knows more about TV deals than I do.

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    • atticus34

      Here’s what I don’t get about this “major media markets” discussion. NY is huge. Nobody gives a rats ass about college football there. Same with LA or Miami or Boston. Regardless of size they need eyeballs actually watching.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure I agree about Miami. They may not care about the U (unless they are winning), but there are plenty of Handbag and Criminole fans in south Florida.

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        • atticus34

          Check out the ratings in Miami. 6 million live there, very few are watching college football I assure you.

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          • I don’t know how to get that data. Feel free to share if you have it.

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            • jcdawg83

              I don’t have any specific data but my observation over the years travelling in Florida has been that once you get much past Daytona going south the interest in college football drops off pretty quickly. Miami fans are the definition of bandwagon fans. If the team is really good, they have plenty of fans. If they are not, people have other options on how to spend their Saturdays and they take advantage of the other options. South Florida is full of retired yankees and Hispanics, neither demographic is a huge college football following group.

              The NFL seems to have a lot more followers.

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      • jcdawg83

        College football is following the NASCAR path exactly. The suits at Disney aren’t considering whether or not anyone in any of the “major media markets” actually WANT to watch college football. Their only concern is to bring those markets into the ESPN college football collective.

        It is like Bombardier, the world’s largest snowmobile manufacturer, making a big push to bring the Nashville, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami markets to their brand by spending tens of millions of dollars to open dealerships and have advertising campaigns in those markets. Whether or not anyone in those markets have any desire to own a snowmobile is not important.

        Liked by 2 people

        • atticus34

          100%

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        • otto1980

          Agreed has anyone looked into attendance for USC and UCLA games. Unless they have Reggie Bush and in the running for a national title, the market doesn’t care.

          South Carolina puts fans in the stadium and has never won an SEC championship.

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        • ciddawg

          Dig your analogy JC, but Bombardier also makes jet skis, pontoons and assorted recreational watercraft…which would fit in those markets…

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  2. godawgs1701

    Neat. Frankly, I’m for anything that keeps the ACC, the Big 12 and the Pac 12 alive. I don’t like the idea of every major program being a part of either the SEC or the Big Ten. It’d be nice if we could put a stop to all of this and hold where we are.

    Liked by 4 people

    • miltondawg

      I share your sentiment, but I think that the Pac 12 just got delivered the nut shot by UCLA and USC.

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      • jcdawg83

        The upside may be that this will bring about the end of college football as we have known it quicker. We won’t be subject to 20 years of slow decline, the pain will be quick.

        In 10-15 years, I think the SEC and B1G will both have 24 teams each, divided into four divisions each. Each conference will have a two round playoff that leads to a championship game and then the two conference champions will play each other to decide the “real” national champion. The other 82 college football teams will be in some other division and will have their own champion.

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  3. stoopnagle

    The Irish clearly have the One Ring.

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  4. If the ACC tv deal excludes ND games, it is significantly devalued. I would think NBC is going to get outbid here as long as the ACC rights buyer guarantees ND their $75mil or more. Swarbuck is the only guy holding a true national media market ticket.

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  5. Oxford, Starkville, Auburn, even Athens are not “major markets”, but I sure love the SEC tradition that seems to be going the way the TV bullies want it to.

    I liked North Wilkesboro, too.

    A former NASCAR fan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Reading this post made me think of one of my buds, local high-school football star and current business owner, DAWG fan and season-ticket holder.

      He told me that, more and more, he’s tempted not to make the trip from NW GA for a game on days when there are other high-caliber teams on TV. Why make the long day’s journey to hot Athens and watch Samford and Kent State, when he can stay home, watch the GA game on TV and also watch other, quality matchups on TV, all day long?

      Sooner or later–and especially if the GA-Fla game is ever moved out of Jacksonville–this guy will probably decide he doesn’t need to spend the $$$ on Hartman Fund and season tix.

      I totally understand this. Seems to me there might be a whole lot more fans–the kind who’ve supported the team with their money and their attendance for decades–who are becoming the kind of fans who support the team mainly by watching on TV.

      Is this what the conferences and the universities want? I guess it is, as long as they continue to be ruled by the almighty TV network dollar.

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      • They win either way. They sell those tickets to someone else (or reward a Magill Society member with better tickets than they had) and they capture the eyeballs for the 3 1/2 hours on TV. I’m not a big enough “college football fan” to sit at home from noon to midnight watching games where I have no rooting interest. Unless a game directly impacts UGA or I have nothing else to do, I don’t watch a lot of football over doing something with the family.

        I get the time commitment for traveling and now with $4/gallon gasoline. That would be the reason to give up the tickets.

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  6. 69Dawg

    The Pirate was on today. The interview with Finebum afterwards was good. He has the solution to the NIL, amateur verses professional problems and it was really not too crazy.

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