Boys, those johnsons aren’t gonna measure themselves.

Yes, because that’s what real college football fans care about — which conference gets paid the most.  It’s kind of like following recruiting, except with dollar signs.

Seriously, it shouldn’t matter to us as it does to college presidents (even though it directly impacts us in more than one way).  Except for one thing.  And for that, you need to read this refresher on the SEC’s history of negotiating shitty broadcast deals ($$).

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has never had a chance to sell all his league’s rights, and the SEC hasn’t had a chance since 2008 to use the leverage that comes with having all its inventory available. Sankey took over in 2015 for Mike Slive. At the time, the league was in the middle of a 15-year deal with CBS that paid $55 million annually so the network could broadcast the best SEC game each Saturday. Disney/ESPN owned the rights to the other games, but the terms of that deal had changed.

The original deal that Slive and consultant Chuck Gerber forged in 2008 called for Disney to pay the league about $2 billion over 15 years starting in 2009. The terms of that deal changed after the SEC added Missouri and Texas A&M. The SEC partnered with Disney to create the SEC Network. The new deal between Disney and the SEC would extend to 2034…

… Knowing networks were counting their pennies ahead of the next NFL media rights deal — which was finalized in 2021 — the SEC decided to see what its best game of each week might fetch. The answer? A reported $300 million from Disney in a deal locked down in 2020. In 2024, the best SEC game would move from CBS to Disney-owned ABC. By agreeing to the deal, the SEC cast its lot entirely with Disney and also re-synced its rights. For 2034, the SEC can put its entire rights package on the market.

That deal likely will reset the market, but that is a long time from now. How long? Because the Big Ten did seven-year deals with Fox, CBS and NBC, it will have sold its rights again before the SEC gets another crack.  [Emphasis added.]

I’m not suggesting Jim Delany is a genius, but one way in which he clearly ran rings around Slive and Sankey was in reading the broadcast market.  He was a shrewder Jed Clampett than the SEC commissioners.

And why should that matter to us (again other than that we’re the ones ultimately paying for it)?  Because of Slive’s and Sankey’s piecemeal approach, we’ve been saddled with a poorly thought out scheduling mess in the wake of the last round of conference expansion that was driven, at least in significant part, by Slive looking for an out from a shitty broadcast deal he’d cut.  Fast forward to now and it’s hard to see much progress in that regard.

As the SEC staggers around trying to figure its way forward on a deal it’s locked into for over a decade, just keep that in mind as Greg Sankey assures you he’s got this scheduling thing nailed down.



Filed under Big Ten Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

17 responses to “Boys, those johnsons aren’t gonna measure themselves.

  1. Those BigX rainy day funds are gonna be something.


  2. Another thing that Missouri’s admission to the SEC screwed up.

    Liked by 3 people


    Things I don’t care about..for $100.

    Is the game on Xfinity? That I care about.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. siskey

    I just don’t see CBS or these other networks getting the rating that makes this worthwhile. The big games will do well nationally but I don’t know that Penn State vs Illinois at 3:30 will draw anywhere outside the conference “footprint.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • moe pritchett

      Just wait till Gary starts bitchin about Camp Randall during a November Purdue visit .
      That oughtta blow up the rating; for sure, you betcha, for sure .


    • Even worse, since from I’ve read CBS will pick third, try a Purdue vs Indiana matchup. That ought to bring in lots of viewers from all over the country. (insert sarcasm font) I’ve gotten pushback from Big 10 fans on Twitter, but CBS did not do themselves any favors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • stoopnagle

        The three networks draft from week to week, so none of them have first pick every time.


        • From CBS’s press release:

          “Which networks will air which games? The Big Ten and Fox will coordinate a “draft” with games being chosen by the networks across each of the seven years of the deal. Fox will have the first pick each year, a source told CBS Sports, meaning the network will likely will end up the crown jewel of the intraconference matchups: Michigan vs. Ohio State. CBS and NBC will trade off the second and third picks in various years, according to sources.”

          Fox is driving this train. While CBS will probably get a decent game here and there, it will not get the biggest matchups like it does in the SEC right now.


  5. It’s lucky that Sankey has the winningest product on the field because the BIG is inside his decision cycle. Even stealing UT and OU hasn’t been audacious enough to beat them at the media dollars game.


  6. Ran A

    In one of the Senators earlier articles today, it mentioned that the SEC has a new deal starting up in a couple of years that pays over $700MM a year without Texas and Oklahoma.

    All the Big 10 deal does is give the SEC leverage. Would suspect you’ll see something similar with the Mouse (ESPN, ABC, FX, Fox Digital TV) for equal or better money.

    And with that, while I’ll never lose interest in my Dawgs; have to admit that it might quell my passion for the game a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rigger92

      If any of us are around to see it, that BigX deal is only 7 years. How sweet would it be for CBS to say “this sucks, let’s buy the SEC network from Disney”.


  7. archiecreek

    I guess UCLA vs Illinois will bring in the big bucks!!


  8. Here I thought winning titles was the bar.


  9. 69Dawg

    If this wasn’t so funny I would cry. Remember the old saying “He who DIES with the best toys, wins.” These Conferences are killing the fatted calve for money.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Are Big 10, ACC, Pac 12, and Big 12 games on TV? I never watch ’em.