This has always been my argument for a network that really wants live sports and wants to develop a property over time. Invest the money in a smaller conference with potential like the AAC and really work to drive up interest and partner with them to help market them. Unfortunately, the media world is a very “what have you done for me lately” industry and no one really has the patience to do something along these lines.
I thought NBC might do it the last time for the AAC, but they ended up low-balling us and ESPN was able to just match. Maybe this time around will be better, or maybe ESPN will come to the table to keep us as they are losing some of their other college properties and are launching their streaming service soon (which will need content).