Category Archives: Fox Sports Numbs My Brain

Money down

David Ubben’s dunking of Clay Travis ($$), ladies and gentlemen:

It was a quiet week for TV analysts going out on a limb, but Fox’s Clay Travis, who has the only dedicated gambling segment on “Big Noon Kickoff,” went 1-3 on his picks again and missed badly with his two surest bets of the weekend. His lock of the week was Tennessee minus-11.

… Travis has been a fixture in this space this season mostly because no one else on television covering college football has been more certain and more wrong more often.

LOL.  Shit never gets old.

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Filed under Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

“If you don’t want Meyer there, you can vote with your remote.”

Wow — and I do mean wow.  This Richard Deitch takedown of Corch’s return to Fox ($$) is just brutal, and I’m here for every punctuation mark of it.

Look for his on-set colleagues to pay homage to his college success. Normally, I would say that Meyer will try to win the audience by being self-deprecating about his tenure in Jacksonville, but my college football colleagues at The Athletic tell me he is incapable of that

Perhaps Meyer will be a different person upon return. Perhaps sports networks in the future will stop making hires that insult your intelligence. Anything is possible. Maybe I’ll dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo next month or travel back in time to stop Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard. Amazing things are always possible.

Read the whole thing, preferably before the next “Big Noon Kickoff” pregame show.  It’s a doozy.

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Filed under Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Return to greatness

With the news that Urban Meyer is returning to the broadcast crew for Fox’ college football game day show comes one question:  what exactly is the demographic for people who say, “I ain’t watchin’ BIG NOON KICKOFF unless Corch is there”?  Seriously?

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The golden, rule.

That I have to use Dennis Dodd as a foil to Matt Hayes’ nonsense should be telling, but, damn, this is the current reality college football faces:

Can a credible playoff can be staged without Oregon and Washington being allowed to compete for a spot?

ESPN sort of answered that question when it thought nothing last summer of throwing the Big 12 on the scrap heap as Texas and Oklahoma moved to the SEC.

The network was telling us without telling us that the world wouldn’t end if the likes of Oklahoma State, Iowa State and TCU, among others, did not get a chance to finish in the top four of the College Football Playoff. The question was further answered when the Pac-12 was marginalized last week.

Ratings matter. They matter more when a 9-3 Oklahoma from the SEC might have a better chance of getting into a playoff than a 12-1 Oklahoma State from the Big 12.

One industry source called Oregon and Washington “tweeners” in realignment. They are certainly not USC and UCLA in terms of branding and marketability, but they’re not Arizona and Arizona State, either. That’s what realignment has revealed: The real things that make college football relevant to the only people that matter — TV executives, programmers, advertisers — are being exposed in increasing and specific detail.  [Emphasis added.]

And that reality is that the noise made at Greg Sankey’s bully pulpit will always be drowned out by the sound of TV money being deposited in conference bank accounts.  Anyone who believes otherwise is hopelessly naïve.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain

TFW you gotta shill for The Man

Fox Sports personality wants us to know his employer is out there, working for us, even if we don’t appreciate it like he does.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already.  Thanks, Joel!

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A cynic’s paradise

I’m having an email discussion with a reader about (what else?) where things go from here in the new super league version of college football we’re watching emerge.  He still thinks there’s a place for academic reputation in the realm of expansion, particularly in the case of the Big Ten.

I’m not seeing it, mainly because ESPN and Fox could give a rat’s ass about academics.  They’re steering the expansion train and the only thing that matters to them is attracting eyeballs.  As Jon Wilner puts it,

Geography no longer matters.

Academic reputation no longer matters.

Now, the main driver is brand value: Fox and ESPN will pay for the football programs that generate ratings and are most likely to land in prime TV windows.

That’s it.  That’s all there is now.

The math is simple.

Thompson said the Big Ten’s decision to add two Los Angeles-based universities was rooted in a simple math equation. The 14 existing conference members know they’ll receive approximately $71.4 million per university under the new Fox deal. Adding two more partners only made sense if they could generate a minimum of $143 million in additional distributable revenue.

“To get there you could assume that the bulk of the 5.2 million pay TV homes in LA, San Diego, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara become inner-market Big Ten Network subscribers,” he said. “That will add significant affiliate revenue for the network.”

Adding Southern California to the portfolio increases the Big Ten’s core TV households by 25 percent. The result is additional advertising revenue for the Big Ten Network, Fox Broadcast Network and FS1 as well.

Said Thompson: “That should all be enough to convince Fox that the additional rights fees are worthwhile.”

If you can make it worth the broadcasters’ while, you get a ticket to the big boys’ club.  And if you can’t…

… Oregon and Washington may be of interest to the Big Ten. However, Thompson estimated that those two Pac-12 universities, along with the Oregon and Washington television markets, would only generate an additional $60 million in combined additional revenues.

It’s good money, but well shy of the $143 million breakeven for the Big Ten.

It doesn’t kill the possibility of Oregon and Washington following USC and UCLA into the conference. It just means that the Big Ten members have two options if they’re going to do it: A) Be OK with about $6 million less annually to have UO and UW in the house; or B) Welcome Oregon and Washington, but inform the newcomers that they won’t get full distributions for a while.

Yeah, like Option A) is a real consideration.

Back to Wilner for the final word:

How much value do Arizona and Arizona State carry on the open market? Specifically, how attractive are they to the Big 12?

The schools certainly fit geographically, and Arizona’s basketball program would be ideal for the Big 12.

But valuation is based on the strength of your football brand, and the Wildcats are a tick above zero on that scale.

The Sun Devils would need to pack enough media value to account for Arizona, as well, if we presume they’re a package deal. (I’m not sure that’s the case, but it’s a subject for another column.)

ASU’s situation is comparable to the dilemma facing Cal and Stanford: The size of your media market matters far less than it did a decade ago.

Value is based on the ability of your football program to drive ratings and claim prime broadcast windows.

When they say it’s about the money, believe ’em.  Welcome to the new world, folks.

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, It's Just Bidness

“I don’t care about the ratings.”

Coach making over $4 million a year to finish no better than third in his division in the last three seasons is upset ($$) that one the primary entities that makes his salary what it is doesn’t kowtow to his personal scheduling preferences.

“I am pissed at Fox for our kickoff time against Kansas State,” Shaw told The Athletic. “… For Stanford in particular and Oregon to be going and playing in a different time zone, and give us an early kickoff, to me, is incredibly disrespectful. And it shows a lack of understanding of what we have to do, and the way that time difference truly affects us. It shows a lack of care for our student athletes.

You always know they’re serious when they say they’re doing it for the kids.

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Filed under Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Pac-12 Football

TFW your broadcast partner just isn’t that into you

Shot.

Chaser.

Nebraska probably wouldn’t mind if Fox put the game on at eight in the morning.  What a sad commentary on what was once one of college football’s can’t miss rivalries.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain

TFW you get to the end of the rainbow and there’s no pot of gold

Speaking of the brilliance of Gordon Gee’s leadership

Schovanec, Texas President Jay Hartzell and West Virginia President E. Gordon Gee formed a three-man committee in the fall of 2020 to study “whether we should consider acting preemptively with regard to our TV contract,” Schovanec said, “or just waiting and going into free agency when that contract is up in 2025.”

The Big 12’s broadcast partners politely told them to fuck off.

“The general result is that, at this time, with so much uncertainty in the media marketplace as well as the landscape for collegiate athletics,” Schovanec said, “our partners, ESPN and FOX, are not interested in acting preemptively with regard to our contract. They recognize the importance of our partnership, but there’s just too much uncertainty, and they do have four years to go.

“So we’ll wait until we get to the right place and time.”

Like it’s your choice, fellas.

These guys all think they’re deal making wizards, until reality smacks them in the face to remind them they’re little more than Jed Clampetts who, through sheer dumb luck, own something of value.

(h/t)

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Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, It's Just Bidness

Your Daily Gator ♥ Fox.

Check out the totally unbiased take from Corch:

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Filed under Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Gators, Gators..., Urban Meyer Points and Stares