Saturday, May 22, 2010

Updates on rights negotiations

Two sets of TV rights are being negotiated at this time. The ACC is the big one and Conference USA is also up for bid.

Its been reported that the ACC will move all its rights over to ESPN. The average viewer doesn't notice the difference, but Raycom was the men's basketball rightsholder and they sublicensed games to ESPN, FSN, CBS and other entities along with keeping a regional package for itself.

The good news is that the ACC got a lot more cash than most expected, including me. FOX was very interested in the rights and were willing to put games on FOX, F/X and FSN. And Raycom isn't out of the picture as they (and possibly FSN) will continue to broadcast ACC events by sublicensing those events from ESPN.

The ACC is now firmly positioned as the 3rd conference of the Big Six on ESPN. The Big Ten and SEC are nos. 1 & 2 and the ACC should be firmly in 3rd ahead of the Big East. If the ACC earned any more Saturday football games on ESPN/ESPN2, I believe its safe to say that the Big 12 will be looking to either remain with FSN and/or Versus or continue to move towards its own network (with or without the PAC-10) and open up all its broadcasting contracts. The PAC-10's calculated risk of more late night games to take advantage of the SEC as a lead in could push them over to ESPN and into position #4. After that, it depends how viable the Big East will be as a football conference in a couple years.

As for C-USA, no one expects to get a deal that would pay much more than 10% of what the ACC will get. But they may have the ability to continue the existing deals with ESPN and CBS College Sports. That would be a huge win for C-USA as ESPN doesn't have much interest in C-USA sports beyond the eleven football games and 4-6 men's basketball games. CBS College Sports would then retain the inventory.

No comments: