Category Archives: ESPN Is The Devil

Is the ACC Network as valuable as the SEC Network?

Let’s just say ESPN will start finding out real soon.

ACC Network’s first test comes next summer when ESPN starts negotiating a new affiliate deal with Altice, a negotiation that promises to be a tough sell since the cable operator has systems near New York City, which is a long way from ACC member Syracuse and not really part of the conference’s footprint. One of the few cable operators that does not carry SEC Network, Altice has been public about its desire to cut costs.

ESPN could cut individual ACC Network deals, but most programmers and distributors like to wait until their big affiliate deals expire — and ESPN’s biggest ones aren’t up until several years after ACC Network’s planned 2019 launch. ESPN’s affiliate deals with Comcast and Charter expire in 2021; ESPN’s Dish Network deal runs until 2022.

Sources expect ESPN to price the ACC Network similar to SEC Network, which at launch was around $1.30 per subscriber per month in-market and around 25 cents per subscriber per month out-of-market.

Ourand thinks the problem for the network is that the sports programming market has changed in the last couple of years since the SEC signed its deal.  Perhaps the more relevant issue is whether the product itself is as attractive to its potential viewing audience.

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Filed under ACC Football, ESPN Is The Devil

The ACC gets its network.

A deal is struck.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN have agreed to a 20-year deal and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year, sources said.

The ACC also extended its conference grant of rights deal nine years through 2035-36, a source said.

The conference’s grant of rights makes it untenable financially for a school to leave, guaranteeing in the 20 years of the deal that a school’s media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with the ACC regardless of the school’s affiliation.

The ACC’s new grant of rights also automatically extends Notre Dame’s contract with the conference as a member in all sports but football through 2035-36, a source said. If the Irish forgo football independence in the next 20 years, they are contracted to join the ACC.

Prevent conference members from leaving for two decades and lock in Notre Dame?  Not too shabby, John Swofford.  The only way the ACC is going to suffer any of its member schools being poached in the near future is if the entire conference blows up.  Hell, ask the Big 12 if they wouldn’t like that kind of stability.  The extra TV money is almost a bonus.

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Filed under ACC Football, ESPN Is The Devil

Kirby Smart understands offseason angst.

He’s up in Bristol, doing the annual ESPN ass kiss all coaches have to do, and that meant he got some face-to-face time with Mike Greenberg, who laid into Smart a few months ago over his transfer restriction policy.

Things were a little mellower this time, mainly because Smart was gracious.

After about 10 minutes discussing other matters, Greenberg brought up his criticism of Smart, and offered him an open-ended chance to respond.

“I appreciate that, Mike, first of all,” Smart said. “And I think in the down time of college football, when there’s not a lot going on, it’s easy to reach and grab straws to yell and scream about something, and I certainly think that issue is a sensitive issue to a lot of people…”

Bloviators gotta bloviate, y’all.  Take it from one who knows.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

The money river keeps on rolling.

For all the glum talk about ESPN’s future, it didn’t stop Mickey from shelling out more than a billion dollars over the next six years for the second half of the Big Ten’s media rights package.

The $2.64 billion deals with Fox, ESPN and CBS average $440 million per year and nearly triple the amount ESPN and CBS had been paying for the same programming. ESPN signed a 10-year deal worth $100 million annually in 2006 — a payout that increased to $150 million this year due to the addition of Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers to the conference. CBS paid an average of around $6 million for its current basketball-only deal.

The deal does not include Big Ten Network’s package of rights, which runs to 2031-32.

I suspect the SEC is paying attention.  Unfortunately, its contracts aren’t up for rebidding for a few years.  Unless something comes up, like conference expansion (again)…

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

“I’ve never been more disrespected in my entire career than I have been at Baylor.”

Et tu, Herbstreit?

Those people are monsters.

41 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Uncle Verne’s heir apparent?

There have been rumors floating around for a few weeks that Brad Nessler was preparing to jump ship from ESPN to CBS, where he would eventually succeed Uncle Verne on that network’s SEC broadcasts.

Evidently, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

One interesting point to me…

So Nessler’s giving up calling playoff games in return for getting the shot to do the SECCG play-by-play.  Interesting set of priorities, no?

31 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

A few things to look forward to

A schedule round up…

First, here’s how the opening weekend shapes up on ABC/ESPN.

ABC, ESPN To Kick Off 2016 College Football Season

ABC and ESPN each will feature Week 1 tripleheaders involving ranked teams as the 2016 college football season gets underway on Labor Day Weekend:

Date

Game (site)

Time (ET)

Network

Sept. 1

South Carolina at Vanderbilt

8 p.m.

ESPN

Sept. 3

Ga. Tech vs. Boston College (Dublin)

7:30 a.m.

ESPN2

Sept. 3

Oklahoma at Houston

Noon

ABC

Sept. 3

Hawaii at Michigan

Noon

ESPN

Sept. 3

LSU vs. Wisconsin (Green Bay, Wis.)

3:30 p.m.

ABC

Sept. 3

Georgia vs. North Carolina (Atlanta)

5:30 p.m.

ESPN

Sept. 3

USC vs. Alabama (Arlington, Texas)

8 p.m.

ABC

Sept. 3

Clemson at Auburn

9 p.m.

ESPN

Sept. 4

Notre Dame at Texas

7:30 p.m.

ABC

Sept. 5

Ole Miss vs. Florida State (Orlando)

8 p.m.

ESPN

My ass obviously isn’t going very far that weekend.  And yours?

Next, here’s CFN’s look at its top ten SEC conference games in 2016.  Georgia makes the list twice.

8. Tennessee at Georgia, Oct. 1

Depending on what Florida is able to do, this could be for the East title. Tennessee will be coming off the home game against Florida, but it has to go on the road for three games in the next four dates. The Bulldogs will be more than happy to be home in an oasis on a run of three road games in four weeks, coming off away dates at Missouri and Ole Miss.

6. Florida vs. Georgia (in Jax), Oct. 29

Welcome to the a.k.a. Cocktail Party, Kirby Smart. By this point, the Bulldogs will have played on the road at Missouri, Ole Miss and South Carolina, and will have faced Tennessee, but this is the one a Georgia coach has to win. The Gators have to go to Tennessee and host LSU, but the rest of the slate is relatively light until this point. Win this, and Florida might be the lead dog for the East.

Wedged in between those two is the meteor game in Knoxville.  From here, it’s hard to see how those three games won’t decide the East.

Last is a look at the hardest and softest SEC home and road schedules.  Georgia doesn’t qualify for any of the four spots, although it does get some brief consideration for having an easier road schedule.  The interesting schedule there is Arkansas’, which manages to have both the toughest at home and the softest on the road.

Is it September yet?

37 Comments

Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football