Chris Low, I presume you mean well with this post, but the concept of the entity whose spending has done more to disrupt the face of college football over the last decade being concerned about preserving its traditions strikes me as one of the more ironic, horse-out-of-the-barn notions Mickey’s minions could offer these days.
Thanks for the chuckle, though.
Brian Cook looks at my recent post about ESPN’s future in an unbundled world, takes an inferred point from my post and makes it quite specific:
ESPN is currently subsidized by a lot of people who do not care about sports. When the internet is television, that goes away—and it does not necessarily get replaced one for one.
This is why adding Maryland and especially Rutgers was folly. In the near future the only people who get the Big Ten Network are going to be people interested in the Big Ten. They will no longer be able to snatch a dollar from the pocket of every cable subscriber in New Jersey who is a Tulane man. This is going to happen in ten years, at which point whatever short-term revenue gain will be spent, Jim Delany will have his bonus, and the Big Ten will be stuck with a couple of teams nobody cares about.
It’s not just the Big Ten, and it’s not just being stuck with the aftermath of making questionable expansion decisions. Every P5 conference is guilty of the latter and the Pac-12 is even more heavily invested in its broadcast network than Delany’s conference is. What do these guys prepare for when their business model is blown to the skies?
Judging from their track record, we won’t find out the answer to that question until it’s already happened.
… comes preseason FPI.
I have no idea how the math works, but I can tell you that Georgia’s ranking went up three spots since March “after gaining a starter”. Take that for what it’s worth.
Here are a couple of questions for you. Let’s say this becomes a real thing in the near future:
One industry source I spoke to believes ESPN would have to charge sports fans at least $30 a month for an a la carte version of the networks to offset lost cable subscriber fees and advertising. MoffettNathanson Research believes Disney would have to charge $36.30 a month for ESPN to achieve the same level of reach it enjoys today.
At this point, we’ve reached a similar structure to European television. Channels such as Sky Sports, which carries popular properties like the English Premiere League, are not part of the basic service and run at $40 a month for the family of networks. Sky Sports even offers “day passes” for roughly $15. While hardcore American sports fans can justify similar prices here in the States, casual fans will balk and just catch the big event games on over-the-air networks.
Would you subscribe and pay $40 a month for the privilege of watching ESPN?
Me? I probably would, if I could just subscribe for football season. The rest of the year would be a waste of money. I kind of doubt that’s the customer base ESPN’s looking for, though.
But if I’m typical, what happens to college athletics’ current business model when the broadcast revenue stream takes a significant hit from Mickey’s wallet shrinkage? With regard to Ovies’ last point, keep in mind that there is very little college football shown on an over-the-air basis now, so chasing the casual fans in bulk, which is implicit in building up a national playoff, is not as easy as it sounds anymore.
Eh, it’s probably no big deal. Delany, Sankey and Scott are on the mother, right?
I don’t think Spurdog is gonna be real thrilled with the latest ESPN narrative.
Well, things are certainly looking up.
Whatever the WWL comes up with as a replacement, it can’t be any worse than the Holtz-May clown show was.