In Defense of Delany

Submitted by Gameboy on May 3rd, 2017 at 12:24 PM

I know I will get neg banged, but what the hell...

I just saw that HULU launched their new on-line TV streaming service and BTN was included in it (with SEC Network as the only conference TV stations offered on basic service). This means most of the new on-line only streaming services (like PSVue) are all offering BTN as part of their basic bundle.

I know Brian and many others have criticized "short-term" thinking about cable bundles and adding Rutgers, but as you can plainly see, bundling TV channels is not going away any time soon and the fact that BTN is part of a basic package in the biggest media market in the country (and where many of the decision makers for these new streaming services live), I think has a huge impact on how BTN is being included on every one of these new streaming services.

I want to give Delaney a credit where it is due. Adding Rutgers was a terrible decision competition wise, but it is working out pretty well for media expansion.



May 3rd, 2017 at 1:31 PM ^

META: In Defense Of Those Defending Dave Brandon In The "In Defense Of Dave Brandon Thread", As Well As "A Defense Of Kicking Puppies And Retail Activations" As Read By Dave Brandon And Lochdogg.

Now, there's a thread that would get someone banned. Dare I say, IP banned if that's possible here. 


May 3rd, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

Apparently made peace with the Vatican, was a great environmentalist, and made the trains run on time! If you've tried to do business in Italy, I think you would agree that the last is a particularly incredible feat! 


May 3rd, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

But we didn't need Rutgers to have media expansion.  The Big Ten was strong well before Rutgers was added.  

Ghost of Fritz…

May 3rd, 2017 at 1:20 PM ^

Notre Dame.  Even Michigan has more true fans in the NYC metropolitian area than Rutgers.

Jersey is just part of the NYC metro area.  An even in NJ, Rutgers is not that big a deal. 

Pro sport dominate much more in NYC area and New Jersey than is the case in the State of Michigan and the Midwest in general.


May 3rd, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

Ghost of Fritz is correct.  Most people in NYC are pro football fans.  Very little care about college other than alumni/transplants.  Now, outside NYC, I can see Rutgers being popular in NJ (not upstate or any of the Burroughs).  The $ in the area cares about pro sports.


May 3rd, 2017 at 6:24 PM ^

It's all one TV market. There is no separate Manhattan or Northern NJ or Long Island TV market, so it doesn't matter what program is most popular in each borough, upstate, or New Jersey. The B1G wanted to expand into the NYC TV market. In this market, Rutgers was and is the most popular football program. Hence, the B1G added Rutgers.

Now, you can argue whether the B1G should have expanded, but since they were going to expand regardless of what the consultants at MGoBlog thought, the data indicates that Rutgers had by far the biggest fan base and thus gave the B1G the best shot at maximizing revenue.

It's also irrelevant whether people in NJ or NYC care more about pro sports. I agree that they do. The addition of Rutgers wasn't an attempt to change that. It was to generate revenue and expand the recruiting footprint, and it did both.

Ghost of Fritz…

May 4th, 2017 at 7:03 AM ^

that NYT article you linked above a lot more carefully. 

The methodology is terrible.  The result estimating 600,000+ Rutgers 'fans' in the NYC TV market is so preposterous that it is obvious that bad methodology produced a result that is not credible. 

The better way to measure would be to compare TV ratings for games.  What was the TV rating for Michigan-Indiana as compared to the TV ratings for Rutgers-Indiana in the NYC market?  Answer that qustion for dozens of games (controlling for time, other mathups in the same time slot, etc.) and you will get a much better estimate of Rutgers fandom in the NYC market. 

Now, the many problems with the methodology of the NYT article....

First, using the number of Google searches for a team or sport or for a university is a terrible way of measuring the number of fans.  It measures 'mild interest.'  The sort of mild interest that leads to a Google search does not translate into the things that really matter in terms of being a 'fan'--spending money on tickets, merchandise, etc., and spending actual time watching an entire football game on TV.  I can guarantee that very few of those supposed Rutgers 'fans' in NYC are watching Rutgers games on TV.

Second, the NYT article uses 'CommonCensus Sports Map Project' data as a measure of which CFB teams are more popular in various regions.  This source is not very reliable.  Survey responses asking respondents to name the team they are 'most loyal too' is a poor way of measuring fandom.  Respondents 'top of head' answers probably do not indicate the true fandom that matters for the question of whether Rutgers adds enough revenue to the Big Ten to justify inclusion.  The real measures, again, are willingness to spending money and time. 

Third, the NYT article analysis is also problematic because it extrapolates the number of Rutgers 'fans' in NYC from the regional number (which is already questionable) from the CommonCensus Sports Map Project. 

TL:DR.  Three bad inputs yields bad (and preposterous) output.


May 4th, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

You're right, I'll trust a random anonymous MGoBlog poster over a trained statistician. Oh and you asked for TV ratings:…

As of 2011, Rutgers was involved in 5 of the highest rated ESPN2 college football games and 4 out of the 5 highest rated ESPN college football games viewed in the NYC TV market. The 2006 Rutgers - Louisville game on ESPN is the highest rated college football game ever viewed in the NYC market. The only game not involving RU was USC - OSU.

I mean all the evidence supports RU being the most popular team in NYC. You're free to believe otherwise but you won't find any evidence to support your claim.

Ghost of Fritz…

May 4th, 2017 at 6:41 PM ^

admitting that I am correct.

Wow! The biggest game in Rutgers history (2011 game vs. Louisville) got a 1.45 share in the NYC market for an ESPN2 night game. 

Rutgers very rarely gets the ESPN2 night game slot.  And it is telling the the biggest game in RU history was on ESPN2 and not on ABC or on ESPN.  Why?  Becasue Rutgers does not have many fans and, therefore, Rutgers is not capable of generating high TV ratings.  By comparison Lousiville-Clemson in 2016 got a 5.5 share and 9.29 million viewers.  It was only the 44th most watched CFB game of 2016. 

Anytime Rutgers gets an ESPN2 evening slot it is one of the biggest games in RU program history, or they are playing a team like Michigan.  Those are the only kinds of games where a Rutgers game gets even decent ratings. 

Rutgers-Iowa in 2016 (noon slot on ESPN2) got a .5 share for 815.000 viewers nationwide.  That is typical of Rutgers TV ratings.  Not very good.  What happend to the supposed 600,000 NYC media market Rutgers 'fans'?  They were probably watching some preview of the Giants or Jets games on Sunday.  Or they had no idea that Rutgers was playing Iowa.

The prior Saturday Iowa-NDSU (also the noon slot on ESPN2) got a .6 share for 968,000 viewers.  So NDSU is a better TV draw than Rutgers. 

I am sorry, but most Rutgers 'fans' are barely fans at all.  Most of them don't even know who they are playing next Saturday.  Most do not care enough to actually sit in front of a TV and watch a Rutgers game (unless it is one of the very rare 'biggest games in RU history' sort of thing).    

Citing the biggest games in RU football history for their ESPN2 ratings numbers does not change that.

The method for inferring 600,000 Rutgers 'fans' in the NYC media market from that NYT article was preposterous, trained statisitician or not. 


Harbaugh's Lef…

May 4th, 2017 at 8:03 PM ^

I've gotta say, living in NYC, I've NEVER seen anyone in any type of Rutgers gear, anywhere. Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin I could go on and on... but NEVER anyone in Rutgers gear and working in a bar for years, no one ever once asked to have the Rutgers game put on.

If there are actually Rutgers fans in NYC, they're that of the secret kind and I don't blame them at all.

Blue in Paradise

May 3rd, 2017 at 2:59 PM ^

And outside of the student section, it was damn near 50/50 in terms of Michigan and Rutgers fans at the stadium.  To be fair it was raining, so maybe a lot of Rutgers folks stayed home. 

I guess my point is that the survey must have been using a loose definition of the term "fan".  A lot of people probably checked off Rutgers as their team because they live in the area but the passion of the Michigan, ND, OSU, etc... overwhelms those numbers and creates the perception that those schools have bigger followings in the area.


May 3rd, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

Who are these decision makers you are speaking about? BTN was included in the bundle that was negotiatied by 21st Century Fox. 

Was it Delany who was integral in getting BTN included or was it Fox executives who go it included in the bundle.

21st Century Fox
Big Ten Network
Fox Business Network
Fox News Channel
Fox regional sports networks
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Wild…


May 3rd, 2017 at 10:59 PM ^

But both states are fertile recruiting grounds that are now in B1G territory.…


That with academics... both are great schools.  Plus the state of New Jersey and Maryland are in the top 3 schools to sending college students out of state.  We'll take them too! Bringing B1G to New York, DC and Baltimore and solidifing Philadelphia.  In an area where college football was never closely followed.. the likes of Michigan Ohio State and Penn State marching in there every year can't help but intensify their interest in college football.

Ricky Spanish

May 3rd, 2017 at 12:32 PM ^

I moved Rutgers to the ACC and added Pittsburgh in the East. I also added Notre Dame to the West, and out Nebraska in the BIG 12 along with Houston, so the BIG 12 had a conference title. In year one, an undefeated Oklahoma was passed by Houston, who at the time was in the AAC, because Houston blew out their Conference Championship opponent. Houston actually won the title 27-20 over Bama but they've been a bottom feeder in the BIG 12 as of now.