NCAA Football Is Now Openly Pro Football

Well, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, matters are at a standstill now perhaps with regards to the following:

  1. The Big Ten has backed off adding more teams now.
  2. The Pac 12 has been under the hot spotlight with questions about its future, but for now no schools are going to leave.

I add one caveat via California. As noted in the previous posts, I see the matter of Stanford and Cal-Berkeley arising again in the offseason simply because Cal-Berkeley has a strong legal case in getting its share via any gains by UCLA plus all the backing of the governor and most of the state politicians, if not also federal, in California.

As a public university if UCLA were compelled by law to allocate a share of its gains derived from joining the Big Ten with Cal-Berkeley, the Big Ten might simply not want that situation arising and it would be more advantageous simply to add Cal-Berkeley and its cross-town and top rival Stanford. Both schools already do have a global and national profile well beyond athletics of course.

I can see the Big10 dropping UCLA but as I said before I don't think there is a heck of a lot of "Value" in either Cal or Stanford or both as a group. Those two schools have luke warm fan bases on good years here is the bottom of the Pac12 for attendance for the end of the last decade 9. Cal 10. Stanford 11. Oregon State 12. Washington State.

Cal got Lawyered up and might get a piece of the pie but I don't see the Big12 shelling out 100 million to those schools just because the Big10 got drug into court. Maybe the Big10 cuts UCLA loose and finds someone else but I can't imagine it being either of those two.

Cal and Stanford in my opinion are about 3 notches above the USFL Alabama Spring football league. No one tunes into watch Cal play even Cal fans don't want to watch Cal play. Could be wrong but I am not seeing it.

1 Like

At Cal they are fair weather fans. Stanford fans on the other hand do turn out around the nation. Notre Dame has played Stanford frequently over the years, and in the prior century it was almost every year for a very long time.

The reality if the Big Ten cuts UCLA loose according to your view, they have to cut another team and with USC there that is NOT happening. UCLA would have to be replaced by another team because the odd number of total teams is absolutely not going to happen voluntarily for the Big Ten or any conference.

Again, given the legal costs and the branding spectacle and a bit of a public relations mess that could be avoided simply with a small expansion, I see the Big Ten adding Cal and Stanford.

Also of note is that the schools added are not merely added, as you continue to state, on the basis of solely the value of football to the TV deals. Certainly that is a principal factor, but that is not the sole deciding factor.

The conference considers the school's profile nationally beyond football and sport, and those factors contribute value as well.

i think it is funny that now that the NCAA is paying football players and allowing athletes to earn money, they can actually be correct when they call them student athletes. sportsbetting3. com show there is now an actual incentive to stay in college and get an education. by exploiting them and making rules that they have to stay/go to college was just making a mockery of the educational system.

2 Likes
1 Like

Oh well this gets even better as the writing is on the wall for the "Premier College Pro Football League" or whatever some 32-team league would be called in the coming years.

The largest ever media deal in the history of college athletics, estimated at $1.2B, has been done. Note please that this deal goes beyond college football including for college basketball, which is big on a regional basis in the Big Ten.

With Disney / ABC / ESPN lined up with the SEC with an extension and exclusive contract with the SEC, all the other major legacy players in live sports have staked their turf for the Big Ten including even lowly NBC Sports (but for their crown jewel Sunday Night Football) now.

Starting in 2024, ESPN will not be airing intraconference Big Ten football games or home basketball games for the first time in 40 years. Given the Big Ten has a quarter of the United States' population in its footprint, that's significant for both the conference and ESPN. Some Big Ten nonconference games that include ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC opponents will still air on ESPN, per those media agreements.

The new deal begins 1 July 2023 and runs for 7 years.

All CBS games will be simulcast on Paramount +.

CBS, which will be in the final year of its SEC deal in 2023, will air seven Big Ten football games in various windows that season before expanding to a full schedule of 14-15 games annually from 2024-29. The Big Ten will have an exclusive 3:30 p.m. window on CBS from 2024 onward and the ability to air as many as two games on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. CBS will also air the Big Ten Championship Game in 2024 and 2028. All CBS games will be live streamed on Paramount+.

CBS has been the highest-rated college football network since 2009.

Otherwise, there is ZERO word about NBC doing the same on their crappy Peacock app for FOOTBALL and as I have pointed out probably too often now, there's a reason for that omission here too! Maybe the rumoured rebranding and relaunch of that crappy app truly is in the works?

Outstanding article and "I told you so!"

The political shakedown has begun. Here's one of a few key excerpts between all the talk of delegated authority and political posturing otherwise.

And as reported in the prior post, the Big Ten deal worth an estimated $1.2B was done within 24 hours of this article.

You bet now that the money is literally on the table that the State of California will be fighting for and will get its share.

Switching conferences is expected to significantly improve UCLA’s athletic department finances while increasing the size of its recruiting base and enhancing its brand in a rapidly shifting college sports landscape. Before a recent court settlement with Under Armour, the Bruins’ athletic department was saddled with a record $102.8-million deficit. UCLA also faced the prospect of cutting Olympic sports teams in the years to come had the school remained in the Pac-12, whose revenue has fallen well behind that of its counterparts in other parts of the country.

With the addition of the Los Angeles television market thanks to the presence of USC and UCLA, the Big Ten is finalizing a media rights deal that could fetch a record $1.5 billion annually. The conference’s media partners are expected to include CBS and NBC in addition to Fox, which has been a longtime carrier of Big Ten games.

UCLA scored another victory late last month when it secured a $67.49 million [settlement with Under Armour ... after having sued the sports apparel giant for breach of contract when Under Armour aborted the remaining years on a record $280-million deal. The school is expected to use the windfall to help pay down its debts.

Cal’s athletic department also is wiggling out of a financial bind. The Golden Bears completed the 2021 fiscal year with a $3.5-million surplus only after reportedly receiving $39 million from outside sources, including a $20.1-million check from the university to help cover expenses. Campus officials are also bailing out their athletic department by covering 55% of the annual $20 million in debt service on the school’s football stadium renovation, [according to the San Jose Mercury News]

Maybe NBC will bid on the CFL US TV contract. The CFL moves it's season into mid May. The network needs summer programming for it's relaunch. It can easily drop the USFL from it's network since they are sub leasing a limited number of games from FOX, a football TV competitor

1 Like

CFL needs to find some people to set up a team or two in the USA or wait for the Rock and his league to fold and get a team or two playing three downs. I really think the only thing holding the CFL back from getting USA TV money is lack of a team on US soil.

3 Likes

Yeah California smells the money - and they want a cut for Cal - even though Cal has not been relevant in football in the last x number of years or so - Pac 12 is dead they need to merge with the MWC and call it a day.

2 Likes

That's why I keep harping on Chicago

2 Likes

I don't see the XFL folding up shop, at least for 3 years. Redbird does not want to be embarrassed, though I could see The Rock quietly selling his stake and just being a glorified PR person, as Mike Ditka was with with old Chicago Rush.

1 Like

Red Bird will decide when to pull the plug, not the Rock. They are already operating in the red and they haven't played a down. RB is behind FOX/USFL. The Rock/Garcia/Red Bird trio are doing the relaunch all wrong, If FOX pulls great ratings, money and attention than the XFL, RB will exit out. Money has no emotions, the bottom line will tell RB to get out of pro sport leagues

3 Likes

How much would I like for NBC to be involved with the CFL for broadcasts on NBC or USA Network or other NBC regular TV platform so long as they keep the CFL off Peacock except for simulcast. Alternatively, perhaps NBC finally is going to rebrand Peacock and relaunch the inferior service.

The problem is that NBC is already committed to Notre Dame Football home games during the day on Saturday and to Big Ten football at night on every college football Saturday starting in 2023.

So if NBC is going to be involved with the CFL, Saturdays are out starting as soon as Labour Day weekend, so we don't know how they could be involved.

2 Likes

This is where college football is heading. Money and TV drive the ship and you can either get on or get left behind. The most interesting aspect of this contract is that this is just the Tier 1 rights. This is not counting the Big Ten Network or any other streaming services beyond NBC/Peacock.
The NBC aspect fascinates me because they are almost making it like a Sunday football day in the US for college. The Notre Dame home games at 3:30 and the Big Ten game after that. It is almost like the NFL here where you have the 1PM games on our CBS or Fox, the 4PM games after on one or both of those stations and then the Sunday night game in NBC.
For CFB on Saturday, it is Fox then CBS then the NBC prime time for the Big Ten.
It has been a crazy 12 months for CFB. It is only going to get crazier.
Go Bombers!
David

1 Like

Totally agree with you - interesting that NBC is now going with the Sunday Night football model except with the Big Ten game every week. Makes sense to me as sports is one of the few shows that viewers will watch without streaming. Also interesting that Peacock is going to show men's hoops and other sports on that platform.

1 Like

Here's another update from Dennis Dodd of CBS, my favourite and in my opinion the best writer on college football including this subject matter.

There's a lot packed into this article including what is one way that not only would the legal situation at hand in California with UCLA be mostly resolved, but also the BigTen would expand a bit more so as to secure mutual interest via Disney / ESPN, which is losing out on all Big Ten conference games starting in 2023 including large media markets in those windows.

I agree with Dodd's implications in that you bet ESPN, despite having the SEC, wants in for more especially given its expansionist history into college football for decades:

CBS Sports reported last month the Big Ten was evaluating California, Oregon, Stanford and Washington as potential future league members. Rightsholders pushed back on the notion as they did not believe those current Pac-12 schools would bring equal value to the league as USC and UCLA did upon being added. CBS Sports subsequently reported interest had cooled on those four schools; however, adding those four schools would create additional inventory for the Big Ten, which could result in ESPN getting a piece of the action.

Here's just a taste of so much more in what easily could have been split into three articles!

Fallout from the Big Ten media rights deal

Futures of Pac-12, Big 12 hang in the balance: Separate from any Big Ten discussion, ESPN now has a chance to become somewhat of a "kingmaker" regarding these leagues. Each conference is eying the other's schools in what could become the next big realignment story. Without a Big Ten deal, ESPN has theoretically freed up money to spend as both conferences are currently in flux.

The Pac-12 is desirable because ESPN would not otherwise have any games in the valuable "fourth window" -- after 10 p.m. ET. The "Pac-12 After Dark" tag has been ridiculed by some, but it would be valuable to ESPN.

Taken to the extreme, it's worth asking: Would ESPN now have an influence over which league survives this round of realignment? There is already word circulating that the Pac-12 -- in the middle of its own media rights negotiations -- might have to agree to a media rights contract that allows Cal, Oregon Stanford and Washington an "out" if approached by another conference.

1 Like

Outstanding article thank you for sharing!

Well for most under an average age of about 55 now by my estimation, and that number a year ago was more like 45 perhaps, the train had left the station already from over-the-air or cable TV to streaming content, beyond merely movies as in Netflix, for most anything but for live sports.

The following has been true for a few years already even before streaming of content to a big screen, not merely mobile devices, became mainstream:

Costs are a creeping concern for all broadcast network owners, especially as they look to feed their streaming ambitions. NBCU’s Peacock, which launched two years ago, is doubling its spending on content to $3 billion this year, ramping up to $5 billion in the coming years. If NBCU were to scale back in primetime, it could save money it has previously put into original shows intended for broadcast air, in keeping with secular declines in the pay-TV bundle and linear ratings.

The article overlooks some key points including especially that streaming at NBC via Peacock is not profitable and in the now seemingly ancient past in media terms, I am not so sure that the conglomerate that was GE that once owned NBC cared deeply about NBC networks to be major profit-makers, if at all, given all their other associated massive business interests and influence.

As an additional example, the following cited by a media veteran was already true circa late 2014 at a time when FS1, newly launched in 2013 by Fox, was already ailing miserably:

“Networks are at an inflection point in terms of costs,” one broadcast veteran said. “Live sports have emerged as the main driver going forward, and their high prices are putting pressure on costs for the rest of the lineup. The question is whether affiliates would like fewer hours of primetime network programming.”

Major conglomerates that owned media had quite the luxury of cost-shifting between major business entities and very creative accounting as well - ditto the other major American broadcast networks in those years that lasted until about the end of the 00s.

The more some things change, the more some things do stay the same even as of course much otherwise changes all the more for good or for the better.

This one flew well under the radar for a few days given otherwise a whole lot more in the news.

On the surface given the new rules, and even under the old rules this sort of promotion had been done often well under the table for decades with free gear for athletes over and beyond whatever the athletic departments were giving out, so there is no issue. But then let's dig deeper now.

Gee, an NFL media partner with business interests in licensing college football players? Hmm, what could go wrong as this line of business expands hmm?

Think preferential media coverage via Amazon during games, scores of product placement during also college games or cross-promotions during NFL games, et cetera.

Aren't we already pitched enough at the game or when watching an NFL game?

We shall see where this goes, for if it goes further I doubt only Amazon as an NFL media partner will be in on this action.

For example I think ESPN has exploited the athletes enough already beyond their pandering of the NCAA student-athlete propaganda of yore, but no doubt Disney and company and others will want more on this front too.

2 Likes