I don't see how any BCS conference would expand to more than 12 teams since that's the optimal number in terms of being able to hold a championship game while not having to split the revenue pie among too many schools. I guess if you could add Texas and Texas A&M, that would be a large impact, but that's definitely a pie-in-the-sky scenario.
Agreed. But if the SEC is considering all options - especially for a TV contract, it would be nuts not to at least talk to them. 22 million people (and the corresponding TV sets) is ALOT. Also consider that the Big12 would NEVER be able to take a SEC team. A SEC channel with the 22 million from Texas and TA&M would dwarf any channel the Big12 could put together.
Do I think it would happen - probably not - but I am sure the SEC already knows that but it's crunching the numbers.
In fact, I think you'd be very hard-pressed to find anyone leave any of the BCS conferences other than the Big East - the amount of additional revenue gained by moving from the Big 12 to the SEC is not going to be that much and the break-up fee is going to be significant.
Agree about the BE. The BE has one small sliver of hope to entice teams from other BCS conferences to join - and it's pathway is none other than the BTN. The chances are small but it's there.
Anyway, are you sure about the Big 12 breakup? I don't know the exit fees for the Big12, is it one year's conference share (ie about $10 million?).
Consider that each school in the SEC with UTexas and A&M - with a SEC channel - would make about $7.5 million just from this channel alone. That doesn't include the increase to their TV contracts for ABC/ESPN, BB revenue, Bowl games, etc.
Would the SEC make a 'similar' amount of money without Texas and Texas A&M - sure but Texas and Texas A&M could make MORE by being in the SEC over the Big12.
Remember, the BTN is leading the race for additional revenue. Think about the money the BTN will get if they expand with RU or SU? Do you think the other conferences are going to sit by and let the Big 10 rake in huge amounts of revenue if there is a chance for those conferences to expand and get more revenue themselves?
Again, I don't think it would happen but certainly the SEC would have ALL options on the Table.
Of course the flip side to this is that the Texas and Texas A&M could consider the Pac10 or vice versa. Again, conference TV networks will change a lot about college athletics - especially if the BTN continues it's climb and gets Time Warner, Comcast, and the other major cable companies on board.
That being said, the SEC would probably be able to have its own regional network already without any expansion. The Florida Gators alone would have enough leverage to get carried statewide (the addition of FSU and/or Miami wouldn't be necessary) while most of the teams would be considered the most popular teams in each of their home markets (even more so than the pro teams in that region). That's a mix that's ripe for a TV channel.
It's not a question as to whether the SEC could get the channel statewide in Florida - I'm sure they could. It's a question of how much they could charge - especially with FSU and a lesser extent Miami in the same state. Would an SEC channel be able to get $1.10 per channel or would they have to reduce their fees somewhat.
Pitt and ISU are the only schools inside their footprint for BTN fees. The PSU/Pitt situation is not like the FSU/UF situation in Florida. PSU is CLEARLY the statewide team. Pittsburgh is the only city in PA where Pitt obviously has more support. I don't know how the cable companies would react to the pricing in Florida.
However, IF the SEC was able to charge the $1.10 that the BTN charges in Florida, then obviously FSU wouldn't be a good option for them.
If these network channels take off, then conference expansion are going to require new markets. Again, if the Big10 is raking in huge amounts of cash - especially if TW and Comcast start showing the BTN on basic - why would other conferences sit by and why would conferences leave potential revenue sources sit out there. That makes schools that garner essentially state-wide support in large populous states expansion targets under THIS scenerio (UConn, SU, RU, etc). The NE with their populous states are obviously expansion targets. Its what the Big 10 did and what the ACC did.
IF the Big 10 wasn't interested in the 'NE' markets, then they could just cut to the chase and have perfect symmetry by letting Penn State go to the Big East and inviting Missouri and Nebraska into the league (as I posted in the Dream Conference Scenerio).
East Division - Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Northwestern
West Division - Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois,
It makes them a 'true' midwestern conference, it gives them equal markets to what they would have now, and it perfectly balances their divisions in a way no other possible configuration could (other than doing the unthinkable and replacing Northwestern with Cincinnati). All the members would be AAU and reside in a continguous state with each other.
And it is a league that is extremely likely to happen if the Big Ten chose to pursue this make-up. However, we know why it would not.
Sorry about the rant.......