Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MWC, CBS...Don't know whose feet I should lay this at...

...but wow.  I didn't think the regional thing could be completely botched but you've done it.

(This post may end up sounding kinda rambling.  BYU fans, some of you, not all, don't be pricks about this.  You escaped, move on, be happy.  Every time you pound down the MWC you kinda act like you'd still want to be there.  Embrace your independence and the WCC).

EDIT: Added game No. 12 for ROOT/Altitude.

First, let me say that the eleven twelve games on ROOT Sports and Altitude are the only positive.  And I do realize those nets couldn't clear everything, but that was a solid pick up.

But I don't know who was driving this bus and from the reports of Colorado St. and San Diego St., two different pictures were painted.  CSU indicates it was allowed to go out and find a partner for the games themselves, striking a deal to place their games on KTVD.  San Diego St., from comments their AD made a while back on San Diego radio, indicates that the conference and CBS elected to make the decision to sell SDSU games (and its now clear that UNLV and Fresno St. were included) to Time Warner and from the tone of the conversation, he wasn't thrilled about that decision.  You'll notice that the press release announcing the decision to place SDSU games on Time Warner SportsNet was missing comments from the SDSU athletic dept.  Something tells me that wasn't an omission.  Selling games to an outlet that hasn't, to my knowledge, made a deal with any cable/satellite/telco provider besides the one who owns it is extremely risky.  And New Mexico selling theirs to Comcast...I get it but I don't.

But it sounds like the schools in some ways are waiving the white flag when it comes to being seen out of their local area.  And that out-of-market fan, who might have switched providers to DirecTV because they were the one who seemed to provide up the channel nationally via a sports pack or the regional fan who might have switched because their provider dragged their feet in picking up the mtn., probably feels they've been given the middle finger, except for the ROOT and Altitude games.  And who knows, maybe they'll make the dumb decision to black out games too.

There's conflicting reports about whether video streaming will be available for games.  Some schools are doing them for every game they can.  Others...we don't know yet or some are only providing them on a limited basis.

Sure, you could argue that the demise of the mtn., warts and all, was a bad thing.  The schools lost a regional outlet.  They also happened to lose 25% of their rights fee per Craig Thompson at MWC media day.  And now CBS still owns all those rights and could sell them and recoup money.  The schools?  They're getting "exposure dollars".  Something MWC fans used to point out with disgust at WAC fans....who now make up several of the MWC schools.

Could also argue that more MWC games will be seen nationally compared to prior seasons.  I'll note that you have one more team since '10 (two more teams since last year) and you should see a net increase in national games.

Maybe as a DirecTV sub I'm feeling kinda entitled.  DirecTV's had a pretty good track record with sports.  Only exception was the Versus dustup a few years ago (sorry, not counting the Viacom thing, I said sports). I'd like to see the Pac-12 Networks, but I guess I'm not feeling as angry about that one.  I do have a choice there as I could switch to Time Warner.  I don't have that choice with MW sports.


Jason said...

Weird that you reference BYU fans at the beginning of your blog about a conference which they are not a member of, and then tell those same fans to move on.

But that aside, I'm going to guess you get some gloating BYU fans, but mostly you get BYU fans who are still getting over the frustrations of having to deal with the MWC and the other schools over the years.

This is how twisted the relationship was between BYU and the other schools. BYU helped create an entirely new paradigm for college sports broadcasting, yet fans (and even schools!) went on the record bashing BYU for real or imagined problems with it.

Then, when BYU said that they thought they needed a divorce, the conference did everything in their power to FORCE BYU to stay by accepting two schools into the conference in less than a day...and Thompson admitted that at least one of the schools (Fresno) he had never even visited before inviting them into the conference. It took five years to get Boise admitted, but it took Fresno and Nevada 8 hours?

And, finally, BYU was not the first nor the last school to leave the MWC, yet if you take a poll of MWC school fans and administrators (again, several schools went on the record venting their spleens and anger towards BYU with vows never to play them again), it is BYU that they hate--Utah and TCU have their blessing.

It is/was a sick and twisted relationship that needed to end. I agree with you that BYU fans need to stop trying to get closure and perspective for their side from MWC fans, but that is the nature of failed relationships--most people have a hard time leaving them alone and they keep picking at them.

bigddan11 said...

All BYU asked for was same day rebroadcast rights and broadcast rights to non-conference men's basketball games that Mtn passed on. They got neither. Instead they had to wait for a year to air Mtn games and the only way to catch some basketball games was on the radio. It was all because Comcast came in.

Remember Comcast wasn't part of the original MWC/ CBS Sports Network deal to create the Mtn. The two were going to create a regional sports network that would air all the games but that would be available on local network affiliates as well in case you didn't have the funds to purchase the cable pack with it. They were also going to offer the games via streaming PPV to all fans who didn't have access to Mtn, and they did for 1 year.

Enter Comcast. They came in and offered to air games on Versus as well as help fund Mtn if they did away with the local affiliates. Positive- more national exposure (via Versus). Negative- local fans get shafted. Negative- Comcast wanted to make Mtn solely a regional based group, so they did away with the PPV subscription service, thereby limiting the number of games fans could watch. From day 1 Comcast has been the devils advocate. Comcast drove BYU, Utah, and TCU out of the conference because they wouldn't compromise and go to the original stance Mtn was supposed to be. Mtn wasn't available on time Warner in Ft. Worth. The only way you could watch TCU was with DirecTV. BYUtv and TCU Student Productions provided Mtn with more than 80% of their sports outside of football and basketball. Comcast didn't care that school networks were helping them survive. Instead they took the games for granted.

Now look at the MWC. Teams are forced to find their own distribution deals or rely solely on the conference to find distributors for them. Their fans are being shafted since most of them don't have access to the networks their teams will air on (Time Warner Cable Sports Net). The conference is clearly worse off than they have ever been before, but hey, they have a few more national games. The one positive thing you could say for the WAC is at least their games were offered on ESPN3. MWC fans won't even get that opportunity.

Blame it on BYU, TCU, and Utah if you want, but it all comes down to Comcast trying to run things the way they were never intended to be run. Comcast never compromised on anything and never gave credit to the ones who provided them the content. Craig Thompson was part of it, but most of it was from Comcast themselves. BYU, Utah, and TCU are better off leaving the conference. Boise State and San Diego State are already getting Big East Network affiliate requests from their respective areas for next season. They'll be seen a lot more next year on national TV than they are this year, and their fans won't have to switch to a specific cable or satellite company in order to view them. Comcast brought the demise of Mtn on themselves. The schools who wer efollish enough to side with Comcast instead of looking out for what would be their own self interests are hose suffering now.