Monday, May 21, 2012

Two minor items from 5/21/12

* CBS made a deal with ESPN to sublicense a combination of ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 men's basketball games over the next four years.  Like the existing deals CBS has with the Big East, Big Ten and SEC, the deals are appearance based instead of a specific number of games.  So a conference game counts as two appearances for a conference, a non-conference game counts as one appearance regardless of if the team is at home or on the road.

The deal is crucial for CBS to continue to have a small presence of Pac-12 basketball and for the network to return to televising the ACC, which did not have any conference games and only a couple neutral site games on the network.

The deal also extends the agreement with ESPN for CBS to televise the MVC championship and for CBS to pick up the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship.  The A-10's television contracts with ESPN, who sublicenses the game to CBS, ends after the 2012-13 athletic year, so the sublicense could only go for as long as the existing TV deals.

* The SEC's television discussions are ongoing with CBS and ESPN.  The new focus is the possibility of an SEC television network.  As the article notes, 2014 is the earliest you could see the network.  It makes complete sense that the SEC may need to wait until regional sublicense agreements end with Fox Sports South and Comcast/Charter Sports South, particularly because those agreements have included a few conference games each year.  Could get a few more conference games if a network could leapfrog past ESPN a few times, plus if the SEC changes some aspects of setting its conference schedule each year (ie. a few less non-conference games late in the year).

I also agree that CBS shouldn't necessarily pay a huge increase in rights fee for their package unless they get a couple more primetime games, even if it means having to coexist with ESPN a few times but retaining top pick(s) each week.

Either way, ESPN will have a hand in the network, much like they would have had a hand in an ACC Network either directly or through Raycom.  It's their content.  In my opinion, it also sets the possible terms for an ACC Network going forward and with three states who have SEC and ACC schools, if the SEC gets a head start, it may be tough for the ACC to crack the cable/satellite systems.  Bears watching over the next few months.

No comments: