ESPN should really consider the benefit of Houston TV market

Since DishNetwork is dropping ESPN as part of the basic bundle (it will not be an add on)… you would think that ESPN would be more proactive about getting into the Houston TV market, especially with the large number of people who use ONLINE services…

Don’t worry. It’s coming and since Big 12 teams also feed off their third tier media offerings that gives UH in an incredible advantage. Remember also UH is the No. 3 most followed team in Texas. That would give us an added advantage in negotiating Tier Three media rights.

Hold on…ESPN isn’t in the Houston market? And you can add ESPN & ESPN2 & FS1 to that package for $10

Of course ESPN is in Houston. And we have indoor plumbing and electricity as well. Couldn’t quite get you point. Try me again.I think you are pointing to the way things are today. In 5 years, who knows. And I certainly didn’t ask for the LHN.

forgot to quote 2000 who stated ESPN isn’t in Houston

Got it. Makes sense to me.

What 2000 is saying is that people are dropping cable because they don’t want to pay for ESPN and the like because it doesn’t serve them. Having the hometown team in a metropolitan area represented helps them get eyeballs.

I’m sure that ESPN is very aware of the Houston market. The network undoubtedly knows what drives viewership in the #10 TV market in the country. In fact, I bet that ESPN is quite aware that UH had several games among the top 20 viewed college football games in Houston. ESPN also knows that it pays pennies for the rights to UH and those top 20 games. If UH is already a driver for college football viewership in Houston, and ESPN pays much less for UH rights as a member of The American that the network would pay with UH as a member of the Big 12, why in the world would ESPN want to pay more than it has to?

Your statement is dumb…pure dumb. So you think it is okay to keep Houston at a bottom tier conference becsuse ESPN payless for UH in the American!!! Some people want to keep us down…ESPN will pay more for our product, whether they like it or not!!!

I’m saying that ESPN would prefer to pay $1.5 million per year rather than $20 million per year for UH broadcast rights. ESPN probably isn’t as motivated to pay more to UH as you think. They already get great content from UH (two games broadcast nationally on ABC, several games on The Deuce). Which statement do you think is more likely to be made at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn.:

  1. “We have a steal with this AAC contract at $1.5 million per team. Look at all these great UH games we get to broadcast, and that doesn’t even include the other teams.”

  2. “Boy, UH was able to draw a bunch of eyeballs in 2015, and we only pay them $1.5 million per year as a member of The American. Do you think we ought to pay them more – say $20 million per year?”

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I doubt very seriously that ESPN is even remotely voicing these concepts OPENLY … because

If that is the argument ESPN is using in their negotiations with the Big12 then they are shooting themselves in BOTH feet when they claim the Big12’s candidates are run of the mill no quality and they won’t pay what the Big12 wants for them.

That and the Peach Bowl win pretty much torpedoed any arguments ESPN may have had about the quality of UH football.

I meant to illustrate what ESPN execs think among themselves. They’ve got to be pretty happy that ESPN got such great programming out of The American as they did in 2015. I guess the statements made among themselves are closer to #1.

At the negotiating table, we kind of have a sense of what they’re saying …

“Hey! Adding these non-P5 teams violates the spirit of the contract. There is no way in hell we’re paying $80 million for the Big 12 to add four teams.”

Uhhh … where was all this “violates the spirit of the contract” when the Big12 added TCU and the Pac12 added Utah.

I do not recall ESPN screaming like a mashed cat or complaining vociferously when those two were added … same contract.

Look at the situation from ESPN’s point of view. When the Big 12 went from 12 teams to 10 teams, the TV partners lost content, but the amount paid to the conference remained the same. Then Texas A&M and Missouri left, leaving eight teams in the Big 12. Content declined again. It didn’t matter if the Big 12 had eight teams or 10, the cost to ESPN remained the same. So there was no marginal cost to ESPN when the Big 12 added two teams – WVU and TCU. And ESPN got additional television content to boot.

Fast forward to 2016, a new contract is in place. Adding new teams will cost the TV partners $20 million per year for each team. There is a HUGE difference between zero dollars per team and $20 million per team. If adding UH (or any other team) didn’t cost the TV partners $20 million per year, I don’t think the TV partners would be squawking.

Listen to what Tamu91 is stating. He’s etching us a drawing of intrigue. It’s very much likely the Disney execs are counting their accounts heavily.

We are left to hope for the best.

Yes ESPN is getting a steal with the value that UH brought last season and will likely bring next season. However espn has to know that ithat is not sustainable without P5 status. Read JD’so article in the chronicle. UH has put way more money into the athletic department in anew attempt to reach P5 status. The problem is, if we don’t get it, then UH may very well peak here. That isn’t good for UH or ESPN.


That’s exactly what I was trying to say… Thanks to lmago13 for clarifying it, since I didn’t really do a good job in my original post of getting the point across.

ESPN had a massive round of layoffs in 2016… Of course they are already “in” the Houston market, but more and more people are starting to “cut the cord.” We live in the 4th largest city in the US, and we’ve got a bunch of people who use Netflix, AmazonVideo, Hulu, etc, etc.

Now Dish Network is dropping ESPN from it’s basic package (which used to come standard). You can pack an extra $10 to get it, but this is a new development…

The value of UH television programming has been ignored for far too long… We saw the ratings we were able to generate last year vs Navy & Temple. You would think that ESPN would be actively campaigning for us to get into the Big12.

There is no doubt that you want what is best for UH. But you have to look at this from ESPN’s point of view. ESPN wants what’s best for ESPN. ESPN’s interests and UH’s interests are not the same.

  1. ESPN does not want to pay $20 million per year for UH when it is paying $1.5 million per year now
  2. ESPN wants to protect the value of the AAC, its diamond in the rough. Plucking the best out of the AAC diminishes the value of the conference.
  3. ESPN does not have a direct interest in seeing UH succeed. If USF, Cincinnati, or Navy has a breakout year, ESPN will want compelling AAC match-ups with teams like UH that are having good (but not great) years.
  4. ESPN’'s direct interest is seeing ESPN succeed.

Always consider how an argument would sound to ESPN execs at a Bristol, Conn. conference table. “Hey guys! UH’s value may not be sustainable if it stays in The American. Maybe we should pay them $18 million more than we do now.” … ESPN executive response: “So what? The American is sustainable as the best G5 conference with teams like Houston in it. The breakout team may be UCF, Memphis, or someone else. It doesn’t matter. As it is now, our contract with The American is a steal. I want to keep it that way.”

Your thinking in the here and now. Espn will be looking at the future just like the Big 12. UH has enormous potential. P5 money will allow UH to reach that potential and make espn money in the future. A g5 can’t sustain top 10 levels with g5 money. You have to look forward and see it as an investment to keep and surpass current earnings.

It is pointless speaking about ESPNs point of view…We have no clue what that would be…

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