Early negotiation of new TV deal might be occurring

(Cary) #1

Over on the AAC board (https://csnbbs.com/thread-854735.html), it appears a couple of things have happened.

  • The Memphis AD, a chair on the committee looking at athletics tv contracts for the conference, has incessantly talked about our next deal being in the $8M-$10M per school range. He has double-downed on that number.

  • Commissioner Aresco has stated that when he begins negotiations, he will stop talking about the contract. He was asked about the future contract in an interview recently and passed over the question with a non-answer. Take that for what you will.

  • The open negotiating period begins Feb 2019, which is when the ESPN exclusive period ends, so… it makes sense that negotiations have begun now.

  • Finally, ESPN is aggressively pursuing live content for ESPN+, their new pay subscription channel. “Aggressively pursuing” means offering relatively lucrative contracts.

For those not in the know, ESPN+ is not ESPN3; it doesn’t come with your cable subscription. ESPN+ is a $4.99 per month streaming subscription. Currently, it primarily carries hockey and MLS.

My thoughts… we end up with a blended deal, where a premier game or two ends up on their main cable network and the rest of the games go to ESPN+. We have secondary (maybe tertiary, but doubt it) rights to CBS Sports. We end up around $9M per school, and I think ESPN arranges our conference champ (or runner up if the champ is in a NY6) an auto bid in a top tier bowl. Aresco has been pushing hard for an auto bid to a big-ish bowl for this conference for some time, i.e. a guaranteed premiere matchup no matter what.

Rice vs. PVA&M
(Cristian) #2

This is old so im not entirely sure what the numbers are now im just using as reference. If we are between 8-10 or more so 9 im not entirely content with that amount. It is still 10M less than the next conference and thats not really putting us at “P6” level. Now, if we received 12M and the rights to a bigish bowl to make up the price difference im agreeable with that ONLY if the majority of our games are not on ESPN+. If ESPN cant see our value or dare i say wins in NY6 bowls then im all for selling out to amazon, hulu, netflix whoever to share the cost and put us in contention. This whole we will restructure your deal but keep you down thing they have going on is not worth it especially when the rest of the conferences get their restructured deals. Then the gap will definitely be more prevalent then it is now.

(CoogNation_14) #3

This is very interesting. What do they have to leverage a better deal? Can we go somewhere else?

(Nick K) #5

i am with you CM, if it gonna be a pay for view deal then why not amazon prime or netflix…the big east went with an upstart broadcaster for basketball once and look how that turned out.


My thoughts exactly. I’d rather be on channel 39 every week than suck on ESPN’s tit.

(Dan) #7

Assuming this is true:

  1. No ESPN+ until P5 conferences are moved there. Line in the sand on this one.

  2. I’m sure ESPN is saying this offer expires in February, when the competition opens up. If we don’t have other platforms that can drive the price up, we have no choice but to take this deal. ESPN will lowball us even more if we come crawling back after Feb. This is where Aresco has to do his homework and predict what is coming. Back door, incognito, do what you have to do to see what’s coming in February. I think suitors will come. Another NY6 berth and win would be big this year.

  3. I wish they were available on more televisions, but CBSSN has actually covered the AAC well. They really spotlight the service academies because they own Army-Navy and that naturally trickles into our conference. If CBSSN would expand their footprint, improve their streaming app, and give us a deal with a game of the week on the network with the SEC that would be huge. The AAC Daily has pondered a similar deal with NBC/NBCSN to go with Notre Dame that would be big as well. Getting on a network opposite ND or SEC with huge fan bases and viewers would do wonders for our ratings.

The AAC Daily is interviewing Aresco this week, interesting listen.

(Cary) #8

Ah… you guys have short memories. It wasn’t that long ago that we joined the Big East in the middle of a television negotiation, and the Big East, which included the Catholic 7, had an offer on the table from ESPN for a nine-year deal to receive $10.3M a year per football school and $4.6M for the basketball-only schools.

The then commissioner balked at ESPN, wanting $300M a year after seeing the PAC 12 get $250M a year for their rights. It would have been a roughly equal payout to what each PAC school was getting for the Big East football schools. When ESPN refused, indicating that the Big East wasn’t worth that, they threatened to go to the open market.

The result of that bold move - we make $1.8M a year today in the shattered remnants of that conference. That is what happens when you bite the hand. ESPN CONTROLS COLLEGE FOOTBALL! No other network will pay what they pay. It is as simple as that. It has been tried over and over with the same results.

ESPN knows their marketplace guys. They know what the league is worth, and right now they are a little desperate to get content on their streaming channel. This league and its fans should have learned its lesson. They’d be foolish to make the same stupid mistake twice.



(Bryant Hargrave) #9

Yep, you pretty much summed it up in your post. ESPN had all the cards, until they don’t. There simply isn’t a viable alternative right now, or really in the near future.

CBSSN, is hot garbage and we will paid like hot garbage from them. It’s a bit better than channel 39. For those who like those ideas, enjoy no exposure and no money.

Steaming? I doubt we are the primary Target for streaming services who are backed with enough cash to go big game hunting. Personally I don’t think streaming services are that interested in conference packages as opposed to fracturing and picking off schools and matchups that historically drive the ratings buses.


I suspect $10 million per school.

(Dan) #11

Cary was that 10.3M per year on the table when we were in the picture for the Big East? Everything moved so fast back then but I know we were added in the same wave as SMU, not the same wave as TCU, Boise, and SDSU, which fell through. It seems like ESPN had already closed the door on that deal before we joined, but I could be mistaken.


I subscribed to YouTube TV this year pretty much exclusively because it carries the ESPN channels and CBSSN, which would allow me to watch every single Coog game on TV. If I’m going to have to add another subscription on top of that now, I will not be pleased. Yes, I know this is about exposure and money, blah, blah, blah. I just want to be able to watch my Coogs play and not have to jump through multiple hurdles to do it.

(Patrick) #14

Interesting. I’m wondering if that would include all sports as I believe the other conference that have signed on are moving all of their sports to ESPN+. Might also mean upgraded video and production capabilities (much needed for baseball).


The deal was before UH and any of the other C-USA schools were invited. The deal included the Big East plus TCU. Leadership of the Big East was ready to sign the deal until they heard the Pac-12 was earning almost double. So they turned the deal down causing Pitt and Syracuse to leave for the ACC. TCU was still on board until Presidents of the Big East refused to increase the exit penalty of schools leaving the conference. TCU withdrew from the Big East and accepted it’s Big 12 invite. This caused West Virginia to depart the Big East for the Big 12. So 4 of the schools included in the deal left. This caused the Big East to send 9 invitations. 4 invitations were for full membership to UH, SMU, UCF and Memphis. The other 5 were football only memberships to Air Force, Navy, BYU, Boise State and San Diego State. Navy, Boise State and San Diego State accepted. BYU wouldn’t relinquish their home games to the conference so they didn’t join. Louisville then decides to leave the Big East for the ACC along with Notre Dame taking all of its non-football sports to the ACC as well. Rutgers announces that it is leaving for the Big Ten. This caused Boise State and San Diego State to back out of the Big East. The Catholic 7 also announce that they were leaving the Big East as well. So when the American finally gets the deal done, it was after the Big East had fallen apart.

(Troy ) #16

ESPN Pretty much blew up the Big East when they turned down the 10.3 Million.


The Big East blew up the Big East. They got greedy and it blew up in their face. Had they signed the initial deal the next teams up for expansion were UH or UCF. With USF completely against adding UCF, UH would have been added to compliment the TCU addition.

(Cary) #18

Yep, my dates were off because an article dated 2012 recapped what had happened. Big East turned down ESPN in May 2011, and Houston was invited after a conference vote in Dec of 2011. The original Big East was trying to get something done early with ESPN, but the rights didn’t expire until 2012.

(Cary) #19

I think you are both right. The Big East got greedy thinking they were worth more than they really were. When they turned down ESPN, ESPN went scorched earth on their @$$ and destroyed the conference.

(Troy ) #20

Exactly H-Town!

(Jimmy Morris) #21

Facebook, Youtube and Twitch among others have shown interest in streaming more live sporting events. Those three all competing with each other, are probably going to push ESPN on offering more money for their ESPN3 and ESPN+ deals.

(Chris) #22

Like it or not we are espn afterthought. They need content for espn+. For them we are what Australian rule football & fly fishing competition did for espndeux. Until we get into a P5 we will have to make the most media impression every single time we play a game.
Amazon is the big question mark in this. The amazing race it is.

This is from Amazon. Could our upcoming app/digital remote control look like this.