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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:21 am 
Does anyone remember when Prime Sports (later merged into FSN) showed an ACC game of the week (well, in available markets anyway)?

Also, does anyone know what happened to TBS' previous venture(s) into college football? Was it only for an SEC game of the week (1980s?) or were other CFA members included as well?


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:23 pm 
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<<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? >>

Possibly, but my point was that Fresno, Boise and Hawaii have the decision. The MWC doesn't have enough members to survive in the scenario where they lose BYU and Utah to BCS conferences. SDSU, UNM, UNLV don't make the decision. The question is whether Fresno, Boise and Hawaii want to pony up entrance and exit fees to rejoin their scheming former WAC partners in the MWC in order to get a marginally stronger league that has more travel.

<<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>>

None of the above! And that is the point. Minus BYU and Utah there is very little difference.

And a new WAC would have room for Colorado St. and maybe Air Force after they had let them sweat a little bit. TCU would have to go back to CUSA. Wyoming would be in some trouble.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:43 pm 
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While Boise fans' dreams of the Mountain West are directly related to BYU's existence in it, I offer the opinion here that Air Force and UNLV will be calling more shots IF this freaky Utah/BYU thing actually happens.


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


Not so fast, Lash! They did Eugene in 2000 or 2001 (so goes my memory), in advance of an important game against UCLA. It was late October or early November, meaning that it was pretty dark at 7:30 am PT when the cameras rolled, which may be one reason the crew hasn't been back since. BTW, the legion of Boise people who were actually furious that La Tech beat Fresno was probably heard out your way ('Zona, right?) is because some at ESPN had hinted they would consider hopping out to Boise on October 23 if Fresno and Boise were still undefeated. Nah, the blue turf doesn't deserve the spotlight! ;D


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:57 pm 

Quote:
TCU would have to go back to CUSA.


One thing I agree with you on is TCU will have to shop for another conference in a PAC-10 expansion scenario.

I don't see TCU back in CUSA. Would they really want to be the 13th school in CUSA, or would they rather form Conference ??? with just 9 schools for better strength of schedule.

The new BCS criteria looks to include an attendance and overall strength component, neither of which the 12 team CUSA of 2005 will be able to make naturally. Memphis has often voiced its displeasure with the new conference, and I'm hearing ECU is looking for a new home. I could definitely see dissatisfaction splitting CUSA and the dissatisfied forming a new smaller more BCS level conference.

Thin is in. The MWC is probably going to hold at 9 members for top to bottom strength. Same with the Big East at 8 or 9. CUSA will stay at 12 now until the next round of realignment. CUSA doesn't even have a neutral site for its championship game. Why do they need 12?


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:14 pm 
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Pounder, thanks for clarification on ESPN game day history with the Pac 10. Some national reporter has the facts incorrect. Maybe I misuderstood what was printed.

Mr Ouija, there is an incorrect assumption on CBS and the BE football deal. The BE did not have bad ratings. The problem with CBS was the same as ABC is having with the ACC, the SEC wanted a lot more cash. CBS could get the same ratings with the SEC, so why pay a second conference when you have to double your payouts to the SEC.

Granted the SEC is a great football conference and is located in a very good football TV fan region, however, this is the reason fans need more networks.

Otherwise you better be an ACC or SEC fan if you want to watch weekend football from another conference.

The new cable network is going to be very good for the MWC because the MWC region will more than overtake CBS, ABC, ESPN due to exposure for MWC games when head to head matchups.

This exposure will help with requiting and pay the bills.




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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:56 pm 
Let me get this straight...the BIG EAST (1995-2000), featuring some of the nation's largest media markets (Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia), did not have its exclusive national broadcast rights renewed (out of further deference to the SEC), but "did not have bad ratings?" If there wasn't a ratings problem then why were these markets excluded in favor of a conference whose theoretical media saturation level is not as great
(members in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina)...

As for the ACC, I simply don't see them attaining a guaranteed (Saturday) game(s) of the week on ESPN/ESPN2...I'm not sure if the SEC is on ESPN/ESPN2 every weekend, but I know that the Big Ten always has at least one game on ESPN/ESPN2 (and likewise the Big XII/Pac-10 on FSN/TBS)...if anything the de facto ACC "game of the week" (ESPN/ESPN2) tends to be on Thursday, not Saturday...

This is not to say that ACC games are never aired on Saturdays, it's just to say that the ACC's Thursday-Saturday is maybe second only to the Mountain West's...the SEC never seems to be on Thursday nights too often, and I can't ever recall a Big Ten school hosting a game on a weeknight unless there were extraordinary circumstances involved (e.g. Ohio State in BCA Classic, Minnesota Twins in MLB Playoffs)...the ACC was already taking the weeknight (Thursday) exposure route on a regular basis well before C-USA, the MAC, the MWC, and the WAC were regularly playing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays...

Again, what sort of access is CSTV going to receive, even in the Mountain West areas? Reminds me of when the NHL signed its deal with SportsChannel America and was off of ESPN for a few years...presumably CSTV/MWC will be an all-Saturday affair, rather than the current Thursday-Friday-late Saturday arrangement...will it really be all that much better in terms of exposure?


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:29 am 
Of any conference that generally features select games on ESPN/ESPN2 on Saturdays, the ACC's weeknight exposure (includes Fridays) is probably third, behind the BIG EAST and the Mountain West...it seems that the "other" conferences (C-USA/MAC/SBC/WAC) never have Saturday games aired on ESPN/ESPN2, and it probably doesn't help that BCS programs generally shun playing programs from those conferences on the road...it seems like the latter years of the CBS/BIG EAST arrangement made it through the season based on non-conference games (e.g. Florida State, Notre Dame, Penn State) with programs whose home television rights were held elsewhere...


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:25 am 
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Mr Ouija, again your missing the point on CBS/SEC. SEC was demanding a lot more rights fees and could have moved to another network. CBS approached the BE in those days and wanted another confernce to schedule double headers and of course the big eastern markets.

The reason for dropping the BE was simply southern college football greed. The same issues that caused the ACC to raid the BE and demand more money from ABC.



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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:32 am 
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B10 has the biggest TV contract and easily the biggest exposure. In Houston we get at least 4 Big 10 games every week. ABC almost always has a Big 10 game in the early slot with ESPN and ESPN2 playing Big 10 games at the same time. There is often a syndicated game as well. We normally do NOT get 4 Big 12 games in a week.

If the BE had good ratings on CBS, why is ABC paying them so little? Reality check-BE ratings were poor. Not as bad as the ACC (which drove the ACC to pick off the best TV draws in the BE), but if they were good, CBS would find a time to put them in and ABC would pay more. The BE had 3 teams nobody wanted to see (Temple, Rutgers and Pitt were all bad for most of the 90s) so that didn't leave many good matchups as usually 1 to 3 of the other 5 were having a bad year.

The MWC might do well in their new arrangement, but I, too was reminded of the NHL leaving ESPN and falling on their face. They need somebody else to follow them. But in the short run, it was a good move. The money they left behind was insignificant unless they played on weeknights. And if they played on weeknights, they lost $ at the gate. The gamble is that recruiting might get hurt by low exposure if CSTV doesn't take off. The ESPN $ without weeknight games was going to be less than the last contract which was $7 million per year, so it would be $500k to $800k per team. They don't need much in $ from CSTV to break even.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:45 am 
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The exposure issue for the MWC isnt' the number of games. It is that CSTV isn't carried by many cable or satellite companies so it may not matter how many games are on if noone can get the service. They need to significantly grow their coverage. Also, they may not be a "free" service, futher reducing the availability. Everyone has ESPN and most have ESPN2.

Also, they may get buried on Saturdays, especially in markets like California where they recruit heavily. On weeknights they did have exclusive coverage on ESPN.

The Friday night ESPN championship game has clearly helped the MAC. Before they got no more coverage than I-AA conferences. The MAC standings were never carried in the Texas papers until last year. Every other conference was listed. Also, they get seen by the writers and pollsters.

I do like the MWC philosophy regarding TV. "We're going to do what's best for us, not what's best for TV!" They are building their attendance and game day revenues instead of sacrificing that for TV $ and national coverage by ESPN. And if they want to get in the top group of conferences, that may be the way to do it. Large loud crowds generate more large crowds and make for better TV. They are also encouraging for recruiting. If they get everyone but Wyoming over 40k, they can't be ignored. Right now, they've got BYU and Air Force around 50k or better. Utah is starting to draw 40k regularly. New Mexico is starting to get close to 40k. SDSU, UNLV and CSU need to improve attendance (and all 3 have stadium issues to get to 40k).


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:41 am 
Upon further review, and without consulting external research in the interests of time, here is my basic synopsis of the CBS/BIG EAST fallout (1995-2000)...

When CBS inked the BIG EAST deal, the conference was still relatively new and CBS had just lost its NFL rights to FOX (and its MLB rights)...CBS Sports was to become the de facto NCAA Championship network (sort of like NBC with the Olympics), carrying the NCAA Tournament, the Bowl Alliance (1995-1997), and BIG EAST/SEC football...

Miami was concluding its 12 straight seasons of appearances in either the Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, or Cotton Bowls...

Syracuse had appeared in a Sugar Bowl (1987) and Fiesta Bowl (1992) within the last half-dozen years and was viewed as a perennial top 20 program, with a seamless coaching transition (McPherson to Patriots, enter Pasqualoni)...

West Virginia had appeared in a Fiesta Bowl (1988) and Sugar Bowl (1993) within the last half-dozen years and appeared in 7 bowl games (as an independent) during the 1980s under Don Nehlen...

Boston College not all that far removed from "Flutie-mania" and Tom Coughlin's era (1991-1993 to expansion Jaguars) had raised some serious national attention (victory over #1 Notre Dame)...

It was not at all evident that the Pitt program was moribund...granted, these weren't the Majors-Sherrill-Fazio days, but Pitt had been to bowls in 1987 and 1989, and ranked during the 1991 season...

Rutgers, Temple, and Virginia Tech were the "unknowns"

Temple was coming off of a winning season in 1990, and the 1986 Heisman candidacy of Paul Palmer, and while they weren't exactly a stellar program, they weren't the easternmost member of the MAC either...big-time college football in Philadelphia had been a relative unknown since Penn dropped scholarships, but it seemed like Temple had much more potential to exploit the Miami-Syracuse-BIG EAST connection than say, Virginia Tech...

Rutgers had been gradually upgrading its schedule since at least the late 1970s, was building a new stadium, and could host games at the Meadowlands, again, seemingly they had the resources to exploit their newfound affiliation and turn it into glory moreso than Virginia Tech...

Virginia Tech had some decent seasons in the 1980s, but was still a member of the Metro Conference, and, coincidentally enough, was coming off of NCAA probation (football and basketball) in the early 1990s...prior to the 1993 season (first year of 11 straight bowl appearances), it appeared as though Frank Beamer's job was in serious jeopardy...

Also, longtime "Eastern" stalwart Penn State was still in its infancy in the Big Ten, and the full impact of its absence could not yet adequately gaged...gone were the "big games" against Pitt, Syracuse, and WVU...

What happened...

Miami got slapped with NCAA violations, and would not fully recover until at least 2000 (final year of the contract)...

Syracuse slipped slightly, and its Fiesta/Orange Bowl appearances were as automatic qualifiers (8-3) representing a weakened BIG EAST, not as an "at-large" (ala 1987 and 1989)...

West Virginia was never again able to reach its heights of say, 1988, 1993, or even 1982, and Don Nehlen eventually retired...

Boston College lost Coughlin to the Jaguars, and Dan Henning was not able to sustain the relative success...and then came the gambling scandal (1996), also New England Patriot fans were able to come out of the closet again or "renew" their affiliation (homers)...

Pitt slowly began to emerge under Walt Harris, but its bowl appearances were 1997 Liberty (6-5?) and 2000 (bowl game played in BOB)...

Temple went from bad to worse and conference affiliation did not emerge as its salvation...

Rutgers went from bad to worse and conference affiliation did not emerge as its salvation...Doug Graber had a good run, but the onset of the Terry Shea era meant winless seasons...

Virginia Tech (and Syracuse) more or less assumed the conference mantle during the "Avignon Papacy" (NCAA sanctions against Miami), but VT showed more credibility, with an appearance in the national title game (1999), a 10-1 Orange Bowl season (1996), and a victory in the Sugar Bowl (1995)...

The Bowl Alliance (1995-1997) did not become the signature event that CBS had hoped...now that I think about it, they only aired the Fiesta and the Orange and not the Sugar...doesn't help when the undefeated teams at the end of the 1996 and 1997 seasons were contractually obligated in opposite directions and unable to meet on the field...hence the formation of the BCS (1998), and the CBS withdrawal from the Fiesta and the Orange Bowls...

CBS regained a share of the NFL rights (1998), taking over the AFC coverage from NBC...

Was CBS overoptimistic in a hypothetical presumption that the BIG EAST (Boston, Buffalo, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh) would be able to supplant a lack of NFL coverage? Probably, but look at what conference affiliation (BIG EAST) and tv saturation (ESPN) had done for Eastern basketball in the 1980s...why couldn't it happen again, this time in football...


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:18 pm 
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Quote:

Mr Ouija, there is an incorrect assumption on CBS and the BE football deal. The BE did not have bad ratings. The problem with CBS was the same as ABC is having with the ACC, the SEC wanted a lot more cash. CBS could get the same ratings with the SEC, so why pay a second conference when you have to double your payouts to the SEC.

Granted the SEC is a great football conference and is located in a very good football TV fan region, however, this is the reason fans need more networks.

Otherwise you better be an ACC or SEC fan if you want to watch weekend football from another conference.

Or a Big Ten fan. The Big Ten gets quite a bit of weekend exposure, believe it or not.
On the networks, too many of them are preoccupied with other things to look into broadcasting college games, which is a pity. :( :'(
NBC likes televising ND and no one else. Why? They've probably got most of their contract $$'s tied up with the Olympics and the PGA Tour. ND and the Arena Football League basically round out NBC sports.
Fox likes televising the NFL, MLB, and NASCAR. Those three all get top billing on Fox. Everybody else has to fight for peanuts!!
All of this is just for network tv. I haven't even delved into cable yet.
TBS/TNT- returning to their old foundation programming: classic movies and Braves games.
All other cable network except for ESPN, ESPN2, and CSTV: more interested in sitcoms, movies, and/or music than college sports.


Last edited by dawgnduckfan on Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:52 pm 
Not exactly sure that TBS is returning to its standard "Braves games and classic movies," they seem to have a fair amount of original programming, or recycled programming packaged as original programming (e.g. Dinner and a Movie)...

Also, as anecdotal reference to the pull of Big Ten football in terms of ESPN-related programming, I once was able to watch a Michigan-Western Michigan game (ESPN Plus) aired on a FOX affiliate based in Ottumwa, Iowa...a Michigan-Western Michigan game syndicated into Iowa and Missouri!


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:35 pm 
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I used to be able (God bless firewalls) to look at TV sports ratings on an irregular basis just a few years ago.

NFL games on Sundays draw usually from a 9 to a 12.

ABC college football, in the time period where the regional games run, draw a 4, or if there's a really big game, a 5. That's usually with 4 games on the slate.

CBS SEC coverage would draw 3-something.

NBC Notre Dame coverage, in the time I watched, was drawing 2-something. They've had years in the 4s, from what I've seen.

Truth is that NBC can run gymnastics or figure skating and other "special events" and get 2+ for a lot cheaper than they can by inking a contract with the Big 12. College football isn't "THAT" popular, which is why I take little stock in Lash's dream of more networks getting involved in the game.


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 Post subject: Mountain West
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:14 pm 
http://www.suathletics.com/sports/gen/2001/history2.asp

A-10 members Rutgers and West Virginia acceded to BIG EAST membership for the sole purpose of facilitating a contract with CBS for exclusive national broadcast rights...would that be considered "eastern[sic] college football greed?"



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