I urge you to read Brian Cook’s screed about the ever-expanding commercialization of college football in its entirety. It’s righteous.
It says that college football used to be a great bargain. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, games were fun and not largely spent watching people have conferences. Great fanbases sprung up around the teams starting in the 1960s, when Don Canham was packing bands into the stadium so it would be sort of full, and lasted more or less through 2000 without being seriously impinged upon. Ticket prices were absurdly stable. Television was more of a boon than a hindrance because its proliferation allowed you to watch more road games; breaks were relatively rare and tolerable.
Then things got monetized. Ticket prices approximately tripled in 13 years and have kept going up since. The commercial breaks have proliferated madly. Unsatisfied with their massive uplift in revenue, the athletic department has continued to nickel and dime the fanbase even after the departure of Dave Brandon. And for what? For who? For the benefit of ever more absurdly over-compensated coaches, staffers, and especially executives. Every commercial break is Jim Delany—the man who ruined the conference—giving me the middle finger while he dumps another gold brick on the Big Ten’s grave.
This is why to some extent all the hand-wringing in the world by athletic directors about how the game experience has to be made more attractive to keep fans coming is doomed from the start. Chasing the almighty television dollar is antithetical to a viable game experience, whether that’s because conference expansion weakens scheduling, or incessant television timeouts leave those in the stands restless, Greg Sankey’s on the field egg-timer notwithstanding. (And isn’t that a perfect example of how tone deaf the powers-that-be are about this?)
A choice between satisfying the asses in the seats and Mickey is really not much of a choice at all for those people.