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Thread: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

  1. #16
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    Re: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

    Looks to me like most of their games are going behind the ESPN+ paywall so maybe less visibility.

  2. #17
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    Re: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by parialex View Post
    Hmmm. I can't find any details on what that Sun Belt deal is worth.
    It looks like you've answered your own question with your last post. It's worth will only be known when the Belt learns just how many casual fans will take the time to sign up and pay extra to view their content. It's an exposure deal. ESPN may do for the Belt what they did for the MAC, which is pay for equipment to get Belt schools that need it up to ESPN's broadcasting standards.

    What's interesting is that it appears Benson will use ESPN Plus as his version of Sun Belt TV. The schools will produce the games to a certain standard and then ESPN will carry them behind a paywall. Also interesting is the increase in regular season football games on the ESPN cable networks to 9. How many of those will be on a Tuesday or Wednesday? I suspect the answer is the majority of them.

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    Re: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Also interesting is the increase in regular season football games on the ESPN cable networks to 9. How many of those will be on a Tuesday or Wednesday? I suspect the answer is the majority of them.
    Or how many of those will be OOC contests against P5 schools that are counted as part of the Funbelt package?
    ''Don't be a bad dagh..."

  4. #19
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    Re: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by parialex View Post
    Hmmm. I can't find any details on what that Sun Belt deal is worth.
    Probably nothing or next to nothing. The Belt has been losing money on their TV deal because their production costs exceed their compensation from ESPN.

  5. #20
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    Re: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

    A-State Nation did a comparison of the Belt and CUSA deals from what was know back in early March. Their final assessment was that the deals were basically a wash. I don't quite agree, at least from what we know at this point.

    https://247sports.com/college/arkans...eals-116260412

    Linear TV

    A-State Nation believes the Sun Belt deal is better for linear TV (Sun Belt deal with ESPN family; CUSA deal with CBS Sports family). But that doesn't account for the fact the majority of those games are mid-week games which have hurt Sun Belt football. Is playing a Wednesday night game on ESPNU really better for the Belt?

    Mixed Distribution

    The Sun Belt doesn't have anything like what CUSA has with Stadium/Facebook, which, according to A-State Nation gives the CUSA deal the edge in the mixed distribution area. I would agree with that.

    Streaming

    A-State Nation believes that the Belt deal is better for streaming with its partnership with ESPN+ vs. CUSA's use of CUSA TV. I'm not sure that's the case for a couple of reasons. The Belt being forced by ESPN, as part of the package, to move to ESPN broadcast standards for inclusion on ESPN+ is one of them. Benson did several radio interviews regarding the Belt's deal. He admitted on one of them (103.7 The Game in Lafayette) that the Belt's deal with ESPN included money for some but not all start-up costs. There are also yearly production costs that run well into six figures.

    A-State nation also believes that ESPN3 is going to be diminished or go away altogether, increasing the value of ESPN+. Several others who cover the Sun Belt have speculated that might be the case, as well. I'm not so sure. Is ESPN really going to move premium online content behind a pay wall? I would find that hard to believe. Or because of technical issues with ESPN3 over the past few years during peak times (college football Saturdays) are they moving some content to another platform. That would make more sense. While ESPN+ is less than half the price of CUSA TV ($10.99 vs. $4.99) how long will ESPN freeze ESPN+ at just $5 per month. Six months? One year?

    Financials

    This from A-State Nation:

    ...Sun Belt's payment includes revenue to offset ESPN+ production costs. Verdict: The Sun Belt's payment is rumored to be in the range of $475,000 to $500,000 per year and the production standards to produce the 51 games will be at ESPN standards. CUSA's payment rumored to be in the $400,000 to $600,000 range and will not include the cost of producing 60 games for CUSA TV with mixed production values. Financially looks like a wash.

    In his radio interviews Benson has talked about the fact the dollar value of the deal is "more than $100,000 but less than $1 million". Where I think A-State Nation may be getting this wrong is in the cash value of the deal. ESPN is apparently going to provide cash to cover some but not all of the start up costs for the schools that aren't streaming to ESPN standards (majority of Belt schools). Benson mentioned in his interview in Lafayette that the total financial payout from ESPN over a number of years would eventually cover start up costs and production costs incurred by each Belt school. There would eventually be a net financial gain for each school when that time period ended. In other words ESPN's total payout is to essentially cover the Belt's costs. In other words, very little to no cash value for an extended period into the deal.

    Conclusion

    The Belt's deal appears to be somewhat similar to the MAC's deal with ESPN. The Network provides money to the league to cover the total production costs for each school. It isn't much of a cash deal at all. This is something that fans of MAC schools have bitterly complained about over the years.

    The other thing not being mentioned by Benson or anyone else about the Belt's deal is the fact that all but a handful of the Belt's games will be on ESPN+ behind a pay wall with hometown radio crews rather than on ESPN3 with an ESPN production including ESPN announcers. I am wondering how that's going to go over with the league's fans.

    For all of its issues CUSA's deal has more cash, as good as linear TV package, a better mixed distribution package, and a streaming package that has almost as good a quality as the Belt's without what appears to be high production costs. It also does a better job with keeping games on the weekends.
    Last edited by The Historian; 04-27-2018 at 02:57 PM.

  6. #21
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    Re: New TV Rights Thread (2018)

    A couple of items as follow-up to my last post:

    In every interview Benson mentioned CUSA. Every single one. It wreaked of envy. He also won't release the exact financial numbers of the Belt's deal. It's as if he wants to wait until July or August when CUSA announces the final terms of its new agreements with its TV partners to he can attempt to one up CUSA. It's so Karlesque.

    Also, in a segment on Fox's show on 97.7 last month Adam Hunsucker from the News-Star mentioned he wanted to see the Belt contract, maybe with an FOIA. That likely won't happen. The MAC never sent its deal with ESPN to its schools. And they never released details of the deal. So even with FOIA requests the journalists covering the MAC have never been able to see their deal with ESPN. I suspect the Belt will do the same.

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