Higher cable payments? Irish on the transfer? End of the Pac-12? How Big Ten, SEC moves may change college football

Andrew Marchand is off this week, so New York Submit media reporter Ryan Glasspiegel is pinch-hitting. Andrew will return to his common spot in the Sports activities+ lineup subsequent Monday.

It’s but to be formally introduced, but it surely’s now extensively anticipated that the Big Ten will exit its 40-year partnership with ABC/ESPN and embark on a brand new rights take care of CBS and NBC, becoming a member of incumbent companion Fox and the Big Ten Community (half-owned by the convention, half by Fox).

It’s simply the newest upheaval in a summer time that has seen some of the sport’s most storied football powerhouses discover new convention properties. There are infinite potentialities as to the place issues go from right here, so let’s check out some of the related subsequent steps and additional questions.

1. The cable invoice goes up once more.

Pat Crakes, former head of programming at Fox Sports activities and now a sports activities media business advisor, defined to The Submit that the financial advantages from the moves of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, and USC and UCLA to the Big Ten will create a larger demand that might be handed on from the conferences to the networks to the distributors — after which to the clients.

The Big Ten and SEC have been already the two strongest college football conferences, and so they obtained stronger with these moves. The 4 faculties they added on this spherical of convention realignment will garner extra engaging matchups in the mixture. USC versus Ohio State or Michigan, for instance, is a a lot greater blockbuster throughout the nation than USC versus anybody else remaining in the Pac-12. This stays true when evaluating the center and backside tiers of the Big Ten versus the Pac-12. You are able to do this identical train with Texas and Oklahoma matchups (Alabama! LSU! Georgia!) in the SEC in comparison with the Big 12.

A TV package deal that often options video games between college football heavyweights equivalent to Ohio State and USC may price viewers extra on their month-to-month cable payments.
Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

The Big Ten and SEC have already organized rights will increase from the networks, who will then go to distributors equivalent to Comcast and DirecTV with merchandise that at the moment are much more important to swaths of the inhabitants. Higher charges for the networks and distributors will undoubtedly end in greater charges for the clients utilizing these networks and distributors.

The pay TV bundle has already been stored collectively largely by dwell sports activities and information. This convention realignment solely fortifies the want for large sports activities followers to have the bundle. The existence of these new video games, on the margins, elements into folks’s choices as as to if to remain subscribed to cable or satellite tv for pc (or an OTT channel bundle like YouTube TV or Sling).

There’s additionally worth unlocked for advert gross sales, as a result of matchups with greater viewership might be created in these moves.

2. Big Ten Community ought to vastly enhance its footprint.

The Los Angeles area is fertile floor for the Big Ten. This was already considerably the case, with many hundreds of Big Ten alumni dwelling in the space, and that could possibly be exponentially true with USC and UCLA now on board.

“You can make a reasonable case that Big Ten Network should be on basic cable or basic expanded in Southern California,” Crakes mentioned.

There also needs to be some modest good points in Northern California, Arizona and Nevada.

This might’ve been a much bigger deal a decade in the past. The pay TV footprint in America has dropped about 25 p.c, from round 100 million viewers to around 75 million today.

November 20: Kazmeir Allen #19 of the UCLA Bruins catches a pass and runs for s touchdown past Isaac Taylor-Stuart #6 of the USC Trojans in the first half of a NCAA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
The Big Ten’s viewership on the West Coast is certain to extend when UCLA and USC be a part of the convention in 2024.
MediaNews Group through Getty Photographs

As of March, BTN reportedly had 50 million subscribers at 59 cents a month. This implies in affiliate charges alone, BTN was producing $354 million per yr — earlier than USC and UCLA have been added to the combine.

3. Notre Dame is the belle of the ball.

Almost about the Big 12 and Pac-12, any college that the Big Ten or SEC actually wished, they’d have by now. Possibly these two conferences can justify additional growth in a pair years after their price will increase have been digested, however each possible would make an exception for Notre Dame.

“It’s good to be Notre Dame. Everybody wants them,” Sports activities Enterprise Journal’s John Ourand said last month on the “Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast.”

“The Big Ten wants them. The ACC wants them. They could also decide to stay independent. There are a lot of questions right now. Under Notre Dame’s current contract, if they’re going to a conference in football, it has to be the ACC right now, because they’re under a grant of rights that goes through 2036. But, whatever happens, it’s gonna work out in Notre Dame’s favor. The Big Ten is still a possibility. They could [potentially] buy themselves out of the grant of rights.”

A Notre Dame Fighting Irish cheerleader runs onto the field with a Notre Dame Fighting Irish flag after a touchdown play during a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on November 20, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN.
Although Notre Dame is contractually tied to the ACC till 2036, that possible wouldn’t cease the Big Ten or SEC from doing no matter they may to welcome them into their conferences.
Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

One might envision the SEC coveting Notre Dame, too.

How lengthy Notre Dame will take to determine its future — Big Ten, SEC, ACC or remaining impartial — is anybody’s guess, however they’re far and away the greatest domino proper now.

4. What occurs with the Big 12 and Pac-12 now?

The Pac-12’s take care of Fox and ESPN is up after the 2023 season and the Big 12’s contract with the two networks runs by way of 2024.

Crakes thinks their finest course of motion can be to merge.

“They’re stronger together than they are apart,” he mentioned. “Together, maybe they’re not as strong as the Big Ten and the ACC, but they’re as strong as the ACC.”

On the sports activities media podcast earlier this week, The Submit’s Andrew Marchand mentioned the impending defections left Arizona and Arizona State as the key drivers in what occurs with what’s left of the two conferences.

“I look to Arizona and Arizona State as the kingpins right now,” Marchand said. “Do they go to the Big 12 or do they keep in the Pac-12? I feel that can shift issues, as a result of one factor that we’ve talked about is the concept that we’re gonna create the NFL of two leagues — like the Big Ten is the NFC and the SEC is the AFC — it doesn’t actually work.

A general view of the PAC-12 logo at midfield before the PAC-12 Football Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 03, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The tip of the Pac-12’s take care of Fox and ESPN at the finish of the 2023 season may properly power the convention so as to add extra groups, or maybe even merge with one other convention.
Getty Photographs

“We have Oregon, for example, does the Big Ten really want them? It’s not like these networks are gonna pay more money for Oregon, so you’re just splitting the pie more. Maybe you can get an escalator, but they don’t bring in the full share of more money. The one team that does that is Notre Dame.”

5. What does the ACC appear like going ahead?

There was rather more chatter about the futures of the Big 12 and Pac-12 as a result of the ACC has the aforementioned grant of rights. Outkick founder Clay Travis, nevertheless, posited that that is on shakier floor than is usually realized.

“Yes, the ACC is protected by a grant of rights agreement that extends into the 2030s — a grant of rights agreement theoretically restricts a school from selling television rights to its sporting events to others and thereby undercuts the primary financial rationale for changing conferences, TV money — but if a majority of the ACC schools vote to end the grant of rights, then, in theory, the ACC’s grant of rights disappears. So all those rumored tens of millions of dollars keeping the ACC from splitting up? It’s dangling over a precarious foundation, as soon as seven or eight schools have better options the ACC as we know it vanishes,” Travis wrote in July.

There are innumerable permutations of which faculties the Big Ten and SEC would go after, and whether or not ESPN would abide by the SEC ravaging the ACC when it holds all the rights to each conferences — and their convention networks. (To that finish, whereas hypothesis has swirled that the SEC on CBS might go away for ESPN a yr sooner than when its present deal is about to run out after the 2023 season, it sounds at the least for the time being like the SEC will stick with CBS till the finish of its deal.)

Clemson defensive end Xavier Thomas (3) and Albert Huggins sack Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Clemson defeated Florida State 59-10.
The ACC’s grant of rights will preserve the likes of Clemson and Florida State in the ACC for years, except the faculties in the convention vote to get rid of the settlement or purchase their method out of it.

Nonetheless, there are loads of faculties that might be in play to leap to the Big Ten or SEC — Virginia, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson and Miami — on this state of affairs.

At this level, the disbandment of the ACC stays a hypothetical, but when it have been to occur, it will be rather more seismic than something that would develop with the Big 12 and Pac-12.

6. Fewer Cinderellas in the NCAA Event?

We’ve been largely discussing football right here. Nonetheless, one different noteworthy factor Crakes floated was the chance of the SEC pushing to remove computerized convention bids from the NCAA Event.

This doesn’t imply that no Cinderellas like Saint Peter’s can be allowed into the dance — however there’d be quite a bit much less of them.

“We love the Cinderellas, but there’s so much value for the biggest conferences to extract by eliminating automatic bids,” he mentioned.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has already spoken about eliminating computerized convention bids in the expected-to-expand College Football Playoff, so it will hardly be astonishing if he feels on an identical wavelength in basketball.

A brand new storyline emerges for WWE

Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H attend the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After Vince McMahon’s retirement, Stephanie McMahon and her husband, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, have assumed management of the enterprise and inventive choices for WWE.
Zuffa LLC

WWE TV rights are arising comparatively quickly, so it’s an fascinating time to have a look at the lay of the land.

Vince McMahon stays the majority shareholder, even after stepping down as CEO and chairman of the firm that he micromanaged for 40 years. The transfer, of course, got here after it was revealed he paid about $12 million in hush cash to a number of ladies who labored at WWE and with whom he had sexual relations, together with one former wrestler.

McMahon’s daughter Stephanie grew to become co-CEO alongside Nick Khan, who joined the firm as president in 2020 after being an agent for a lot of of the business’s high sports activities media abilities and negotiating dwell rights (together with WWE’s) at CAA.

Paul “Triple H” Levesque — the WWE Corridor of Famer who’s married to Stephanie — took over the inventive, and has gotten high marks from Post wrestling columnist Joseph Staszewski.

Regardless of the new look atop the company org chart, it will be astonishing to longtime business observers if Vince McMahon stepped completely out of the image. Nonetheless, WWE has undergone a large sea change in who’s the day-to-day level particular person on all the tentacles of the firm, from the storytelling to the enterprise, and that is seismic in and of itself.

The brand new management group might be examined rapidly because it negotiates TV rights which can be up in the fall of 2024. At the moment, WWE Uncooked airs on NBCUniversal’s USA Community, and Smackdown airs on Fox. The final deal for the two weekly applications was for a complete of $468 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, a rise from $130 million per yr in the earlier contract.

In 2022, Uncooked is averaging 1.78 million viewers, typically performing as the No. 1 scripted present on cable, whereas Smackdown averages 2.13 million viewers this yr. Each have a stable .5 ranking in the 18-49 demographic, and it’s not unusual for Smackdown to complete high in the demo in its time slot.

Natalya in action with Lacey Evans
WWE Uncooked is the No. 1-rated scripted present on cable and usually will get extra viewers for its weekday broadcasts than the NBA.

For comparability, the NBA on ESPN, ABC and TNT averaged 1.6 million viewers for its common season in 2021-22. The NBA does markedly higher in the postseason, however most individuals won’t reflexively know that WWE usually outperforms the common season week in and week out.

On the firm’s most up-to-date earnings name, in May, Khan expressed a perception that WWE can have extra bidders on this rights cycle — citing Netflix, Apple and Amazon by identify as probably concerned gamers.

“The recent Netflix business shifts … signaled to us a number of things,” Khan mentioned on the name. “First, Netflix is willing to make adjustments and reverse positions when it identifies an issue. A few years ago, Netflix put out on social that it was OK with password sharing amongst users. Obviously, that has changed. As recently as 2021, Netflix’s most senior executives said there would not be an ad product on Netflix. … Sports tends to be live and packed with advertising. So, there’s not a lot of synergies in that way. [But] … it’s just a matter of time before Netflix goes with live. Nothing commands a higher CPM than live and nothing offers the leverage to command broader buys.”

With Amazon, Khan talked about their funding in the NFL as an indication that they’re critical about entering into the premium dwell rights enterprise. With Apple, he introduced up their MLB dwell rights in addition to the reviews that they’re thought of the frontrunners to land the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package deal that has for many years been half of DirecTV. He additionally talked about Disney’s investments in dwell sports activities streaming on Disney+ and ESPN+. Earlier this yr, WWE did its first ever rights take care of Disney, to stream its content material in Indonesia.

In America, WWE has confirmed profitable at changing its viewers into streaming clients. As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, WWE PPVs have been a significant driver to NBC’s Peacock.

Roman Reigns celebrates after defeating Bill Goldberg during the 2022 WWE Elimination Chamber at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on February 19, 2022.
Lengthy a staple of cable TV networks, the WWE believes it can obtain curiosity from a number of streaming providers for its subsequent rights deal.
AFP through Getty Photographs

One different fascinating factor of WWE’s rights is that the promotion has additionally wound up comprising a big quantity of A&E programming. Right here, WWE has leveraged its library that includes its personal content material in addition to archival footage from WCW, ECW and different promotions, to provide documentaries in the “Legends” and “Rivals” sequence.

Between July 1 and August 7, WWE accounted for 14 p.c of A&E’s complete content material hours; “Legends” was their high ranked present in the 18-49 demo and “Rivals” ranked third.

So far as the Uncooked and Smackdown rights, it may be too quickly to declare a favourite for the place they land, however early indications are that NBC and Fox should fork over vital will increase to retain them.

The opposite query being contemplated in business circles is whether or not it is smart for a content-starved programmer — i.e. all the entities we’ve already named — to purchase WWE outright quite than pay for a slice of their rights pie together with its rivals.

At Friday’s market closing time, WWE had a market cap (complete worth) of $5.4 billion. Whereas an organization must pay a premium to this value to induce McMahon, Khan and the shareholders to promote, it’s a state of affairs value contemplating.

NASCAR again in gear

Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 Sirius XM Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 07, 2022 in Brooklyn, Michigan.
NASCAR has seen a TV viewers of 3.4 million per race on common this season.
Getty Photographs

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about the development of Method One on the heels of the Netflix “Drive to Survive” sequence. Maybe a bit of extra below the radar, NASCAR can also be having a pleasant viewership season.

Since the marketing campaign started with the ​​Busch Mild Conflict in February, NASCAR on FOX, NBC and USA Community, NASCAR has averaged 3.41 million viewers per race, up 8 p.c from final yr.

As we discussed in a previous newsletter, quite a bit of sports activities that have been on NBCSN, which shuttered at the finish of final yr, migrated to USA Community. NASCAR is one of these, and people particular races are averaging 2.46 million viewers, up 7 p.c from final yr.

“We have really special partnerships with both FOX & NBC and we’re proud of our collective efforts to innovate in recent years to grow fan interest in NASCAR,” NASCAR Senior Vice President, Media and Productions Brian Herbst instructed The Submit in an electronic mail. “The positive viewership results that we’re seeing are a result of this collaboration with FOX & NBC, as well as the bold changes we’ve made to the schedule and the debut of the Next Gen car. There is palpable excitement and buzz around the sport as we get ready to kick off our Playoffs next month — the positive trends that we’re seeing on both the viewership and attendance side provide more evidence that overall interest in NASCAR continues to rise.”

In June Fox Sports activities EVP Michael Mulvihill tweeted the following metrics about the pie chart of motorsports viewership consumption this yr:

• NASCAR — 80%
• F1 — 10%
• Indy Automobile — 7%
• NHRA — 4%

NASCAR just lately introduced that it’s investing in a new $28.5 million production facility in North Carolina.

Like WWE, NASCAR has its rights arising comparatively quickly. They’re presently in the eighth yr of a 10-year pact with Fox and NBC that reportedly averages a total of $820 million a year.

A Q&A with ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan

Jeff Passan has re-signed with ESPN for a substantial raise.
Jeff Passan has been with ESPN since leaving Yahoo a bit of greater than three years in the past.
Courtesy of ESPN

What’s the CliffsNotes model of how you bought from aspiring sportswriter out of college to ESPN MLB Insider?

Jeff Passan: First job out of college was in Fresno, Calif. in 2002. I’d simply graduated from Syracuse, the place I had interned at the Washington Submit and was on the lookout for a job.

The Fresno Bee has been a launching pad for lots of unbelievable jobs in sportswriting. Adrian Wojnarowski. John Canzano. John Department, who received a Pulitzer Prize, was a columnist once I was there. I initially got here in as a common task reporter, ended up going out to the Fresno State basketball beat. I did that for 2 years, after which obtained employed by the Kansas Metropolis Star as the nationwide baseball author.

At 23 years previous, I’d coated 5 baseball video games earlier than. However I knew the sport, I beloved the sport, and I used to be younger, low-cost and single — which is a good mixture for a newspaper that has accomplished a tremendous job at creating expertise.

The employees that I used to be on at the Star — we discuss quite a bit about the Boston Globe again in its heyday being simply so top-to-bottom full of expertise — our columnists have been Joe Posnansnki and Jason Whitlock. Our takeout author was Wright Thompson. Sam Mellinger, who later grew to become a columnist, was a highschool reporter, as was Kevin Kaduk who later ran Yahoo’s sports activities blogs and now runs CHGO Sports activities. Jason King was protecting the College of Kansas. Adam Teicher was on the Chiefs beat. Elizabeth Merrill coated the Chiefs. Bob Dutton, a unbelievable beat reporter, was on the Royals. Blair Kerkhoff. Entrance to backside, completely splendid.

I discovered as a lot as I’ve wherever there.

I went to Yahoo after that in spring of 2006, and spent 13 years there as a baseball columnist. I began determining and prioritizing information there, as a result of I’d all the time seen myself as extra of a function author. I’ve been at ESPN for three-and-a-half years.

I wrote a story on the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport this week, and he talked about how his spouse has given him quite a bit of steerage all through his profession. Has that been the case in your relationship?

JP: I feel I owe the entirety of the place I’m now to my spouse.

We’ve been married for 15 years, and I look again at a seminal second about 10 years in the past the place I used to be not wanting ahead to the winter conferences.

Jeff Passan on ESPN
Passan credit his spouse for encouraging him to turn into extra concerned in breaking information protection.
Jeff Passan/Instagram

Once you’ve been married for 5 years, your partner can inform one thing is improper. She requested, “What’s wrong?”

I mentioned, “These are the 10 days a year where I feel terrible at my job.”

“Why’s that?” she requested.

I mentioned, “Because I don’t really break news.”

“Why is that?” she mentioned.

I didn’t have an incredible reply. I feel the factor I mentioned was, “It’s really hard.”

Her response was, “Well, then stop being a pussy and go do it.”

Boy, that kind of emasculation hits arduous! I listened to her. I targeted on it. I prioritized it. I’m actually glad I did, not simply because it helped me land at ESPN, however I actually consider that being in the every day information grind the method you might be required to be if you’re on this job, opens up so many tales you wouldn’t have gotten by simply not speaking to the folks it forces you to speak with.

Some of the tales I’m most proud of comes as a result of I’m simply attempting to speak to folks and earn their belief, and when one thing necessary occurs they really feel compelled to inform me.

You actually wrote the guide on the pitching arm, “The Arm.” How can MLB get again to a battle of beginning pitchers that was one of the most compelling elements of the sport? Now, pitchers hardly go seven innings, not to mention longer. You don’t get to see them work out of jams late in video games and it makes the sport much less fascinating.

JP: It’s a two-fold course of:

1) In the event you restrict the quantity of pitchers allowed on a group, then the starters are, by necessity, going to must throw extra innings. Get contact earlier in counts. Not go for as many strikeouts. I’ve been instructed by sufficient folks in MLB entrance workplaces that Pandora’s Field is open and you may’t shut it, that perhaps my learn there’s improper, however I feel when you’ve got that restrict on pitchers — there are 13 now, transfer it to 12 with aim of getting it right down to 11 finally — that locations such an emphasis on going deeper into video games that pitchers are going to naturally adapt.

2) As soon as one thing like that occurs, it must filter right down to the developmental stage. Proper now, youth baseball is damaged in any quantity of methods. You see that whenever you take a look at the output of star-level gamers from the United States in comparison with Latin America. The perfect baseball gamers in the world proper now, nearly all of them are from Latin America. Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez. The bulk of the younger superstars come from a system that, although corrupt and problematic in some ways, appears to have found out participant growth at a youthful age, in a greater method.

If the precedence for pitchers modifications at the massive league stage, then the precedence at the youth stage will change with it. This could’t be the tail wagging the canine. It needs to be a top-down mandate.

The query is, do the folks inside MLB have the … fortitude to see one thing like that by way of, when the executives who’re working entrance workplaces proper now determined we don’t need it?

The Nintendo in your individual workplace we regularly see on TV appearances is {that a} console you’ve owned because you have been a younger child, or did you purchase it currently? What’s your favourite sport?

I’ve owned it since 1986. It nonetheless works and it’s one of my prized possessions.

My favourite sport is RBI Baseball. I’ve an image with myself and my son, who’s now 14, when he was 2-3 years previous standing there in entrance of the TV taking part in RBI Baseball, or so he thought.

Right here’s the drawback: I’m aggressive sufficient the place I really would’ve tried to beat a two-year-old, and I unplugged his controller — however he was nonetheless satisfied he was taking part in. And he’s nonetheless offended about that. How do you mislead a two-year-old? What variety of monster are you?

You discuss all the time about your prodigious Eating regimen Mountain Dew consumption. What’s your private file for Eating regimen Mountain Dew drank in sooner or later?

On a traditional information day, the most I’ve had was six 20-ounce bottles.

However once I was grinding on the finish of “The Arm” — I had about 50,000 phrases to go, and 10 days to do it.

I am keen on my household. They’re my total world. However I wanted to get away to complete this guide.

So, I flew to Phoenix. I used to be staying at my dad and mom’ home. In the future, I drank two-and-a-half two-liter bottles of Eating regimen Mountain Dew. Every bottle is 67 ounces, in order that’s a complete of 167.5 ounces, which is 8.4 20-oz.bottles — or about 14 cans.

I wrote for 18-19 hours and obtained 9,000 phrases accomplished that day.

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