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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:50 am 
I disagree. The MWC is still going to be able to raid the WAC for schools. The MWC's TV deal is still going to be 10 times larger than the WAC's.

While the MWC would probably lose 2 schools in any PAC-10 expansion scenario, it would probably keep a nice core of schools together. AirForce, Wyoming, UNLV, SDSU aren't going anywhere. If the Utah schools leave, you can back them up with Utah St. And also, if the both Utah schools leave, that means ColoradoSt and New Mexico are also staying put. I do think TCU might consider moving back East trying to split CUSA in the process.

In the scenario that its BYU, Colorado St, and TCU leaving, the MWC adds BoiseSt, FresnoSt, and maybe Nevada and goes on with its business. The only core the WAC has is those three schools, while the entire MWC is basically an intermountain core.

MWC:SDSU, FSU, UNLV, Boise, Utah, Air Force, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, UtahSt

NewLeague:TCU, Houston, Tulsa, Memphis, USM, Tulane, UAB, UCF, ECU or Marshall

CUSA: Rice, SMU, UTEP, NMSU, LaTech, Troy, Lafayette, UNT, Arkansas St.

Independent:Hawaii

Drop from 1-A:Idaho, SJSU

I really wouldn't be surprised to see CUSA split during the next round of realignment because the new BCS rules are going to look at the strength of the entire conference top to bottom. Also, Memphis is unhappy with the basketball league as presently constructed. TCU will probably have to be back in the equation to make a split worthwhile. I envision the new league at 9 members and it will depend on who the Big East takes, which it will be only 1 school for strength of schedule reasons.



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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:25 pm 
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The network the new TV contract on is brand new and its stability is not certain. Even if it is, what happens to that contract w/o BYU and Utah? SDSU, Wyoming, New Mexico and UNLV don't interest too many people. And Air Force and CSU only play once a year. BYU and Air Force are the only national draws.

Fresno, Boise and Hawaii make the decision (in this MWC 7 scenario), not the MWC schools. They will choose whether they move or stay in the WAC and bring MWC schools with them. It could easily go either way.

As for CUSA splitting, there aren't enough schools who would want to leave. Tulane is happy to be with Rice/SMU/UH/Tulsa. UH wants to stay there. They would be very reluctant to join the MWC and would not make the same mistake they made in 94 by leaving their SWC brethren behind in an E-CUSA. The 6 eastern schools don't have enough good alternatives to the Western CUSA schools.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:29 pm 
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Contrary to the TCU fans, CUSA is probably the most stable non-BCS conference. They could lose some schools to the BE, but the 6 western schools aren't going anywhere. They are satisfied to be together and, noone else really wants them. Nobody wants UAB and USM going to the BE is pretty far-fetched. So there are 8 members who aren't going anywhere. WAC and MWC are vulnerable to Pac 10/Big 10/Big 12 expansion impacting them and to each other as each only have 9 members. MAC and Sun Belt are vulnerable to the 15k attendance rule.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:09 pm 
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The network the new TV contract on is brand new and its stability is not certain. Even if it is, what happens to that contract w/o BYU and Utah?

Fresno, Boise and Hawaii make the decision (in this MWC 7 scenario), not the MWC schools. They will choose whether they move or stay in the WAC and bring MWC schools with them. It could easily go either way.



Agreed Bullet, It would be hard to overstate the HUGE gamble the MWC has made with its new contract. If the college sports network does make it, the MWC looks like a genius, gets rich, and may get enough ratings to make the BCS take a serious look. If it doesn't work and the network goes bankrupt, the MWC is in a really deep hole. They will be forced into renegotiating with ESPN or Fox Sports, both of which they just jilted in recent talks.

Rest assured also that ESPN will be doing everything in its power to keep the College Sports Network from gaining a foothold in its territory of cable sports, including pressuring cable outlets not to let them in. I don't see anyone accepting a MWC bid (if offered) until the viability of the network is determined. If the Pac-10 were to expand before then (which I don't see happening) the MWC is dead. Fresno, Boise, and Hawai'i seem to have all the cards here. The WAC would still be a viable conference and the MWC will need to shop for at least one team.

I could even see a senario where ESPN re-does its WAC deal if SDSU, UNLV, and UNM join, putting a serious hurt on the young upstart network. Doesn't ESPN parent Disney also own ABC, the Pac-10 network?...Hmmmm.

I feel I must repeat. I don't see the Pac-10 expanding..but it is fun to look at repercussions. ;D


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:42 pm 
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Sometimes you have to take the risk. This was a good move on the MWC part to go with the new cable network. No way would ESPN be able for afford to pay the MWC the same fees. If the new cable network fails, the MWC would most likley get back the small fees ESPN was offering in the first place.

I think the Big East should consider the same network. ESPN home offices would think twice about reducing the football and not increasing the basketball network.

Maybe there is not concern for the MWC conference markets, however, the 16 teams of the new Big East comand 26 percent of all the TV markets including cable.

ESPN is not the darling of the networks as everyone assumes and Cox Cable was threating to drop ESPN which would have wiped out the network in the south western part of the US. ESPN is going to have to raise fees and the networks are not going to like it and if the Big East was bolting for another network, could get very interesting. That alone would provide the new cable network a major shot in the arm.

How about early Big East basketball games and latter MWC basketball games as double headers. Sort of like the old Big Monday with Big East and Big West.

Double header early football games with the Big East lead in games and latter Mountian West games.

No ACC to compete with on the same cable network.





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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:20 am 
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Wait a minute. Cable franchises are ALWAYS threatening to kick ESPN off, and never do. It would be suicide for cable companies when DirecTV is just a phone call away. ESPN may overcharge for their rights, but they get too much of a key demographic to just kiss off.

The Mountain West has a funky little problem. BYU is as close to high-profile as a non-BCS school can get, and almost always draws over 60K in Cougar Stadium. Utah, New Mexico, Colorado State, and Air Force usually can count on drawing north of 30K (often north of 40 in SLC and C-Springs), San Diego State can sometimes pull a big crowd, and UNLV makes for a great conference gathering place. The schools have apparently figured out that they make more money playing on Saturdays than they do by having a reduced TV contract that forces Thursday (and potentially Wednesday and Friday) games that hurt the gate some, which is why they're abandoning ESPN.

This CSTV contract does remind me of the NHL - Sportschannel contract (right down to the eventual demise) of many moons ago. It's good money for the Mountain West, but it won't last. The goal is to maintain stability long enough to push ESPN towards opening up a late Saturday night slot.

Actually, with ESPNU and Fox College Sports both on the horizon, I'm very curious to see what happens next.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:38 am 
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I don't see Fox as being a threat in college football. They let ESPN get CUSA and the WAC from them. They seem to be playing fewer Saturday night Pac 10 and Big 12 games, letting TBS have some of them. And the Pac 10 and Big 12 are all they have left. They don't seem interested. They may take some of the games noone else wants, the excess inventory. But they would have to have a major change of philosophy to be a player. I expect they will go after non-revenue sports (i.e. cheap) and basketball of which there is a huge inventory at all times of the week.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:53 am 
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Pounder, I replaced Cox with Direct TV to allow for multiple locations. There is a big disadvantage with high speed internet with Direct TV. So have to have both Cox and Direct TV.

ESPN back down on increasing fees so Cox was OK for now.

By the way Direct TV has to pay the same rights as Cox for ESPN.

Any increase in future fees by ESPN could create issues for both Cable and Direct TV fees.

For all of us college football fans future benefit, we should all want the the cable sports channel to be successful.

When there is a MWC game on I want to see, you can bet my TV household will be on the new cable network.
Likewise many western college football fans as well will tune into the new cable network.

Most Pac 10 games are on ABC or Fox.

ESPN will lose its sports cable monopoly out west including Pac 10 regions once western college football games start broadcast on the new cable network

The same would occur in the east if some major conference switched from ESPN.

Again the MWC made a smart decision to drop ESPN.



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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:37 pm 
Why do the Big XII and Pac-10 have deals with ABC but not ESPN? Why does the SEC have a deal with ESPN but not ABC?


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:39 pm 
Also, what's the deal with FSN carrying an ACC game of the week on Sunday nights?


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:41 am 
While I don't know about the individual contracts, I do know that broadcast deals these days are typically not comprehensive. The Big XII and PAC 10 deals with ABC are for primary broadcast rights - ie ABC gets first pick of games for the weekend. However, Mickey and Co. opted not to pursue additional games from each conference, or those conferences knew they could attract more money and/or air time with other networks. Possibly due to ESPN's other commitments, but I'm unsure which came first.

As for the ACC basketball games you're mentioning, Raycom/JP Sports owns the rights to all ACC games and they then sub-out games they'll be unable to broadcast themselves. Even many of those seen on ESPN are also being broadcast regionally on local channels by the R/JP affiliate. With respect to the regular Sunday deal, they and the league were approached about making one game a week available at that 8 or 9 PM time slot (coaches hate it, BTW), an otherwise weak program slot. You won't find Duke-UNC here, but that's fine with Fox for what they're paying.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:20 am 
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At the time these contracts were signed, Fox was strongly competing with ESPN. ABC had the ACC,B10,P10 and B12. CBS had the SEC and BE (now with ABC). But ESPN got the backup on the ACC,B10,SEC and BE. Fox offered a better bid on the P10 and B12. Fox also had the WAC and CUSA. But both have since switched to ESPN. None of the WAC/CUSA deals paid much to the conferences. But the Fox deal for the P10 and B12 is pretty good. With TBS televising some of the games under their contract, I suspect Fox is getting out of the expensive college football business. That's why I don't think their college channel is going to show much football.



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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:57 am 
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Bullet, I tend to disagree with you on a couple points. Conf USA and WAC fans cant seem to get the TV issues with being overshadowed by the big BCS conferences. The MWC is different and does have some exclusive markets. Thus the reason the new cable channel is taking a risk to pay the MWC the high fees.

If a Conf USA game and and SEC game is on the same time, which fans in Alabama and Mississippi are going to watch a Conf USA game over an SEC game.

Fox broadcast a lot of Pac 10 games including basketball.

It is interesting that ESPN is finally having a game day at a Pac 10 school this weekend. This is the first time.

I do think the BE will look for greener$ pastures if ESPN keeps jurking the conference around just to provide extra money to support the rival ACC glut for revenue.

For argument sake, the new cable picks up the Big East and gets half of the 26 US households in the Big East region, that will put a major dent in ESPN ratings.

American needs another major US cable network to compete with ESPN. ESPN having multiple child networks does not cut or eliminate the monolopy of one cable controlling all the broadcasts.

This is the reason the MWC bolted and is getting big dollars for the gamble. I predict you will see more major conferences follow the MWC especially if the new cable starts to catch on. The new cable does have an advantage being new and can leverage the broadcasting of other college sports to lure the big college revenue sports to the network. Dont see ESPN able to broadcast College Soccer.

ESPN may be left with the ACC. Less hope all that hype will pay those multi million dollars contracts if there is competation from other cable networks.





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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:32 am 

Quote:
Contrary to the TCU fans, CUSA is probably the most stable non-BCS conference. They could lose some schools to the BE, but the 6 western schools aren't going anywhere. They are satisfied to be together and, noone else really wants them. Nobody wants UAB and USM going to the BE is pretty far-fetched. So there are 8 members who aren't going anywhere. WAC and MWC are vulnerable to Pac 10/Big 10/Big 12 expansion impacting them and to each other as each only have 9 members. MAC and Sun Belt are vulnerable to the 15k attendance rule.


I understand where SDSU, UNM, and UNLV would like to be playing in a league with Fresno, Nevada, Boise, Hawaii.

Compare the less desirable half of the league though. Would SDSU, UNM, and UNLV rather play Idaho, UtahSt, NewMexicoSt, and SJSU then Wyoming, Colorado St, Air Force, and TCU. The answer is no. SDSU, UNM, UNLV would rather stay in the MWC and add Fresno, Nevada ect, then join them in the WAC. And why would SDSU, UNM, UNLV want to pony up entrance and exit fees to rejoin the WAC?

Which line up would have more TV value?

NewWAC-SDSU, Fresno, SJSU, Nevada, UNLV, BoiseSt, Idaho, UNM, NMSU, USU, Hawaii

-OR-

NewMWC-SDSU, Fresno, UNLV, Nevada, BoiseSt, UNM, ColoradoSt, Air Force, Wyoming, TCU, Hawaii

This WAC raid of the MWC is almost as stupid as the idea of the WAC raiding CUSA for Tulane and Houston before SMU, Rice, Tulsa, and UTEP moved to CUSA. The WAC is where you play when you can't get into the MWC or CUSA.

And the raid of the MWC by the PAC-10 is much more theoretical than the raid of CUSA by the Big East. And the PAC-10 would at most take 2 schools from the MWC. The Big East could take four from CUSA.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:14 am 
Isn't the major cable network to compete with ESPN supposed to be FSN? Granted, it's federated, but it's undoubtedly more accessible than CSTV or any other potential challengers...now granted, I am not an expert on these matters, but wouldn't FOX Sports (NFC rights; MLB playoffs) be intertwined with FSN, or FSN at least intertwined with FOX News? What is CSTV going to piggy-back off of? Is it a foregone conclusion that FSN will never even become ESPN Lite, even with its copycat programming? I guess their arrangement with TBS and Midwest's live telecasts of Gateway Football are indicative of something...

Like it or not, the BIG EAST and ESPN are geographic neighbors, arrived on the scene at the same time, and furthered each other in a symbiotic relationship which truly began to blossom in the 1980s...

As for the desire for a national BIG EAST package, let it be reiterated that the conference lost its game of the week deal with CBS (whereas the SEC did not) at a time when it still featured its main draw (Miami), and also featured Virginia Tech and Boston College...no offense, but in a football sense, Cincinnati, Louisville, and USF don't have the same cache of a Miami; UC/UL basketball is an entirely different matter...


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