The Academic consortium discussed has many benefits for long term revenue potential.
Academic Consortiums are changing all over the nation thanks to new federal guidelines that are calling for more diversity of institutional types (bringing different viewpoints to the table), more cross-disciplinary approaches, and more collaboration with businesses, local and state agencies, and local and state governments.
The 8 BE football schools could go after the top two 1AA flagship schools in the east in a breakaway conference that could have long term benefits for academics.
Just add UMass and U of Delaware.
Both contain very good 1AA football programs and Delaware is a haven for Corporate America. Along with the federal government both have potential for grants and revenue generation for colleges.
Of course we have discussed the value of both of these flag ship schools for many years as well.
When will the Big East get past Notre Dame and needs of eastern basketball only schools and think more like the Big Ten.
Adding two more flagship state universities in the east may be what the Big East really needs more than any thing esle including football schools.
There is only one state flagship program out there not currently in the conference that interests the Big East - and that is the obvious one.
UMass and Delaware do absolutely nothing for the Big East. Neither would SUNY Albany, University of Maine, University of Vermont, etc.
The northeast isn't the midwest or the south. The Big East contains three of the four state flagship it needs.
Instead of taking the Big Ten approach of trying to get all state flagships, the Big East, like the newer academic consortiums, needs to go for balance between state flagships, privates, and metro-public institutions.
Forgetting about which institutions that they should be, the goal might be to have 4 state flagships, 4 privates, and 4 metro-public.
Now, looking at the Big East football schools as they currently exist, all of the metro-public slots are full - Pitt, Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida. Three of the 4 state flagship spots are full - Rutgers, West Virginia and Connecticut. And one of the private slots is full - Syracuse.
So, an approach might be to fill in one state flagship and three privates. Now let's try and fill in the slots with the most logical candidates, keeping in mind the idea is to improve to the point where the league is on a par with Big Ten, SEC, and ACC.
Well, the only state flagship that makes sense for the northeast is the one that got away - Penn State.
And the three privates that make sense for the Big East are the two that use to be part of the Big East, Boston College and Miami, and the one that is already part of the Big East for all sports but football - Notre Dame.
Yes, I hear the groans now. ::)
Pipe dream. Can't happen in a million years. :-/
Well, if the BTN proves to have a successful launch, then the Big Ten conference may very well have given the Big East a possible solution to their dilemma. A dilemma that wasn't about the quality of northeastern institutions, but rather about not having all of the major northeastern athletic programs in one conference in the way that the Big Ten has all of the major North Central athletic institutions in theirs.
There are approximately 11 million TV households in the state of New York and NYC DMAs. The national average for cable/DirectTV/Dish subscribers is 84%, the remaining 16% are OTA (Over-the-Air) TV households.
NOTE: I have to use TVHH since I don't have a separate figure that would weed out housing complexes that come with cable units in them and whether or not these units get a discount (I'm assuming that do) for multiple cable TVHHs. Still, I've crunched similar numbers for the Big Ten and they are coming out in the ballpark of between 14-15 million (with their ABC/ESPN contract) per school - which is close to the 13 million estimate I am seeing on Big Ten boards.
Eleven million times eighty-four percent means that there are likely 9.2 million subcribers in New York/NYC DMA total. At $13.20 a subscriber that totals over $120 million right there for this state alone to be divvied up between a network and a conference. Assuming for the moment that the Big Ten/FOX deal is like a 50/50 split, a similar split for any conference able to claim the NY State total could be as high as $60 million.
When you throw in the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and West Virginia that totals to $190 million, with a conference total of $95 million.
When you add in the state of Pennsylvania, the total jumps to an obscene $120 million for the conference take.
Unlike the Big Ten that is using its regionality and alums to try and win the day in the Midwest. The Big East would have to use a combination strategy of the alums and the huge Catholic population of the northeast to pull this off. And it wouldn't necessarily limit itself to the states of its members, rather it would extend it to all the states that are part of the region it represents.
Obviously this all keys on Penn State and Notre Dame being interested. So why would they be interested when one is already in the Big Ten and the other only needs to join the Big Ten to get similar benefits.
Well, this is where accentuating the strengths of the Big East comes into play - particularly adaptability.
A weakness of the Big East in the past has been its willingness to treat its 'special' members differently than others in the conference.
Now that weakness can become a strength. This league can do what no other league seems willing to do. It can offer a bigger piece of the pie to Penn State and Notre Dame.
Think such a proposal wouldn't pique their curiosity to at least consider it? Do you think Penn State might be willing to consider going to a conference where its alum are located and where it has a chance of being the equivalent of Ohio State/Michigan instead of being an after thought for a much bigger piece of the pie than they will receive from the Big Ten?
Assuming that the changing college landscape has ND come to the conclusion that the days of independence are over, think the more balance of academic institutional types in the Big East won't be more appealing to them? Or the fact that the regionality of the league spreads over more areas - New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the North Central, the South Atlantic, and the South Central regions - giving the league more variety of reach than does the Big Ten?
And if Penn State and Notre Dame can be hooked, I have no doubt Miami and BC would come back as well. They'd have too.
Then add in the Tampa-Orlando, Miami, Louisville, and Cincinnati markets and the conference total jumps to $150 million. Add in the national TV contracts that such a league would command and you're up to at $200 million. Give Notre Dame, Penn State, and Miami 10 million each off the top of that and divide the rest equally amonst all twelve and you have the ND, PSU, and Miami receiving just under 24 million each from the Big East Network and the ABC/ESPN contracts while the other 9 receive just under 15 million each.
So, taking 2 million off each due to my note above and you come out with ND, PSU, and Miami receiving 22 million each and the others receiving 13 million each.
Perhaps the power isn't truly in state flagships, after all. Maybe Gavitt and Tranghese will be proven right - it's all about the markets.