Monday, December 31, 2012

TV ramifications of MWC bringing back Boise St.

Happened to listen to the Mountain West teleconference replay.  Found some interesting items.

* In terms of the reconfigured TV deal between the MWC and CBS, the MWC will be selling packages of games.  CBS will retain a select number of priority picks and retains primary status.  The MWC can then sell two additional packages of games, where in the past CBS could sell those packages.  To me, this kinda feels like how the English Premier League does their TV rights bidding, where a package of games is sold and that package may have a mix of top choice, 2nd choice or 3rd choice.

In short, I don't believe Boise St. home games will be a specific package.  At least that's how it was framed by Craig Thompson on the call.  I think its home games will be spread out over multiple networks.  And Boise St.'s MWC road games could be in those packages too.

EDIT (1/2/13):  Boise St.'s term sheet with the MWC explains quite clearly that BSU's home TV rights will not be part of the MWC deal with CBS unless BSU & the MWC allow for it.  That would also include allowing CBS to sublicense the package of BSU games to another party, which BSU and the MWC would have to approve.

* There is a cherry for playing on national TV of $300K per school, plus an additional bonus of $200K for that game being on a Saturday.  Boise St. made its bones on weeknights on ESPN, but has only played one home weeknight game in the MWC, so in some ways, there's additional incentive to keep Boise St. on Saturday if national TV is an option.   So whatever the MWC collects in TV money from CBS (lets say $12 millions) plus whatever they get from their other packages goes into a pool.  The national TV payouts go first, then the rest gets spread evenly.  If we were to use 2012 as an example:

  • Boise St. & Nevada (playing each other on ABC) and Air Force (vs. Navy on CBS) would get $500K for appearing on a national TV game on a Saturday
  • UNLV (vs. Washington St.), Boise St. (vs. BYU), Hawai'i & Air Force (against each other) would receive $300K
So under just the CBS contract, assuming they paid out $12 million last year (and I'm not sure that's true), $2.7 million off the top would be paid out in appearance money and the remaining $9.3 million would be shared.

Note that the "national TV" designation is just the four broadcast networks, plus ESPN and ESPN2.  No NBC Sports Network, ESPNU, FOX Sports One/FX or the Turner networks if they decide to get into CFB.

* Teams that scheduled 13 games with the intention of playing at Hawai'i, such as Colorado St., may have to consider giving up a game under the possibility that a '13 schedule could have them not playing at Hawai'i.

* Boise St.'s existing non-conference games with dates attached must be honored by the MWC.  So that long term series with BYU, if it had any future dates on it, the MWC must schedule around it.

* Will this accelerate realignment in other areas such as the Big Ten with Rutgers & Maryland, or the ACC with Louisville, or C-USA with FAU & Middle Tennnessee?  Suppose it could.  Depends on the finances needed to break agreements and move on.

* The Big East really lost out on the chance to sell a conference championship game, at least until Navy joins in '15.  They'll have 11 members in '13 & '14, assuming things stay in place, at least for the next 20 seconds or so.  I think I have about four Big East rights fee articles in draft status for various incarnations of the conference that are worthless now.

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