There Is Even More Money

Submitted by Brian on April 20th, 2016 at 12:04 PM

The Big Ten will have yet more money with which to not fire Darrell Hazell in the near future:

Fox is close to signing a deal that gives it half of the Big Ten’s available media rights package, according to several sources. Deal terms still are flexible – both in terms of money and rights. However, the two sides have agreed on basic terms that will give Fox the rights to around 25 football games and 50 basketball games that it will carry on both the broadcast channel and FS1 starting in the fall of '17. The deal runs six years and could cost Fox as much as $250M per year, depending on the amount of rights the Big Ten conference puts in its second package.

Let's think some thoughts about this.

First, this is why the TV networks hurl the money. Combine this graph


…with the relative prosperity of Big Ten folks versus the other section of the country that can't get enough college football and you get a lot of money. When it comes to Jim Delany, this is strictly Bedouins owning the land the oil is on. It's replacement-level performance. You are the reason TV networks are throwing crazy dollars at the Big Ten.

Second, it's a lot of money. Per SBD, the potential 250 million dollar deal is half of a package the Big Ten is currently getting 112 million for from ESPN and CBS. I imagine the total will come in under a half billion dollars a year unless they want to evaporate from ESPN entirely, which they probably don't. It's still a staggering amount of dough.

Third, it's not for very long. A six year term is unusually short when it comes to these kind of contracts, and it puts the Big Ten's rights up at around the same time everybody else sees theirs expire. Six years may be unusually short from the perspective of rights contracts—the BTN has their rights package until 2032(!)—but this is an unusual transition period.

In six years everyone may decide to boot the middleman and make everything more or less WWE Network, except unscripted. Or they may carry on because momentum is a powerful thing and ESPN matters. Meanwhile, networks are already looking at the number of dollars they've committed in a uncertain environment and blanching. SBN reports that ESPN's offer was "not competitive."

The Big Ten wanted a deal that would expire at the same time the BTN deal does and did not get it. Uncertainty reigns.

Fourth, mark your calendars. In six years there will be another tumultuous period of conference expansion. Contracts will be more or less up across the spectrum, grant-of-rights agreements in the ACC will be close to expiring, and it'll be time for another dance of doom.

Fifth, I'm relatively happy about FOX. Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt are both great and we'll be hearing a lot more of them call Michigan games in the future. Gus doing more Michigan basketball is also enticing. FS1 is a wasteland of hot takes delivered by morons, but FOX's actual game coverage has gotten a lot better over the last few years.

Also, adding college football to Fox networks increases the WALL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL effect on Saturdays this fall. More options for games to watch and less pressure to bump Michigan off of noon windows* gets a thumbs up from me. I kind of want Fox to always put Michigan on at noon on the broadcast network.

*[Noon is the best time for a game if you want to watch the rest of CFB.]

Sixth, just pay some people. The Big Ten now has hundreds of millions of dollars and no additional expenses.


UM Fan from Sydney

April 20th, 2016 at 12:17 PM ^

Yup. It's awful. While night games are the best, not every game will be played then, so 3:30 is the next best option. I love waking on Saturdays, getting a light breakfast, and watching some noon games, which are the appetizers. Then when 3:30 (or later) comes around , it's time for the main course. I like the build to the Michigan game while watching other teams play in the noon slot.


April 20th, 2016 at 12:21 PM ^

As a west coast resident, I love 9AM games.  Get to morning drink and do football brunch, and then either have the rest of the day available to do other stuff, or have the rest of the day to stay at the bar and drink and watch more football.  I've long preferred early games (although I'll admit it took some getting used to at first). 


April 20th, 2016 at 1:04 PM ^

The West Coast rules for watching sports. During football season, you can watch everything during normal waking hours and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.  9am kickoffs for CFB and 10am for the NFL RedZone bonanza window = awesome sauce.

Unrelated to timezone, can I just say how amazing the DVR is for basketball?  The 30 second skip handles freethows perfectly and you get to eliminate the inane deluge of timeouts and intentional fouling that the last 3 minutes of each game is always filled with. 


April 20th, 2016 at 1:20 PM ^

Speaking for those of us who are students and even yes grad students  (Shout out to my (gulp) 9th year of student tickets this fall), noon games are the absolute worse. 

I honestly only care abut the Michigan game on gamedays. 3:30 allows us to wake up at a reasonable time (say 7:30-8) and still have time for a proper pregame. With noon games, by the time your done with breakfast you have to leave to the stadium in like an hour. Like it or not, a huge part of the student experience at Michigan is those 7/8 tailgates you get a year and as long as you have noon games, you will have students showing up late. 


April 20th, 2016 at 1:45 PM ^

If noon games suck for you, improve your post-gaming.

I always liked the noon start because the games finished early enough to go home and rest/eat/wash up for a Saturday night out.

But I also prefer to be mostly sober at the game itself so that puts me in the minority I suppose.

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April 20th, 2016 at 3:25 PM ^

understand why noon would be good for some people who go to the games to enjoy the rest of the day of college football, I don't buy into it for a couple of reasons.  First, I am only able to "enjoy" college football on any given Saturday if Michigan wins.  If Michigan loses a noon game, forget it, I don't even care about the rest of the games for that Saturday.  Second, I occassionally go to a game but usually I watch them on TV.  I get to watch the rest of the games before and after without any difficulty. 

Lastly, the atmosphere at a noon game really is lacking, at least as to how it looks and feels on TV.  Having been to noon games and 3:30 games in the past, I remember not noticing a whole lot of difference in person. You are so busy with getting in, getting to seat, refreshment, etc. that you don't really notice, but on TV it is remarkable how much different of a place Michigan stadium is at noon than it is at 3:30.  Noon games are sleepy, the crowd is really dead and the team is often lethargic or at least that is how it appears.  Even The Game seems to lack for quality atmosphere in recent years.  This year, you could have heard a pin drop against Ohio State when you compare it to Michigan State in the 3:30 slot weeks earlier, which was the loudest and most engaged I have ever seen Michigan stadium.


April 20th, 2016 at 3:45 PM ^

The scores of the OSU and MSU game probably had more to do with the noise level than the time slot.  The MSU game was a competive down to the wire contest, the OSU game was not.


I'm also the opposite of you personality wise.  I can't get anything done before Michigan plays as I get worked up, for this reason alone night games are torture for me.  Once the game is over I'm usually fine with the result, it is 'only football' and it should supplement your life not detract from it.


April 20th, 2016 at 4:08 PM ^

I was there.  TV isn't necessarily a great indicator of crowd noise.  The crowd was absolutely ready to go when the game started.  It was the way the game unfolded that killed its energy.




April 20th, 2016 at 3:54 PM ^

The crowd at the Game was actually very loud early on when we forced a punt.   Then we roughed the punter, and gave up a million yards on the ground the rest of the way, and the crowd energy went out of the building.


April 20th, 2016 at 3:41 PM ^

Postgaming.  Nothing beats sleeping in and making a hearty breakfast at 10AM then coming home to a kick ass spread of grilled meats, beers, dips, salads, etc.  Once the weather gets cold I usually put a roast in the oven or some chili in a croc pot for the post-gaming.  I'm probably spoiled because I live within walking distance of the stadium but don't have any people trying to park on my street. 


April 20th, 2016 at 3:34 PM ^

I won't disagree.  When I was a student I loved 3:30 games.  Heck even when I was single graduate I loved 3:30.   Preferences change though.   If I ever move back to Detroit I'll probably hate noon games due to traffic but right now noon is the best.


April 20th, 2016 at 3:30 PM ^

it above before I saw this, but you are absolutely right.  Anybody who thinks that Michigan Stadium is in full gear for The Game is completely mistaken.  That is the biggest rivalry in college sports and should get "primetime" treatment.  When the game started this year and I still saw empty student seats at kick it sealed it.  I think that Michigan v. Ohio State should be moved to 3:30 and kept there.

The Mad Hatter

April 20th, 2016 at 12:56 PM ^

Who in the hell has time for that?  People without kids that live in condos I suppose.  My weekends are typically busy as hell, to the point that I'm sometimes glad to come into work on Monday.

I always try to watch the Michigan game live, but often I have to watch it later on the DVR and avoid all other forms of media during the day.


April 20th, 2016 at 1:09 PM ^

You just plagerized what I was going to say virtually word for word!  There are some games I just refuse to miss live, but end up watching on DVR 30 minutes, or so, behind real.  That's about as clase as I get.  Weekends are the only time I get to finish yardwork, 'projects' (of which the backlog is large, and growing), and spend time with the 5 yr old doing kid things with the kid - which is different from doing chores with the kid hanging around (which adds an hour to each chore).  I often look forward to the break that Monday offers...


April 20th, 2016 at 1:10 PM ^

Ahhh...12 straight hours on the couch to watch football. Come on down, 20-something without kids!!

+1 for media blackout on DVR football days.  There are, aparently, apps that block out content related to your team for social media but I'm too scared to try them.  I'd also need something to block text messages related to the sporting event I'm recording for later viewing. 

(Mgo developers...can someone come up with a "do not disturb" feature for text messages that screens incoming texts and notifies the sender that the recipient is in a sports blackout period?) 

UM Fan from Sydney

April 20th, 2016 at 1:13 PM ^

That's what I do. I am married, but don't have kids. Thankfully the wife understands my college football obsession and tends to not interfere or schedule things to do on Saturdays during the season.

Also, what the hell do condos have to do with anything? I live in a house.


April 20th, 2016 at 1:23 PM ^

Unmarried males between the ages of 20 - 40 who like college football?   Btw going to a sports bar and watching college football for an extended period of time is a great way to meet cool chicks.  This is probably city dependent, but in NYC it's pretty fun due to the wide variety of college educated transplants and sports bars.






April 20th, 2016 at 1:41 PM ^

was a great place to watch football all day at the alumni bar. Amazing how much money I'd go through in a day and night of watching football and drinking, and then going out later and drinking. No matter how well I planned, I always seemed to have to hit up an ATM for morning breakfast. 

I'm with a bunch of the other posters here now, where I am watching a delayed broadcast. I just am super paranoid now and record the game, the aftershow, and then the next game, just in case. 


April 20th, 2016 at 1:28 PM ^

I like being able to check in on games while I'm getting my honey-do's done, but agree it's impossible to just sit and watch the games anymore.  This is why my son needs to get older so he can do more chores and give me more time goof off(tplease let me keep my illusions.  I really dig the 3:30 or the night games on the weekends my kids have sports games(aka all of them) as I don't have to go through the DVR and media blackout to make sure I can catch the Michigan game.  


April 20th, 2016 at 1:48 PM ^

Bigger chunk of your day? But 330 is smack in the middle of your day! You basically get up to lunch time free. By the time the game is over its late dinner time. Noon games (for the TV watcher) let you sleep in a bit, grab breakfast, settle in for the game, and be done by mid afternoon for a free evening.

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April 20th, 2016 at 3:54 PM ^

The noon games are better for me for exactly this reason (YMMV).

The 3:30 games, I am sitting there with the dilemma of "can I plausibly just dick around for X hours until kickoff because this really isn't enough time to do all my errands/chores, and I don't want to go out, come back in and then go out again after the game"

Also re: noon games as a student, I woke up still drunk at 11AM, filled a flask, and walked to the stadium. This isn't that hard, millenials.



April 20th, 2016 at 12:51 PM ^

Noon games are great when we play MAC or MAC level B1G teams. Just lets whoop that butt and let me get on with my day. Which is like most of our schedule btw. 3:30 is fine for big games. I still don't like waiting that much. And Night games, while great at atmosphere, are just too damn long to wait for. Like seriously, I get too drunk waiting. And I just want that game to start already!

Hawaii - Noon
UCF - Noon
Colorado - Noon
PSU - 3:30/Night
Wisconsin - Noon/3:30/Night
@Rutgers - Play this on Thursday or something
Illinois - Nooner
@MSU - 3:30 is a great time slot for this game. 
Maryland - Noon
@Iowa - Noon/3:30/Night
Indiana - Noon
Ohio St. - Noon/3:30