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Dan, it is about supply and demand. If there is enough demand for the networks, then both sides will work to get a deal done. If there is no demand, then ESPN will have a hard time negotiating with the carriers. We have that right now in Houston with the new network that is owned by Comcast, the Astros and the Rockets. There is not a ton of demand because the Rockets are mediocre and the Astros are historically bad. So, the network is having a hard time getting picked up by the carriers because there is not a lot of demand. If there were a lot of demand, then the carriers would be willing to pay to put the network on their service. But right now, 60% of homes cannot get the network in Houston.
So, with the content that the SEC Network will have, there will be a lot of pressure on the cable providers in the core states (AL, GA, LA, MS, TN, KY, AR) to pay for the network because there will be significant demand. SC, TX, and FL have significant competition relative to other schools/conferences - FL and SC with the ACC and TX with the big 12. So, expect to see more struggles in those states unless there are joint agreements with the lhn and a proposed ACC Network.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on The SEC Network Is A Go, But Don’t Expect Accurate Financial Numbers Right Away (Plus Links)
Interesting that in TX, the only "major" carrier of the longhorn network in ATT U-verse. Now, ATT is the first on board with the SEC Network. I can see very easily in TX that ESPN will sell this as a package. If ESPN gets a deal done with an ACC Network, I can see that they would do the same in FL as well. Rest of the states in the SEC footprint will have massive pressure to carry the network from the get go. There is just too much content that will be on the network that providers cannot pass up. When the NFL Network first started, they had almost no content. Now, they have a game per week and more providers. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
The big difference between the longhorn network and the SEC Network relative to time demands is that the SEC Network will have 24 hours a day to provide info on 14 teams while the longhorn network has 24 hours a day just on the longhorns. The lhn has to dream up stuff to be able to fill their time while the SEC Network will easily be able to fill their time with normal content involving all 14 teams. Will be much easier to watch and easier to sell.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Saban On SEC Network Time Commitments: “Can’t Be Increased”
Great article. This is why you are a daily read. Now if we can get the SEC network up and running as soon as possible, all will be good. I had the longhorn network shoved down my throat by ATT two weeks ago (although they did give me a $30 credit for complaining). Having a SEC network will provide year round great sports for us that like all the sports.
9 months, 1 week ago on What Notre Dame’s Move Means For The SEC
Why should any of us care how the suspensions are carried out. That is between the players and coaches. By the end of the season, there may not be too much difference in rankings or record between Florida or La Tech. It is not like Sumlin said after the postponement that they would be suspended for the South Carolina State or Sam Houston State games. He said that they would still be suspended for the La Tech game. Big deal.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Michigan’s Hoke Just Made Texas A&M’s Sumlin Look Bad
This is the same guy that committed to play at Texas A&M, then LSU, then Tennessee. No surprise he wants to change again.
10 months ago on RB Bourque Leaves UT Over “Broken Promises”
One of the root causes here is Bowl Eligibility.
Lets just do away with Bowl Eligibility. Who cares what a team's record is. The bowl games are nothing but exhibition games that are TV filler no one other than gamblers and school followers really care about. Others may watch but there is no real meaning to any of the games to the masses. Even the current BCS games outside of the championship game have no meaning. Lets just take the top 9 teams from the SEC and ACC (when they get to 14), 8 teams from the B1G and Pac, and 7 teams from the Big 12 and have them play in bowl games against comparable teams from each conference. The teams would be selected based on conference record and standings. The other conferences can have their bowls for their teams as well and can set up eligibility however they want it. This way we are not creating a farce of out of conference schedules against the little sisters of the poor. That way we could have better in conference scheduling with 9 or even 10 conference games. But getting to that point would almost require a 8 team playoff at the end for the championship with the 5 major conference champs plus 3 at large teams in the field. That is another story.
1 year ago on Slive Speaks: Football Rivalries Saved, Basketball Rivalries Dumped
ESPN needs a partner to go with the longhorn network so if they get the SEC Network, they will be able to leverage that to have cable companies pair up the two for distribution. No way can they distribute the longhorn network on its own merit. ESPN tried to strongarm cable companies to attach it to other ESPN products for distribution but the cable companies did not bite and there is no widespread demand for the lhn. It is niche programming with no broad appeal. That is why the high school content was going to be so important. With the lhn and an SEC Network, cable companies will be more apt to pair the two up in a Tier for subscribers to purchase. But I still say that the lhn should be a stand alone network that should be supported by the longhorn faithful and not by non-interested parties.
1 year ago on Report: SEC Getting Closer To Starting Its Own Television Network
Great article and analysis. The end result of this situation is anybody's guess. Could this be the start of the 4 team superconferences or just another high profile game. But it would be nice if the major conferences made the same arrangements with teams 1 - 6 in each conference to actually see who was the better conference. Have the conferences own the bowls and drive all the politics out of the bowls. Rotate conferences so maybe SEC #2 plays Big 10 #2 and SEC #3 plays Pac #3. Have the other games set up like this so we can get good bowls that actually mean something.
1 year, 1 month ago on SEC And Big 12 Agree To New Bowl, But What Else Does It Mean? And For Whom?
Delaney is great for business. So is talk about the 4 team playoff because there is no perfect solution. I made a previous post about smart people being ignorant and the point I was trying to make was that because there are no perfect solutions, anybody can look ignorant because all plans will have huge holes in them. But I am getting resigned to the 4 team playoff but the playoff will be a complete joke if the SEC champ is not in the 4 team playoff at the expense of a undefeated Big East team (plus 3 other undefeated or 1 loss teams). It should be the best 4 teams and not the best 4 records and unfortunately the rankings place too much emphasis on record. Was Cincinnati the 3rd or 4th best team in the country when they got slaughtered by Florida. Another thing. A team that does not win their championship should only be eligible for the playoff if their conference champ is in the playoff. Last year is the perfect example. Alabama (#2) is eligible because LSU (#1) is elibible. But Stanford (#4) would not be and would be replaced by Oregon (#5) as the next seeded team. If we allow conference runner ups to have an advantage over their conference champs, what is the point of having conferences and conference championship games.
Then finally, why not do away with all the other existing bowl tie ins and have the other bowl games equalized to pair up the top 6 conferences in games against each other based on where they place in their conference standings. Mix it up where each conference is playing a game against each of the other conferences. So, you can kind of determine the strength of the conferences. Use that in a BCS formula for next seasons rankings. Not completely fair but it would add more drama to all the other bowl games. May be too tricked up like baseball all star game, but the teams would actually be playing for their conference in the bowl games and may draw more viewers. Like I said, ignorant.
1 year, 1 month ago on Taking A Shot At SEC's Bama, Big Ten's Delany Hits Nebraska, Too (Oh, And We Told Ya The SEC's Schedule Would Be Questioned)
Every league in every sport rewards conference/division champs over others. I guess they are all wrong. You have to protect conference champs. Who is to say that the SEC will not become a BALANCED, powerful conference and have a champ with 2 losses. John, in your second scenario, if you had OU with a 11-1 record, they would have surpassed LSU. Think about a college playoff without the SEC champ. Ludicrous. Unless you have an 8 team playoff or a 4 team playoff with 4 - 16 team conferences, no ideas will work. John, in your first scenario, where is the Pac champ. But if the college powers want to have a 4 team playoff with only 4 champs, only the top 4 champs in the top 6, or the top 4 ranked teams, it will lead to failure and congressional interference because they are all completely unfair with 5 or 6 major conferences. Its amazing that so many smart people can be so ignorant on this issue.
1 year, 1 month ago on Commissioners Concerned With Self-Interests, Not Best Interests Of College Football With New Playoff Proposal
I will say it every time that this type of article is posted. Only way a 4 team playoff works is if you have 4 16 team conferences and have the 4 champs play. A 4 team playoff will not be signed off on by all parties because none of the major conferences wants to be left out of the party. Right now, the SEC is about the only conference guaranteed to be in a 4 team tourney, especially if it is a top 4 team playoff. The only fair playoff would be an 8 team playoff with the 5 guaranteed spots for conference champs (SEC, PAC, B1G, ACC and winner of Big 12/Big East playoff since they dont have conference championship game) and 3 at large spots. Obstacles are many - got to play 12 regular season games to generate revenue, cant play on finals week, cant go heads up with the NFL, have to protect the bowls, cant have too much travel for too many folks, dont want to play into Spring Semester.
Two options for 8 team playoff would be to start season a week before Labor Day, then play conference championship games on Thanksgiving weekend. Play first round of playoff games the next week. These games played at the highest 4 seeded conference championship home fields (cant reward an at large team that does not play in a championship game the previous week by playing a home game). Teams that win those games advance. The 4 teams that lose are eligible for a bowl game on New Years Day. Then you have 4 teams left to play on New Years or around then at a common site in a final 4 setting. Then have a championship game either on the Saturday before the NFL Conference Championships or the Saturday the week before the Super Bowl at a final destination.
Other option would be to play the season as it is. Play the 4 first round games in 4 "Major" Bowls on New Years. Then play the second round at a final 4 site the Saturday before the NFL Conference Championship games and the final game on the Saturday a week before the Super Bowl.
Right now the so called BCS bowls are meaningless except for the championship game. As the years go on, the networks are not going to pay for glorified exhibition games. Having major conference champs involved keeps all the major conferences involved and interest at a peak while at the same time rewarding a power conference with 2 really strong teams. No one really knows who is deserving or not. It is really based on opinion. Who says Alabama was better than Ok St last year. Not everybody thought that and a case could be made for Ok St. Alabama proved on the field that they were deserving, but what would have happened if Michigan had gotten the same chance against Ohio St instead of Florida.
Would there be undeserving teams from conference championships. Maybe, but at least they can say they won the right on the field and not on the computer or ballot.
The notion that too many games would be played is flawed. Every level of football has a ton of games for the champions. Go to the lower levels of the NCAA. Go to High Schools. They play every week from Labor Day to Christmas playing 16 games.
Travel is a problem, necessitating home games and/or two games at one site. That will guarantee the gate at the first two rounds. Final game will sell out regardless. Playing the weeks of Finals is a problem that cannot be crossed. NCAA makes so many decisions at the expense of the so called students but I could never see them playing these games the week of Finals.
Bowl cartel is a problem. But if the networks can guarantee the schools more money than the bowls pay out then they have to look. But bottom line is that nothing will likely be done until the current system completely crashes and burns via empty stadiums and reduced viewership.
1 year, 2 months ago on 10 Reasons Why 4 Is Better Than 8 When It Comes To A Football Playoff
There are only 2 options. If the committee is adamant that it can only be 4 teams, then create 4 - 16 team conferences and have the champions square off. Otherwise, have an 8 team tournament with 5 major conference champs and 3 wild cards. Under all other proposed plans there are serious flaws, most notably if 5 or more teams go undefeated. Not likely, but possible. All the people who are against a champions only tournament to protect a second SEC team would be up in arms if a SEC champion had 2 losses and no SEC team was included in a highest 4 seeded tournament. We have got to protect the champions in the major conferences to legitimize the regular season and to encourage quality non conference games. The thought that if a team lost a game that attendance would tank is flawed. The only time a team that lost a game and not still be alive for a conference title would be so late in the season that attendance would not significantly "plummet". No different than today. There is still the possibiltiy of a really good bowl game just like today. Unfortunately, there are too many problems for any kind of real playoff setup - need for schools to pad their budgets with weak non conference games mandating 12 regular season games, not playing games during finals week, not competing directly with the NFL playoffs, desire not to play games in the Spring Semester, need to protect bowl cartel, attendance issues at neutral site games 2 or 3 weeks in a row, need to protect major conferences, concern that Congess will get involved if everybody is not placated.
1 year, 2 months ago on Ex-SEC Commish Kramer Warns Against Playoff; We Agree (Sort Of)
What they are proposing is a joke. What if 5 conference champs plus ND are undefeated. Who do you pick. No real difference than what it is now, except you have 2 more teams. Completely unfair and will lead to congress getting involved.
Really only 2 options here. Have an 8 team tournament with 5 conference champions (Pac, Big 12, Big 10, ACC, SEC) and 3 wild card teams, 3 highest rated teams in a BCS style system. Seed the teams and have 3 weeks of games.
Second option is to realign into four 16 team conferences. Then have the 4 conference champs play in a season ending tournament. The only complaint will be the teams left out of 64 teams in the conferences. But that can be overcome with money.
People dont seem to get it. You have to reward the major conference champs to keep the regular season relevant and encourage quality non conference schedules. Right now, the system rewards weak non conference schedules - just look at Oregon and Stanford last year. Oregon got penalized for playing LSU.
Having an 8 team tournament will reward the 5 major conference champs plus the next best 3 teams - as fair as you can make it. If they have to only have 4 teams then the best thing is to go to a football only four team 16 team conference setup.
1 year, 3 months ago on Plus-One System Sounding More And More Like A "Take Down The SEC" System
8 team playoff is the way to go. we have to protect the conference champs in the 5 major leagues. take the winners of the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac 12 then the highest 3 teams in the BCS not among the 5 conference winners. Seed the teams 1 - 8. Seeds 1 - 4 get home field for first game. Next week play the 2 semifinal games at same site in either Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, San Antonio, Indy, ( stadium must be Field Turf). Then play final game at a neutral site.
Advantages of this - protects major conference champions. Under 4 team scenario using BCS, Stanford gets a bid over Pac Champion Oregon, who would have been penalized for playing LSU. By emphasizing conference champions, it will encourage teams to play better games to prepare for conference season. It also will prevent an undefeated team from missing out on the title. While not likely, there is always the possibility of all conference champs and Notre Dame going undefeated. This scenario protects major conferences and if a non major conference champ has a great undefeated season, then they will likely be in the 3 other teams.
Having the semifinal at one site creates a buzz around the semifinals plus helps the crowd by drawing from 4 teams. Has to be played on Field Turf, grass will not stand up for 2 games in one day at that level.
Disadvantage - time to play games. Schools want to protect regular season games and also not play during finals week. Teams that lose round 1 games really dont get a bowl experience for their fans after having a great season, particularly the ones that lose on the road..
But this scenario is the most fair proposal for all parties. Protects the regular season and provides a playoff to determine a legitimate champion. As far as the bowls, play them - just without the 8 playoff teams. The reality is that, under the current format, only the BCS Championship game means anything anyway. The others are just glorified exhibition games. Now that we will be calling the Bowl Games exhibition games, maybe the ticket prices and will be affordable and more people would attend.
1 year, 4 months ago on A College Football Playoff: 4-Teams Or 8-Teams