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@DaveinExile Of course you're right. History proves it. Broadcast television networks were once a license to print money. Local television stations were the only options. Broadcast radio stations were worth a lot. SI and Time magazines were dominant. Local newspaper publishers had to build bigger rooms so they could stash all of the money.
None of that is true today. Were those all bubbles? If we go with your definition - and I'm fine with that - then we must conclude that they were. But isn't that the case with just about everything?
The market is unpredictable. Many believed that the internet would put paper mills out of business. Instead, it created a boom culture for paper producers because consumers printed more documents than ever before. Newspapers were supposed to be immune to internet competitors because they had a monopoly on local print coverage. But it didn't exactly work out that way.
Reasonable financial projections are based on assumed and historic revenue growth. That's really all anyone has to go on. Billions are traded on Wall Street every day based on nothing more than that. And, yes, sometimes they go bust.
Delany is making the best possible use of the market that exists today. He innovated with the BTN and created a model that others are now feverishly attempting to copy. He might not be they guy you want at your dinner party, but he seems to know how to do his job.
And when the market shifts, my guess is that he'll either be prepared or dead. If it's the latter, then the B1G had better have a strong successor in place.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Realignment-Followers Hold Their Breath As Blowback Increases Against Maryland’s Move
@Dan Ramsey They won't because they'll lose money. The only way that happens - and it is possible - is if they're forced to do it by either the government or a new competitor. The latter, via digital a la carte over the internet, seems very likely at some point.
@Dan Ramsey Okay. I''m sure the ACC is on fine footing. Coach K clearly had it wrong when he said that the conference is "vulnerable". What would he know?
And you seem to purposely misrepresent my statement about the ACC being a power conference. Maryland has nothing to do with it. But there is a reason that Maryland is moving to the Big Ten regardless of whether or not it has to pay a $52 million exit fee. There is a reason that the ACC set that fee so high. Could it be fear of losing more members? Nah, of course not.
Clearly, Florida State AD Spetman is publicly talking about how nice it would be to get an invite from the SEC because he absolutely loves what he has in the ACC.
Any conference that accommodates Notre Dame's football independence must be strong, right. Look at how it helped the Big East.
LOL! Indeed! Go ACC!
@DanHogan @John at MrSEC Yes, and this is not at all unusual in the corporate takeover world. Non-disclosure agreements are the norm. Boards are often given a 30 minute presentation along with an ultimatum. If you can't handle it, then you have no business being on the Board. Hey, that's life in the Big Ten (pun intended).
The democratic deliberative process isn't designed to prevent leaks. In addition, the Board could have voted no and/or asked for more time - a request that likely and rightly would have been denied by Delany.
It did neither.
@ezgame Obviously, these are my own opinion, nothing more and nothing less. But I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can.
When I talk about power conferences, I'm talking about money. So, too, is just about everyone else, I think. Public perception is nice, but it doesn't fund athletic departments. Maryland is leaving the ACC and joining the Big Ten exactly because its athletic department is desperate for money. The previous administration spent tens of millions on amenities that it Maryland was unable to sell. You should see all of the empty club seats and sky boxes at Byrd Stadium on Saturday afternoons. In the future, they will be filled - by Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State fans.
More to the point, others that might be considering the ACC will do so only if it is obvious that moving is in their best interest from a financial perspective. The BTN and the upcoming SEC Network are going to give those conferences a huge advantage on the ACC with regards to media rights revenue. The Big Ten will soon auction off its tier 1 and tier 2 football and basketball rights. It'll be the last major conference to do so. The B1G is going to be very, very rich. The SEC is going to be very, very rich. The Big 12 and Pac-12 are already reasonably rich. The ACC is going to fall behind unless it can convince ESPN to renegotiate it distribution rights. Why would ESPN do that?
Maryland does not have a natural rival in the ACC, but just try to tell that to Terps fans. Many of them fully believe that Duke and Carolina are their top rivals. They don't seem to understand that the hatred is not reciprocal and that Duke and Carolina fans would rate Maryland among the middle tier of their ACC rivals, or at least somewhere after each other and NC State.
As a Purdue fan, I get this. The Boiler faithful consider Notre Dame their 2nd biggest rival after Indiana. Does Notre Dame feel that way? Of course not. It's much more interested in USC, Stanford, and Navy. Notre Dame has publicly made it clear that it values those rivalries more than its Midwestern rivalries. Does that change anything for Purdue fans? Not at all.
McMillan's ego was definitely bruised. But he wasn't alone. He couldn't have been happy to learn that Under Armour founder Kevin Plank was consulted from Day 1 while he was kept in the dark. McMillan doesn't think he's smearing the university; he's smearing the President Loh. If the latter walks away from this with his job, then he will have really accomplished something.
It makes perfect sense that the Maryland move would be controversial internally. This isn't a former SWC expat looking to trade up or to get away from the outsize influence of the University of Texas. It isn't a late 1970s Eastern Independent that has switched leagues on multiple occasions after the Supreme Court Oklahoma/NCAA decision. Maryland a founding member of a power conference. A move of this magnitude is unprecedented. More importantly, the ACC needs to win the lawsuit - or at least make it very expensive for Maryland to leave - if it is to remain a power conference.
Maryland insiders are accustomed to the traditions of the ACC. Understandably, they like those traditions. They will miss their (almost) annual home basketball games with Duke and North Carolina. They don't yet understand what the Big Ten has to offer because they aren't yet in it. Their feeling is one of loss. Never mind the unprecedented excitement that will visit Byrd Stadium when Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan come to College Park on fall Saturday afternoons. Maryland insiders are not thinking about that. As a basketball-oriented school, they also resent that their favorite sport is not nearly as important as football. As a native of basketball-crazy Indiana, I understand.
McMillan is a very smart and accomplished guy. As a Big Ten fan, I would prefer that he stand down. Generally, people tend to challenge process only when they do not like the outcome. If the same lack of documentation had led to Maryland remaining in the ACC and irresponsibly passing up the revenue that the Big Ten had to offer, I doubt that McMillan and others would have said anything. The process would have been every bit as untoward, if not more so, but the Maryland insiders would have liked the outcome. Nothing would have happened.
@Seanbo @JRsec That's a good point, and I certainly won't argue that pro football isn't more popular than college football in the north.
On a slightly different but related note, I find the differences from pro market to pro market very interesting. Of course schools like Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina are the most popular sports properties in their respective states. But that's true of big college teams in all small and sparsely populated states that lack professional teams - Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc. It's not a phenomenon that is exclusive to the SEC.
But why is it that George, Florida and Ohio State are all more popular than the professional sports teams in their home states? I suppose the reasons are different from state to state. The Bengals and Browns have combined to win zero Super Bowls. The Falcons have a history of mediocrity. The pro teams in Florida share a state that's really three different states in a cultural sense - Jacksonville Southern, Tampa Midwestern, and Miami Northeastern.
Then again, how do we explain the fact that the Saints get better TV ratings in Louisiana than LSU? The Cowboys are by far the most popular team in Texas. For that matter, they're also the most popular sports team in Arkansas.
Why are these states so different? I really have no idea.
9 months ago on FSU A.D. Spetman Talks Openly About Switching Conferences… And The SEC
@BobbyandBear @LifeLongGarnetGold @JRsec @AllTideUp Thanks for the info. That is indeed a less than inspiring schedule. Okay, so maybe a move to the B1G would make more sense than I thought for FSU!
All good answers. There is no doubt that FSU could bring REALLY big money to the Big Ten. But it's almost impossible to overstate the importance that Big Ten presidents place on associating with "peer" institutions. Fair or not, they probably do not view FSU in that way. Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech, yes.
Notre Dame is the biggest national and international brand in college sports. It also is an elite academic institution, although it will never be AAU due to its religious affiliation. It happens to be in Indiana, but the Big Ten's interest has nothing to do with my beloved him state, much as I would like to believe that it does.
I'm not as convinced as some that the Big Ten would be so good for FSU. The Noles are better off sticking with whatever southern teams they can keep together. They might even be better off in a weakened ACC. I could be wrong, of course. The Big Ten dollars are indeed attractive.
@HanselGretel In the broadcast model, yes. In the conference cable network model, no. The cable money is in monthly subscriber fees. SEC broadcast ratings on CBS and tier 2 ratings on ESPN are not going to increase significantly if Florida State and Clemson are added. The reason is that every time those schools appear on CBS or ESPN, they would be replacing LSU, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, or South Carolina, which would get crammed back down to tier 3 and be on the SEC Network. The per-school payout would actually decrease because no additional cable subs would be added. Even if FSU and Clemson were as popular as the NFL, it would still be impossible to make up the shortfall.
Unfortunately, the best way for Florida State and Clemson to make themselves appealing to the SEC would be to move the campuses to the states of North Carolina and Virginia. Barring that, the economics just don't work.
@Seanbo Why? I'm not trying to be a wise guy here - I really want to know why it's important to stop the Big Ten at Virginia.
Also, I tend to think that if it takes getting Duke to get UNC, then the SEC is not going to get UNC. If, on the other hand, it requires taking NC State, then I think the SEC has more than a puncher's chance.
@Seanbo That's true and that's a lot of money to leave on the table. There are two relevant questions: 1) is the Big Ten willing to take a school that is not, has never been, and likely never will be an AAU member? 2) Does Florida State want to be in the Big Ten. I think the answer to both is maybe. The first question depends on who is making the decision. If it's the academicians, then FSU is not going to get a Big Ten invite. If the ADs and Delany can convince them otherwise, then it might be possible. The second question depends on FSU's other options. Would it rather be in the Big Ten than the current ACC, a watered down ACC, or the Big 12? I can't begin to predict the answer.
@JRsec @HanselGretel @DanHogan I don't know how much ESPN cares about stabilizing the ACC. I don't think it's willing to sacrifice much of its rate of return. Better to just cut bait, continue to televise profitable content, and be content with that.
@LifeLongGarnetGold @JRsec @AllTideUp I agree. Other than Virginia Tech, Clemson and Miami, the ACC puts a lid on interest at FSU home games. Are there any numbers available with regards to home attendance for Florida State's games with Florida, Miami, Clemson and Miami? That's more akin to what it would be like as a member of the SEC. The Big Ten wouldn't be as good, but it would probably be better than the ACC.
@HanselGretel @DanHogan It is a massive failure, but it was a reasonably worthy project from ESPN's perspective. You don't grow revenue unless you're willing to take risks. ESPN took a risk with the Longhorn Network, and it got burned. But it's paying out, what, $10 million per year to UT? That isn't much money when you're raking in $7 billion annually in subscriber fees. I'm sure ESPN lost more than $10 million per year on ESPN Mobile, another risky venture that didn't work out. To ESPN's credit, it's had a lot more hits than misses.
Barring a miraculous turnaround, ESPN will simply pull the plug when the current contract expires. Or it might be willing to buy out the rest of the contract and end the experiment right away. Of course that would require an agreement with UT. Perhaps Dodds would be willing to negotiate, given that ESPN soon will likely write it off and quit trying to sell it to cable carriers.
@DanHogan I think you're right. The failure, at least to this point, of the Longhorn Network would seem to bode well for the conference network model. I had feared the day when the heavyweights - Ohio State, Florida, etc. - threaten to drop out of their conference media cartels and sell their digital rights independently. What would the Big Ten and the SEC do at that point? Kick them out? I doubt it. Instead, the other conference members would likely acquiesce, just as the members of the Big 12 have done for Texas.
That's why the thud of of the Longhorn Network is so promising. If the biggest, baddest school on the block continues to demonstrate that it can't make it work, then others will certainly be less tempted to go that route.
@JRsec @AllTideUp Exactly. The fact that Butler - Butler! - was able to reach two consecutive national championship games underscores the difference in basketball and football economics. In addition to low overhead, it also seems as if there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to basketball investment. Butler is a school that I know well because I grew up a few miles from campus. It's a quaint liberal arts school that finances itself largely through undergraduate tuition. Unlike the Catholic schools, Butler can't even count on getting a few dollars from the Jesuits.
Butler will never approach, say, Louisville when it comes to basketball investment. But it's leading Louisville, 2-0, in championship game appearances in this century. One of the best decisions Butler ever made was eliminating football scholarships and dropping down to the FCS non-scholarship Pioneer League. That decision preceded the basketball program's ascent, and I don't think it's mere coincidence.
@JRsec @AllTideUp I think Virginia Tech would find a way to increase capacity AND fill those new seats if it were to have annual dates with the schools of the SEC East. It's tough to get too fired up for home games with Wake, Duke, and Boston College even for passionate fans of the Hokies.
@JRsec @AllTideUp I agree with this, but I also think there is another possibility for Duke, namely whatever is left of the ACC. Wake Forest isn't going anywhere. Boston College probably has nowhere else to go unless it can finagle a spot in the Big Ten on the back of Notre Dame, a prospect that seems unlikely for many reasons. Syracuse has no other landing spot. Connecticut and Cincinnati would likely join the fold. Georgia Tech, sans a Big Ten invite, might prefer a reconfigured ACC to the Big 12. And then there's the unique case that is Miami. Notre Dame might even be willing to stay in all sports except for football. Interestingly, its two guaranteed home-and-home basketball series in the ACC are with Georgia Tech and Boston College. So it seems that those are the schools that it really wants to play.
It wouldn't be a powerful football conference, but it might have enough remaining juice to keep a spot in the Contract bowls. And it would still be a very strong basketball conference with more than solid academic credentials.
I think we need to keep in mind that football money is important only if you're interested in competing at the highest level of football. The number one basketball team in the nation right now is Gonzaga. It doesn't seem to be hurting due to its lack of football dollars. I'm not at all convinced that Duke is interested in competing at an SEC or even a Big Ten level in football. It has plenty of money from multiple sources. Its preference, obviously, is for the current ACC to stick together. But what would be its second choice? The Big Ten, maybe? I don't think even that is a given. It might just stick with the ACC come hell or high water... or both.
@JRsec @AllTideUp I think the SEC gets whomever it wants without much if any interference from the Big Ten. The exception, of course, is North Carolina. If the SEC wants Virginia, then it might have to fight for that one, too. But I'm not convinced that the Cavs would appeal to the SEC. Duke will be a problem not because of the Big Ten, but rather because the pointy-heads in Durham are not excited about the prospect of joining a conference that, in their opinion, has sold its soul for the sake of King Football - again, their opinion, not mine.
If the SEC wants FSU, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and NC State, then I have no doubt that it could have them in short order. The question, really, is what does the SEC want? What does the Big Ten want? And how do those wants match the desires of the intended acquisitions?