Conference Realignment

RamblinRed

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Makes one wonder about Texas and Oklahoma and what the fine print said on their move.

Also, does TV money trump GOR?

Is ESPN basically running college football now? Does the NCAA even exist?

How many colleges have high-minded presidents who will not sacrifice their institutions academic integrity for TV money?

So many questions and unknowns.

That article is certainly going to get SEC lawyers looking carefully at the Texas and OK additions to make sure nothing was mixed. The big difference though is that the B1G was negotiating all new media rights while the SEC just added 2 more programs to its current deal. I also imagine it will slow down any immediate thoughts of future expansion until it is all worked out.

I don't think TV Money trumps GOR, they sort of work hand in hand. GOR basically says the conference owns the media rights for the individual schools. The big impact there for the media groups is how much are they paying for the rights to the media. In my mind, why would ESPN want any ACC school in the SEC. They would effectively be paying more for the same media. Its only if you lose media rights that you currently have to a different media company that you get into issues.

ESPN probably has the largest say in college football right now, but they also are having more revenue issues that could impact things in the future. Which is probably part of the reason why they are not really doing much to win the PAC contract.

As one tweet I think from David Hale last week said, the men who make these decisions don't pay much attention to this as it is not a large part of their job. They are dealing with much more important decisions both financially and reputationally for their organizations.
 

roadkill

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I love how the BIG10 is complaining about late November night games (so 2 possible games really). Add GT and we will make sure to host those night games in November.
"Recently, schools have found out:
  • They are going to have to pay back nearly $40 million to Fox because, according to sources, Warren delivered NBC the Big Ten football title game in 2026 without the full authority to do so. This all has unfolded under the complicated backdrop of the Big Ten conference not actually controlling the rights to the inventory of this latest deal -- the Big Ten Network does, which is majority owned by Fox."
My first thought when I read this was "Now that's almost some ACC-level incompetence right there."
 

RonJohn

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"Recently, schools have found out:
  • They are going to have to pay back nearly $40 million to Fox because, according to sources, Warren delivered NBC the Big Ten football title game in 2026 without the full authority to do so. This all has unfolded under the complicated backdrop of the Big Ten conference not actually controlling the rights to the inventory of this latest deal -- the Big Ten Network does, which is majority owned by Fox."
My first thought when I read this was "Now that's almost some ACC-level incompetence right there."
I am skeptical of the entire story. The schools might be unhappy with some things in the proposed contracts. However, Warren has been with the Bears since January. Even if he did negotiate in secret, without the approval or authority to do so, the conference has had four months to catch up on what was going on. ESPN had reported that the contracts were completed last August. The way the story reads, the contracts are not finalized and the entire conference was simply ignoring contract negotiations for four months.

The report that "Recently, schools have found out:" is rubbish. Even if Warren negotiated in total secrecy last year, he would have had lawyers working with him on all of the contracts. Even if he kept the information secret from the schools and every person who works for the conference, that information would have been accessible to the conference employees and the schools as soon as he left. Either Warren negotiated in complete secrecy, and then the schools totally ignored $1 billion per year of contracts when he left (which I doubt); or; The schools were unhappy with items in the contracts, and are now trying to renegotiate them.

The story doesn't actually say that nobody realized that Fox is the majority owner of the Big10 media rights, but it heavily implies it. I find it impossible to believe that the Big10, Fox, CBS, and NBC were in contract negotiations and there wasn't a single lawyer in the large group of lawyers that they would have in such negotiations that was competent enough to read contracts. EDIT: If the lawyers involved were not competent enough to read existing contracts and understand them, then they are not competent to draft new contracts.

I think it is far more likely that some of the schools want to renege or renegotiate. They are scapegoating Warren publicly in order to try to do so.
 

Oldgoldandwhite

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Some of us currently live in semi-remote areas with limited bandwidth. I came close to cord cutting recently when I had a problem with Spectrum but I have no other option where I live. If I had fiber BW I would likely be cutting as I don't like Spectrum. I am getting a lot of channels I really don't watch. I had to get another level in order to get the ACCN so I am paying a lot for stuff I don't usually watch. I have 4 TV's BTW. Most people I know who cut the cord are trying to save money.
I’m ditching Dish as soon as we get fiber or Starlink.
 

orientalnc

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I am skeptical of the entire story. The schools might be unhappy with some things in the proposed contracts. However, Warren has been with the Bears since January. Even if he did negotiate in secret, without the approval or authority to do so, the conference has had four months to catch up on what was going on. ESPN had reported that the contracts were completed last August. The way the story reads, the contracts are not finalized and the entire conference was simply ignoring contract negotiations for four months.

The report that "Recently, schools have found out:" is rubbish. Even if Warren negotiated in total secrecy last year, he would have had lawyers working with him on all of the contracts. Even if he kept the information secret from the schools and every person who works for the conference, that information would have been accessible to the conference employees and the schools as soon as he left. Either Warren negotiated in complete secrecy, and then the schools totally ignored $1 billion per year of contracts when he left (which I doubt); or; The schools were unhappy with items in the contracts, and are now trying to renegotiate them.

The story doesn't actually say that nobody realized that Fox is the majority owner of the Big10 media rights, but it heavily implies it. I find it impossible to believe that the Big10, Fox, CBS, and NBC were in contract negotiations and there wasn't a single lawyer in the large group of lawyers that they would have in such negotiations that was competent enough to read contracts. EDIT: If the lawyers involved were not competent enough to read existing contracts and understand them, then they are not competent to draft new contracts.

I think it is far more likely that some of the schools want to renege or renegotiate. They are scapegoating Warren publicly in order to try to do so.
I have learned to respect your posts for the accuracy you seem devoted to. But, I am not as certain about this as you are. The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between Fox Sports and the Big Ten, with Fox Corporation as 61% stakeholder and operating partner, and the Big Ten Conference owning a 39% stake. That being the case, Fox, as the operation partner, would not necessarily have Big Ten lawyers involved in contract negotiations. Big Ten Network holds national broadcast rights to all of the conference's home football games and televises approximately 35-40 football games each season. I am confident that the "fine print" gives Fox some control over things that might not be obvious to people unfamiliar with sports program production or sports contract law.
 

cpf2001

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It will come gradually, then suddenly.

My kids weren’t (and aren’t) very interested in anything other than the sports they were playing. All day Switch tournaments get their attention, though. Even XBox is in trouble. There’s a generational shift coming.

You can already see the effects on mainstream TV. The shows get cheaper and cheaper. Also, CBS demographics skew OLD and some others do, too. When their audience gets too old to watch, or starts dying to the point that they lose advertising, it’ll be like a run on the bank.

I know someone at a company in the e-gaming space and it’s funny how much it mirrors traditional sports as an industry. Apparently they’re still in the “can’t figure out how to make big money off of it because people are used to watching it for free” stage.

There will doubtless be a lot of nostalgia for the state of that now vs some “bland, corporate, money-ruined” future version in a few decades. :)
 

roadkill

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I am skeptical of the entire story. The schools might be unhappy with some things in the proposed contracts. However, Warren has been with the Bears since January. Even if he did negotiate in secret, without the approval or authority to do so, the conference has had four months to catch up on what was going on. ESPN had reported that the contracts were completed last August. The way the story reads, the contracts are not finalized and the entire conference was simply ignoring contract negotiations for four months.

The report that "Recently, schools have found out:" is rubbish. Even if Warren negotiated in total secrecy last year, he would have had lawyers working with him on all of the contracts. Even if he kept the information secret from the schools and every person who works for the conference, that information would have been accessible to the conference employees and the schools as soon as he left. Either Warren negotiated in complete secrecy, and then the schools totally ignored $1 billion per year of contracts when he left (which I doubt); or; The schools were unhappy with items in the contracts, and are now trying to renegotiate them.

The story doesn't actually say that nobody realized that Fox is the majority owner of the Big10 media rights, but it heavily implies it. I find it impossible to believe that the Big10, Fox, CBS, and NBC were in contract negotiations and there wasn't a single lawyer in the large group of lawyers that they would have in such negotiations that was competent enough to read contracts. EDIT: If the lawyers involved were not competent enough to read existing contracts and understand them, then they are not competent to draft new contracts.

I think it is far more likely that some of the schools want to renege or renegotiate. They are scapegoating Warren publicly in order to try to do so.
I mean, it's unfathomable that the news media would exaggerate and dramatize information, right? ;)

You make valid points about the veracity of the story. However, if it's true that the individual schools (and their attorneys) only recently obtained the "long form" of the contract with the fine print, I can imagine that some of the details are just now surfacing. The current commish has only been on the job for a few days, and there was apparently a 4-month gap in leadership since Warren left. I can also see how, with multiple contracts involving multiple entities, some things were not initially crystal clear to all parties.
The business about paying back Fox for lost 2020 revenue (due to covid game restrictions) doesn't ring true, since most contracts have a force majeure clause that would mitigate this. This is speculation on my part since I haven't read the actual contract.
 

RonJohn

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I have learned to respect your posts for the accuracy you seem devoted to. But, I am not as certain about this as you are. The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between Fox Sports and the Big Ten, with Fox Corporation as 61% stakeholder and operating partner, and the Big Ten Conference owning a 39% stake. That being the case, Fox, as the operation partner, would not necessarily have Big Ten lawyers involved in contract negotiations. Big Ten Network holds national broadcast rights to all of the conference's home football games and televises approximately 35-40 football games each season. I am confident that the "fine print" gives Fox some control over things that might not be obvious to people unfamiliar with sports program production or sports contract law.
Well, did Fox negotiate without Big 10 lawyers and upset things in the conference, or did Warren on behalf of the Big 10 negotiate without Fox and upset them by giving away the championship game to NBC? Or did Warren negotiate part of the contracts by himself, and Fox other parts with no coordination?

I think there is probably some truth to items in the story. It was reported last August that they had contracts. If they are still not finalized, then that reporting wasn't true. It could be that the numbers that were presented last year were not accurate. The $70million sounds like a lot, but it is only 1% of $7billion worth of contracts. Was that deduction included in the numbers presented last year, or are the contracts actually only worth $6.93billion?

It actually seems to me more like they are still finalizing the contracts. There are touchy points in contract negotiations that sometimes get people irked. If it had not been reported that the Big 10 contracts were set last year, and if the current reporting said that the Big10 schools, Fox, NBC, and CBS were in the final negotiations for approximately $7 billion worth of television rights, this wouldn't be a story that anyone would notice. Other than the sensationalism, that is not really different than the reporting about this.
 

roadkill

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Well, did Fox negotiate without Big 10 lawyers and upset things in the conference, or did Warren on behalf of the Big 10 negotiate without Fox and upset them by giving away the championship game to NBC? Or did Warren negotiate part of the contracts by himself, and Fox other parts with no coordination?

I think there is probably some truth to items in the story. It was reported last August that they had contracts. If they are still not finalized, then that reporting wasn't true. It could be that the numbers that were presented last year were not accurate. The $70million sounds like a lot, but it is only 1% of $7billion worth of contracts. Was that deduction included in the numbers presented last year, or are the contracts actually only worth $6.93billion?

It actually seems to me more like they are still finalizing the contracts. There are touchy points in contract negotiations that sometimes get people irked. If it had not been reported that the Big 10 contracts were set last year, and if the current reporting said that the Big10 schools, Fox, NBC, and CBS were in the final negotiations for approximately $7 billion worth of television rights, this wouldn't be a story that anyone would notice. Other than the sensationalism, that is not really different than the reporting about this.
This would be the simplest explanation for the latest news. The contract(s) reported last August could simply have been the high-level agreements, with the final drafts being submitted as late as this year. It's also possible that they've been in the current draft form for a while but the issues are just now surfacing with the new leadership of the Big 10.
 

RonJohn

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This would be the simplest explanation for the latest news. The contract(s) reported last August could simply have been the high-level agreements, with the final drafts being submitted as late as this year. It's also possible that they've been in the current draft form for a while but the issues are just now surfacing with the new leadership of the Big 10.
I think that is probably the explanation. However, I don't think that the Big 10 would just let the contract negotiation sit waiting for four months to hire a new commissioner. They have to have admin people and law firms that have been working on it the whole time. I have never been involved in a contract negotiation worth $7 billion, but I have in contracts worth multiple millions. If someone had wanted to make a sensationalistic report of what was happening in those negotiations, they could have. Things like the NBC late games and schools that "won't" play late games in November is likely to be resolved with reducing the contract amount slightly, getting assurances that each school is limited to X number of late season late games, or most likely some combination of those two. The "lost" revenue that is being reported is around 1% of the total value of the contracts. I could rephrase the article and say: "The NBC late games are going through a negotiation to ensure quality games for NBC while also ensuring the health of the Big 10 players" and "Some issues between broadcasters are being finalized, which could have a less than 1% impact on the overall contract." That says the same thing, but doesn't sound the same way.
 

GTrob21

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Sorry for the rant, but after reading some of the boards, I just got to say, Don't let the door hit you on the way out FSU. Good Lord, their fan base is delusional. They act like the entire ACC is just garbage and they alone bring value.

I say...go to the SEC, have fun being the 6th best team, with your 8-5 record and music city bowl invite. Maybe that extra money will bring you solace when you never sniff greatness again.

All I am reading is complaining, complaining, complaining. News flash, Money is not the reason your team hasn't been good in the past decade...

Bobby Bowden knew the truth, that if FSU goes up against the SEC, especially now with Texas, LSU, Alabama, UGA, Florida, and Oklahoma, their pathway to the national championship is greatly diminished.

FSU would become what they already are... an Auburn or Tennessee type of program. A great year, here and there, a period of almost long-forgotten greatness and then long periods of futility and finger-pointing.

I think college football is in bad shape with all the turnover, transfer portal entries and drive for the Super 2 revenue. Sooner or later the casual fan which makes up the majority of revenue, isn't going to spend the money to attend games or care about watching every week. Especially when half the team turns over every year.
 

Richard7125

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The Pac12 is finding out that all football brands are not equal. Looks like ESPN has made a fair offer (ie no other media has offered more) and ESPN isn’t going to negotiate with themselves. Just my opinion, but I don’t think ESPN is going to blink first on this.
 

CEB

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Sorry for the rant, but after reading some of the boards, I just got to say, Don't let the door hit you on the way out FSU. Good Lord, their fan base is delusional. They act like the entire ACC is just garbage and they alone bring value.

I say...go to the SEC, have fun being the 6th best team, with your 8-5 record and music city bowl invite. Maybe that extra money will bring you solace when you never sniff greatness again.

All I am reading is complaining, complaining, complaining. News flash, Money is not the reason your team hasn't been good in the past decade...

Bobby Bowden knew the truth, that if FSU goes up against the SEC, especially now with Texas, LSU, Alabama, UGA, Florida, and Oklahoma, their pathway to the national championship is greatly diminished.

FSU would become what they already are... an Auburn or Tennessee type of program. A great year, here and there, a period of almost long-forgotten greatness and then long periods of futility and finger-pointing.

I think college football is in bad shape with all the turnover, transfer portal entries and drive for the Super 2 revenue. Sooner or later the casual fan which makes up the majority of revenue, isn't going to spend the money to attend games or care about watching every week. Especially when half the team turns over every year.
I get it with regard to the Noles... I myself am teetering somewhere between “bless their hearts” and “good riddance you arrogant delusional so and sos!”

Their boards are an echo chamber and they are ignoring all outside facts to the contrary. I have a couple of friends who send stuff from their board “sources” and I have fun telling them how gullible they are. No matter how it plays out, I’m sure they will be the ones telling me “I told you so...”
 

forensicbuzz

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This is going to go the same way as all the professional sports, music, etc. have gone when people getting paid more (significantly more) happens. The spectators are going to get screwed. The people who were making the big money before aren’t going to give up their big money just because others want their money too. They’re just going to pass the cost of paying others more through to the consumer. When that happens to college football and basketball, I’m out.

Right now, GT season tickets are reasonable for alumni and friends of the programs to buy. When they start becoming unreasonably high, I’ll find something else to do with my time.

When I was in campus the cost to attend The Rolling Stones concert was $28. That ticket would be $400 today. The entertainment value isn’t worth the cost for me. Better things to do with my money.
 

Lil G

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This is going to go the same way as all the professional sports, music, etc. have gone when people getting paid more (significantly more) happens. The spectators are going to get screwed. The people who were making the big money before aren’t going to give up their big money just because others want their money too. They’re just going to pass the cost of paying others more through to the consumer. When that happens to college football and basketball, I’m out.

Right now, GT season tickets are reasonable for alumni and friends of the programs to buy. When they start becoming unreasonably high, I’ll find something else to do with my time.

When I was in campus the cost to attend The Rolling Stones concert was $28. That ticket would be $400 today. The entertainment value isn’t worth the cost for me. Better things to do with my money.
Unfortunately most of my generation (25) sees hundreds of dollars for a two hour show as a sound investment. Idk if it’s just good marketing that got us but people regularly invite me to low-mid tier concerts that cost as much as my terrible car insurance. So I don’t think there will be a lack of demand if this ever were to happen.
Luckily for you Collins has dedicate blood, sweat and years to keeping prices down.
 

Augusta_Jacket

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Luckily for you Collins has dedicate blood, sweat and years to keeping prices down.

Of all the digs at the old regime, this is one of the best.

How You Doin Hello GIF by SVT
 

cpf2001

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Unfortunately most of my generation (25) sees hundreds of dollars for a two hour show as a sound investment. Idk if it’s just good marketing that got us but people regularly invite me to low-mid tier concerts that cost as much as my terrible car insurance. So I don’t think there will be a lack of demand if this ever were to happen.
Luckily for you Collins has dedicate blood, sweat and years to keeping prices down.
I think there’s a lot less generational spread between most popular music genres than there used to be + later starts to families so you’ve gotta compete with all the people in my generation that have jobs and also free time. We don’t have pensions or reasonably priced property but we can finally afford the concerts, dammit!
 
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