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Old 03-03-2010, 08:27 AM   #151
KWhit
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Rutgers would get their asses handed to them if they played in one of the major football conferences.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #152
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Rutgers would get their asses handed to them if they played in one of the major football conferences.

Are you not considering the Big 10 to be a major football conference?

Where exactly are the mountain of losses coming from against Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan State, and Purdue? Add in Michigan as they continue to struggle. Wisconsin and Iowa would be competitive games. Facing that schedule last year, Rutgers likely goes to their best bowl game ever because of the tie-ins.

But please continue and think that a team with Freshman All-Americans at QB and WR and one Top 10 pick and another probable 1st rounder on the roster would have had their asses handed to them against those juggernauts.

Posts like this and Marmel's are the reasons I've tried my best to stay out of threads like this, because I end up arguing with people who don't have a fucking clue.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #153
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Glad to see Missouri not on the top of the list.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:55 AM   #154
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The Frank the Tank Blog, which I think I first read linked from here, has a lot of logic about the information that was let out of the bag yesterday. Specifically, why something like this would be leaked and a closer look at the argument for Rutgers. I don't know if the Big Ten will follow his train of thought in their decision making, but there are a lot of well-reasoned thoughts in his post.

I think his closing paragraph says it best

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Let’s think of it this way: the Big Ten has spent the last two decades waiting around for Notre Dame. During that process, they’ve actually looked at Missouri, Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt several times and they were never deemed worthy of being invited before. They’ve also given up conference championship game revenue during that period of time as a result of waiting for the Irish. The Big Ten then took a massive risk of building its own TV network (which a lot of people ridiculed at the time), which has now paid off in spades in the form of TV revenues that far surpass what Notre Dame receives from NBC. This means that the Big Ten has never had more leverage in terms of adding schools in its entire history. So, after all of this time and at the height of its power, is the Big Ten really going to cash in all of its chips after all of that time on a potential project like Rutgers? A “safe but not glamorous” choice like Missouri? Is the Big Ten, with all of its financial advantages today, really going to add a school that doesn’t bring as much to the table as Penn State did to the conference or even Miami did to the ACC? While there might be some Big Ten ADs out there like Ron Guenther that think small, Jim Delany is a big-time visionary and I have full faith that he’s not going to push a move just for the sake of making a move. If the Big Ten doesn’t add Notre Dame, then it’s going to go after a school that’s even better (not secondary choices that are lower in terms of impact). Call me naive, crazy or one-track minded, but money has a way of making “pipe dreams” on paper in sports fan terms become much more realistic.

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:12 AM   #155
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It's not even a question: If ND wanted in, they're the school. Also not questionable: they're not going to expand unless it pays financial dividends to the other members which is already calculable.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #156
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First time I had seen these numbers, but if anyone wonders why a school would want to join the Big 10, here ya go:

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But according to tax forms the nonprofit conference is required to make public, it generated $217.7 million and paid each school about $18.8 million in 2007, the most recent year for which tax forms are available.

The next year, according to the Sports Business Journal, the new TV network added another $66 million to the pot. That pushed the per-team payout to about $22 million each, a figure officials from several Big Ten schools confirm remains accurate.

The next most prosperous conference, the SEC, paid its member schools about $11 million each in 2007, according to tax documents.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #157
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It's a resurgence by their standards, but I don't see how the improvement from terrible to just slightly above average makes them guarantee "The New York Market" for the Big Ten.

I looked for this stat before without success, but I wonder how many total viewers watch Pitt games (and games of other Big Ten candidates), as opposed to how many total viewers watch Rutgers games. Pitt is obviously in only a market a fraction of the size of NYC, but I wouldn't be surprised if they drew more total viewers than Rutgers.

I think the article Swaggs posted makes a lot of sense too - it's hard to see the Big 10 expanding without making a serious splash. Maybe that could be Rutgers if they got to some BCS Bowls had some success over a decade or more and established a national fan base and some history - but to invite them based on the solid achievements of one head coach there over a few years (whose overall record there is .500) seems a little premature.

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Old 03-03-2010, 12:02 PM   #158
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It's a resurgence by their standards, but I don't see how the improvement from terrible to just slightly above average makes them guarantee "The New York Market" for the Big Ten.

I looked for this stat before without success, but I wonder how many total viewers watch Pitt games (and games of other Big Ten candidates), as opposed to how many total viewers watch Rutgers games. Pitt is obviously in only a market a fraction of the size of NYC, but I wouldn't be surprised if they drew more total viewers than Rutgers.

I think the article Swaggs posted makes a lot of sense too - it's hard to see the Big 10 expanding without making a serious splash. Maybe that could be Rutgers if the got to some BCS Bowls had some success over a decade or more and established a national fan base and some history - but to do it based on the solid achievements of one head coach there over a few years seems a little premature.

It has less to do with viewers that RU brings in as much as it has to do with the access they can give the Big 10. Remember that a ton of people in the NY area aren't fans of Syracuse or Rutgers, but instead Michigan and Penn State. Those people will be able to get access to the BTN now as well.

All that matters is how many homes they can get the BTN into and obviously here is a higher probability of reaching the maximum homes via Rutgers then there would via way of Pitt or Mizzou.

Texas and Notre Dame are obviously the big fish, but adding Rutgers could add another couple mil to each schools bottom line just from new BTN clearances, plus the additional bowl game revenue. Teams could get around 27 mil a season from that.

And don't forget that being in the Big 10 immediately raises Rutgers stock. It might not pay dividend right away as far as a new fan explosion, but for younger kids without a favorite team, it can't hurt Rutgers that every year they'll see a Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State in their home state.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #159
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And don't forget that being in the Big 10 immediately raises Rutgers stock. It might not pay dividend right away as far as a new fan explosion, but for younger kids without a favorite team, it can't hurt Rutgers that every year they'll see a Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State in their home state.

That's true, but that would be true of any Big 10 candidate.

The difference is the NYC market, goes the argument - but Rutgers has been in that market forever. Has a few wins really changed things that much? They have had good teams there before.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:21 PM   #160
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That's true, but that would be true of any Big 10 candidate.

The difference is the NYC market, goes the argument - but Rutgers has been in that market forever. Has a few wins really changed things that much? They have had good teams there before.

I think you underestimate just how bad they were. I mean, we're talking losses to 1AA teams, just overall embarrassment. I mean when I was there, we'd show up drunk in the 2nd quarter and leave by halftime. You could sit so close you could have conversations with the players (I remember an exchange we had with Warren Sapp). You go to games today, it's wall to wall people tailgating, piling in to see kickoff, and for the most part staying around. Ray Rice was 20 stories high in Times Square. They just had Britt go in the first, 6 players taken in the draft, and have 1 sure fire (though his combines sucked balls) and 1 possible other 1st round pick.

You can minimize it all you want and talk about how mediocre 8 wins is, but there has been a monster shift in people caring about college football (RU in particular) in that market. Don't forget RU also had a one-sided rivalry for a little while with PSU at Giants Stadium (I went the game where our coach took a shot at Paterno). Also, RU basketball, while pretty bad, had some decent seasons where they were 15+ game winners and a bubble team.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:36 PM   #161
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Are you not considering the Big 10 to be a major football conference?

Where exactly are the mountain of losses coming from against Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan State, and Purdue? Add in Michigan as they continue to struggle. Wisconsin and Iowa would be competitive games. Facing that schedule last year, Rutgers likely goes to their best bowl game ever because of the tie-ins.

Yes, the Big Ten is a major football conference. Probably the weakest, most over-rated one, but much better than the Big East.

I mean Rutgers is losing 4 or 5 games in the Big East. 2006 (when they only lost 2 games) is the outlier. And even that year, they didn't even play a team all year that finished in the top 25 (I think, if my Google-fu is working).

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But please continue and think that a team with Freshman All-Americans at QB and WR and one Top 10 pick and another probable 1st rounder on the roster would have had their asses handed to them against those juggernauts.

I doubt they would be Freshmen All Americans if they were playing against better competition.

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Posts like this and Marmel's are the reasons I've tried my best to stay out of threads like this, because I end up arguing with people who don't have a fucking clue.

Dude, I think you're seeing things through Scarlet colored glasses.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:58 PM   #162
molson
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I think you underestimate just how bad they were. I mean, we're talking losses to 1AA teams, just overall embarrassment. I mean when I was there, we'd show up drunk in the 2nd quarter and leave by halftime. You could sit so close you could have conversations with the players (I remember an exchange we had with Warren Sapp). You go to games today, it's wall to wall people tailgating, piling in to see kickoff, and for the most part staying around. Ray Rice was 20 stories high in Times Square. They just had Britt go in the first, 6 players taken in the draft, and have 1 sure fire (though his combines sucked balls) and 1 possible other 1st round pick.

I remember them as being horrible in the late 90s but just kind of bad in the early 90s.

But assuming your point, if the Rutgers football program was an embarassment until the last 4 years, is that really a great risk for the Big 10? I mean, they'd really stand out in that conference if it didn't work out.

And while people tailgating, staying around, having players taken in the draft, ect, is progress - it's only progress to the level that almost every other 1-A football program, particularly the other Big 10 candidates, have reached decades ago. And those schools have the history where that support is there, even when the team is bad. Will that be true with Rutgers? We have no idea.

NYC is like Boston, they're pro towns, who will get mildly interested in college sports when the teams are good. UMass was all over the Boston media when they were good, but now, it's like they don't exist. Even Boston College is pretty irrelevant in the local sports landscape when they're not a serious contender. (and I really think the upgrade to the ACC, while good for them financially, hurt their local popularity, since there's no connection to those ACC schools). NYC is a basketball town, but even St. Johns isn't that big a deal except when they're a championship contender, which hasn't been the case in two decades.

Maybe it would work out. There's obviously other, behind-the-scene considerations as well.

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Old 03-03-2010, 01:06 PM   #163
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Maybe it would work out. There's obviously other, behind-the-scene considerations as well.

My guess is that getting the Big 10 Network onto basic cable in metro NYC is a significant consideration.

More subscribers = higher rates the B10 can charge for advertising (and possibly for the subscribers, though I'm not sure on that front) = more revenue
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:06 PM   #164
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My guess is that getting the Big 10 Network onto basic cable in metro NYC is a significant consideration.


Do they need Rutgers to do that? We hear about all the Big 10 alum in the NYC metro area - why do they need Rutgers to acess them?

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Old 03-03-2010, 01:14 PM   #165
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Folks are overrating the idea that performance matters in these leagues. Competitiveness matters to a degree, but it's largely about a good fit academically for some leagues and about the opportunities to maximize revenue.

These decisions aren't made by sports fans, so the fact that Rutgers was a doormat until a few minutes ago in football and still remains so in men's basketball just doesn't matter in regards to whether this deal gets consummated. (though I will point out that the basketball team is an overall winning record in a Big East where 14 of the 16 teams have them. That's just insane by any standard...and the women's program is solid and they do have strong non-revenue sports, if we're measuring "program quality.")

Big Ten officials want a school that fits academically. Penn State being the last school added should tell you about what they look for. Notre Dame notwithstanding (and their position being well elucidated..) it's not a surprise that Rutgers and Missouri rate high on the list. Both are flagship state schools. Pitt is an independent state school and they already have the flagship school for Pennsylvania in their league and Syracuse is private.

These decisions are political ones that have way more to do with the sort of pedantic things that folks in the academy care about and I assure very little of it has anything to do with win/loss records. Sure, they might let coaches into the conversations, but...no one wants to add a program to their league that they expect will dominate it. It's about other things and this decision will ultimately be made by that standard. What those standards are we can only guess, but don't be mistaken into believe it's going to be a competitive analysis, because it doesn't matter.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #166
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If W/L doesn't matter, why is Rutgers considered this upstart desirable revenue-generating football program for conferences only now, after a couple of good years on the field? Isn't NYC interest and popularity critical to this working out from a revenue perspective?

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Old 03-03-2010, 01:29 PM   #167
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Do they need Rutgers to do that? We hear about all the Big 10 alum in the NYC metro area - why do they need Rutgers to acess them?

B10 network won't likely be on basic cable tier unless a team from that locality is in conference.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:35 PM   #168
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If W/L doesn't matter, why is Rutgers considered this upstart desirable revenue-generating football program for conferences only now, after a couple of good years on the field? Isn't NYC interest and popularity critical to this working out from a revenue perspective?

Because Rutgers is the only BCS program in the NYC metro area.

No, it's not critical to success. 12 teams = conference title game. If the Big Ten wanted to add Bowling Green, they could do it and it wouldn't matter. No buzz there, but this is about adding a 12th team for relevance.

If the revenue situation was what it is going to be anyway with a 12th team, having a "bad" Rutgers program isn't going to diminish the product. At worst, they become an afterthought and naysayers just show up and talk about how they were the wrong team for the league, how they were just a doormat and should've stayed where they were, etc, and how the Big Ten should've added Missouri or Texas or Simon Fraser, because that would've been better than f-ing Rutgers.

Inviting Rutgers to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation won't be about wins and losses or TV contracts. That's all I'm saying, despite all of the words.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:52 PM   #169
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Because Rutgers is the only BCS program in the NYC metro area.


That's been true since the BCS started. Why didn't the ACC consider Rutgers when it expanded? It seems like some conference should have snatched up this market by now, if it was going to be so beneficial.

It might be interesting to look at how the ACC has benefited from "access" to the Boston market with BC - that access had to be a major consideration there. Though I'm not sure if that's easily quantified.

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Old 03-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #170
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The ACC doesn't have their own TV network to pimp in the biggest TV market.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:26 PM   #171
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Dude, I think you're seeing things through Scarlet colored glasses.

You'll notice that I didn't post anything about the team's prospects in the Big 10 until you claimed they would "get their asses handed to them." If you think the bottom half of the conference is that challenging, I'll continue to think you're crazy but that's fine. Pull the perennial teams out of both leagues (PSU/Mich/OSU and WVU) and anyone impartial would see that they're similar in strength.

You'll also notice that outside of posting the link to the latest article I've stayed out of the discussions others have had as to why Rutgers is a better candidate than Mizzou, Pitt, Cuse, etc. All that matters is money, and it's going to be something calculable by the Big 10 committee (or the firm they've engaged). If the only way it makes sense is with ND, it won't happen.

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2006 (when they only lost 2 games) is the outlier. And even that year, they didn't even play a team all year that finished in the top 25 (I think, if my Google-fu is working).

Your Google-fu seriously sucks if you couldn't find their conference mates in the final ranking (they beat Louisville - #6 final rank, and lost to WVU - in 3OTs - who finished 10th). Rutgers finished 12th.

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B10 network won't likely be on basic cable tier unless a team from that locality is in conference.

Right, it's already on some networks in the area, but on the sports tier.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #172
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That's been true since the BCS started. Why didn't the ACC consider Rutgers when it expanded? It seems like some conference should have snatched up this market by now, if it was going to be so beneficial.

Because it's also damaging to the conference brand when their teams are playing in front of crowds of 10K. Not the case anymore.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:53 PM   #173
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Your Google-fu seriously sucks if you couldn't find their conference mates in the final ranking (they beat Louisville - #6 final rank, and lost to WVU - in 3OTs - who finished 10th). Rutgers finished 12th.

Fair enough. I kind of thought it sounded wrong, which is why I made the comment. I was going by the ESPN schedule page, which has rankings of opponents posted. It must be screwed up though for previous years.

Anyway, carry on.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:18 AM   #174
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Because Rutgers is the only BCS program in the NYC metro area.
What's considered the "NYC metro area" - aka would UConn get any consideration there? 2.5 hours away from NYC in the wrong half of the state, but they do have a lock on fans in that state. They'd also give you Hartford and maybe an in to Boston.
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The ACC doesn't have their own TV network to pimp in the biggest TV market.
Boston's also a more fractured market with multiple other large colleges in city/state (as well as being a pro city like NYC outside BE tournament time), and I haven't noticed any particularly large presence from any other ACC school. I have seen multiple B10 pub crawls or events, but nothing from ACC people.
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Fair enough. I kind of thought it sounded wrong, which is why I made the comment. I was going by the ESPN schedule page, which has rankings of opponents posted. It must be screwed up though for previous years.

Anyway, carry on.
When I was going through this past fall ESPN listed rankings, but they were from the date the game was played, not final iirc. Now they don't seem to list any before 2008.
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I think you underestimate just how bad they were. I mean, we're talking losses to 1AA teams, just overall embarrassment.
I thought we were talking about potential B10 teams, not current ones like Michigan.

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Old 03-04-2010, 07:43 AM   #175
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When I was going through this past fall ESPN listed rankings, but they were from the date the game was played, not final iirc. Now they don't seem to list any before 2008.

Yeah, but then they have rankings again for years 2002-2003. Like I say, it confused me. But it was a statistic that helped my justify my point, so who cares if it was accurate?

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Old 03-04-2010, 07:54 AM   #176
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More subscribers = higher rates the B10 can charge for advertising (and possibly for the subscribers, though I'm not sure on that front) = more revenue

I don't know of anyone that pays for TV advertising on a subscriber basis. It's how many of those subscribers you attract to your shows that matters.

Now even a 0.01 rating for the B10N in NYC adds to those viewers (if they weren't already in the mix) but adding X million people that have the network available won't move the needle in & of itself.

Best I can tell with a quick look (a NY resident could tell if there's a cable provider missing easier than I can) here's a map that shows roughly what territory & how many subscribers they might add. This is the NYC Interconnect, covering NYC, Long Island, and parts of CT & NJ, basically it's a way to buy the various little systems all with one big buy. That's about 3.5m cable households.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:07 AM   #177
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I don't know of anyone that pays for TV advertising on a subscriber basis. It's how many of those subscribers you attract to your shows that matters.

Now even a 0.01 rating for the B10N in NYC adds to those viewers (if they weren't already in the mix) but adding X million people that have the network available won't move the needle in & of itself.

Best I can tell with a quick look (a NY resident could tell if there's a cable provider missing easier than I can) here's a map that shows roughly what territory & how many subscribers they might add. This is the NYC Interconnect, covering NYC, Long Island, and parts of CT & NJ, basically it's a way to buy the various little systems all with one big buy. That's about 3.5m cable households.

I was under the impression that the rates are determined in part by pre-estimating GRP/TRP. B10 probably gets next to nothing now, since they are not on Basic Cable. If they can get on Basic, the B10 can make the argument that the GRPs will go from nothing to something (as meager as it would be) and may try to justify a rate increase that way.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:13 AM   #178
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What's considered the "NYC metro area" - aka would UConn get any consideration there? 2.5 hours away from NYC in the wrong half of the state, but they do have a lock on fans in that state. They'd also give you Hartford and maybe an in to Boston

The only part of CT that is considered part of Metro NYC is Fairfield County (SW CT). As a resident, I would say that support for UConn athletics is still there somewhat (usually from alums and lifers), but probably tepid compared to the rest of the state.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:22 AM   #179
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I was under the impression that the rates are determined in part by pre-estimating GRP/TRP. B10 probably gets next to nothing now, since they are not on Basic Cable. If they can get on Basic, the B10 can make the argument that the GRPs will go from nothing to something (as meager as it would be) and may try to justify a rate increase that way.

First there's an assumption that they would be moved to basic, which is at least a bit of a leap, even in St. Louis they weren't added to basic when an agreement was reached last year (or not according to the press release I found while looking for the NYC info). And in the NY DMA there are at least three separate agreements that would have to be reached, Cablevision + TW + Comcrap.

Next we don't know (or at least I don't) what the existing number of actual subscribing households is now versus what it would become. Basically the available households number wouldn't change even if they moved, it's available now, just presumably not widely bought. I did find this figure quoted on the B10N website: The network currently reaches approximately 40 million households nationwide and is available to up an estimated 73 million households in the United States and Canada. That leads me to believe that the likely difference in households "reached" with a shift to basic would be somewhere in the 3 million range, with extremely low ratings making the change in their actual total audience pretty small & not likely to be enough to justify any significant rate increase.

What you're talking about is more applicable to upfront sales and I'm not at all sure how much a niche network like B10N is doing at upfront versus more graduated buys and given the overall weakness of college sports in the northeast (TV-wise, not talking about teams/performance here) I just don't see even New York being the sort of boost we would normally associate with even a major shift there. The bigger hurdle was cleared when they got any sort of carriage at all.

I guess my point is that while the TV market is something everyone talks about, I suspect there are other factors actually more influential on the whatever decision the conference eventually makes.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:34 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
First there's an assumption that they would be moved to basic, which is at least a bit of a leap, even in St. Louis they weren't added to basic when an agreement was reached last year (or not according to the press release I found while looking for the NYC info). And in the NY DMA there are at least three separate agreements that would have to be reached, Cablevision + TW + Comcrap.

Next we don't know (or at least I don't) what the existing number of actual subscribing households is now versus what it would become. Basically the available households number wouldn't change even if they moved, it's available now, just presumably not widely bought. I did find this figure quoted on the B10N website: The network currently reaches approximately 40 million households nationwide and is available to up an estimated 73 million households in the United States and Canada. That leads me to believe that the likely difference in households "reached" with a shift to basic would be somewhere in the 3 million range, with extremely low ratings making the change in their actual total audience pretty small & not likely to be enough to justify any significant rate increase.

What you're talking about is more applicable to upfront sales and I'm not at all sure how much a niche network like B10N is doing at upfront versus more graduated buys and given the overall weakness of college sports in the northeast (TV-wise, not talking about teams/performance here) I just don't see even New York being the sort of boost we would normally associate with even a major shift there. The bigger hurdle was cleared when they got any sort of carriage at all.

I guess my point is that while the TV market is something everyone talks about, I suspect there are other factors actually more influential on the whatever decision the conference eventually makes.

That makes sense. I am astounded by how much some of my clients have to spend on their sports special buys and sports local spot compared to general market TV, and sometimes the costs are not justified. To your point though, that may not be relevant to B10 in NYC, since there isn't a flagship program that matters.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:16 AM   #181
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That makes sense. I am astounded by how much some of my clients have to spend on their sports special buys and sports local spot compared to general market TV, and sometimes the costs are not justified.

Sometimes? Hell, my experience is more like "rarely" to "very rarely". At least not in terms of CPP/CPM or even ROI.

Sports, most of the time for my clients at least, is all about imaging (mostly internal and/or to some ostensible partner) or simply outright plain ol' vanity. That may have some value but it's difficult to quantify at best and almost always seems to be grossly overemphasized by the spender.

But hey, I once dropped nearly $30k on a couple of local market college football games in a horrible football market solely to target a single buyer for a big box retailer because we knew that his alma mater was being televised in those games.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:45 PM   #182
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There is some talk this morning that ND is about to announce they are joining the Big 10.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:50 PM   #183
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There is some talk this morning that ND is about to announce they are joining the Big 10.

but they just added Pitt a couple of weeks ago!

I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #184
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The Big 13 - it sounds great!
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:57 PM   #185
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I wonder how long ago someone bought up all the domain names for stuff like the Big 13/Thirteen, Big 14/Fourteen, etc.? Or if the conferences had enough foresight to do it back when Al Gore invented it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:36 PM   #186
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I wonder how long ago someone bought up all the domain names for stuff like the Big 13/Thirteen, Big 14/Fourteen, etc.? Or if the conferences had enough foresight to do it back when Al Gore invented it.

I don't know if it's rumor or not, but I have heard that the Big 12 made some sort of claim on the Big 14. I have nothing official to back me up on that, but it wouldn't surprise me. Though I always wonder how this whole "Big #" got started and why one of the two number conferences never locked down 8, 10, or 12 before.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:33 PM   #187
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Interesting comments from the Notre Dame AD. Could be planting a seed to the alumni base, could be a threat to NBC for when their contract is up for renegotiation...

Big Ten expansion could impact Notre Dame's independent status - NCAA Football - SI.com
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:49 PM   #188
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Accelerated timetable for Big Ten expansion - Chicago Breaking Sports

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Accelerated timetable for Big Ten expansion
April 17, 2010 3:24 PM | 15 Comments

By Teddy Greenstein

Remember the talk that the Big Ten would take 12-18 months to decide whether to expand?

An accelerated timetable has emerged, according to sources familiar with the process.

High-ranking Big Ten representatives will meet Sunday afternoon in Washington D.C. to discuss expansion. The timing and location of the session make sense considering the Association of American Universities is holding its semi-annual meetings in D.C. from Sunday-Tuesday, and all 11 Big Ten schools are AAU members.

Among those attending will be Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, according to a university spokesman, and University of Illinois interim chancellor Robert Easter.

If the league can emerge from the D.C. meetings with a mandate to expand, commissioner Jim Delany could take a substantial step next week at the annual BCS meetings, outside Phoenix.

As laid out in the Big Ten's Dec. 15 statement, Delany would "notify" the commissioner(s) of the affected conference(s) before "engaging in formal expansion discussions with other institutions."

In other words, Big East commissioner John Marinatto would get a heads-up if the Big Ten wishes to contact schools such as Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

That would allow the Big Ten more than a month to negotiate with schools before conference presidents and chancellors meet in Chicago during the first weekend in June.

That timetable also makes sense from a financial standpoint. The fiscal years of universities end on the last day of June, "so if you go past July 1, then you have to wait an extra year," said one source.

Delany could not be reached for comment Saturday and has declined interview requests, saying he's in a "silent phase."

The thinking among those in touch with Big Ten officials is that the league is likely to add at least three schools -- to end up with a 14- or 16-team league.

"I don't think 16 is scaring anyone off, as long as you can find that many (five) that are a good enough fit," said one source who has been consulted during the conference's exploratory phase. "They're looking long-term, across the horizon. What gives them the best shot at keeping value at a high level?"

Notre Dame remains Option A, though observers are flummoxed about the school's intentions because of seemingly divergent statements made by Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick.

By joining the Big Ten, the Irish could increase their annual TV revenue from roughly $12 million to $22 million per year, get a national TV platform (the Big Ten Network) for its top-notch Olympic sports and decrease travel costs for its teams.

Tribune reporter Jodi S. Cohen contributed to this report.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:43 AM   #189
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Sixteen seems awfully big. I'd rather see 12 teams.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:30 AM   #190
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I really hope it is just Mizzouri or Notre Dame.

I might get seriously depressed if the Big East gets seriously hobbled again or completely destroyed.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:45 AM   #191
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Louisville's AD (I believe he is now the BE Commish but I am too lazy to look) said he they want Notre Dame #1, and then Pitt & Rutgers.

I really see no way we expand past 12 teams without adding 2 + Big East teams.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #192
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I guess with 16 teams, you play the other 7 in your division in football. Then, what, three from the other division? And a couple OOC games? That's five teams a year from your own conference that you would not play. Seems like a lot.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:06 AM   #193
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I really hope it is just Mizzouri or Notre Dame.

I might get seriously depressed if the Big East gets seriously hobbled again or completely destroyed.

I think we've talked about this before, but it seems like the breakup of the BE is inevitable, whether it comes now with this Big 10 expansion or down the road when the dollars migrate even further to the other conferences and we all get left in the dust.

While I'm on record as being for Rutgers joining the Big 10 if invited (the increased revenue is too much to pass up and the school desperately needs it, and playing more traditional powers will allow us to further expand the stadium quicker), I do really enjoy matching up against most of our current opponents. I just wish there was a couple more teams that we could add to the conference without seriously diluting it, either in terms of revenue or strength of the program. My ideal situation would be if we saw a more widespread realignment where the SEC would add schools that would replace ones that the ACC could pick up, which would allow BC and Maryland to join the Big East. It would be a strong conference, top to bottom, with mostly eastern rivalries.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #194
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Louisville's AD (I believe he is now the BE Commish but I am too lazy to look) said he they want Notre Dame #1, and then Pitt & Rutgers.

I really see no way we expand past 12 teams without adding 2 + Big East teams.

The Big East elected another Providence (re: basketball school pawn) guy to become the new commisioner. Louisville's AD, Tom Jurich, seems to have taken the role of the point man for the football schools. He seems like a pretty progressive administrator, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him become the commish if the football and basketball schools split.

I think there are a few reasonable scenarios for less than 2 Big East football schools. Missouri, Nebraska + Rutgers, Pitt, or Syracuse. If Notre Dame joins, I think they move East (and forget the Big 12 schools) and grab two of Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, and B.C.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #195
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The Big East elected another Providence (re: basketball school pawn) guy to become the new commisioner. Louisville's AD, Tom Jurich, seems to have taken the role of the point man for the football schools. He seems like a pretty progressive administrator, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him become the commish if the football and basketball schools split.

I think there are a few reasonable scenarios for less than 2 Big East football schools. Missouri, Nebraska + Rutgers, Pitt, or Syracuse. If Notre Dame joins, I think they move East (and forget the Big 12 schools) and grab two of Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, and B.C.

If the B10 adds three or more schools, it's hard to find a scenario where they don't at least offer Mizzou a spot. Whether they want to take it is another deal.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #196
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My sources indicate that Mizzou will only accept the B10's offer if the B10 agrees to change its name to the Mike Anderson Pwn'd Conference.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:19 PM   #197
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LOL.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #198
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If the B10 adds three or more schools, it's hard to find a scenario where they don't at least offer Mizzou a spot. Whether they want to take it is another deal.

Not really -- it just depends on their strategy and two of the more likely "strategies" out there are for the Big Ten to try to get into the New York market or for the Big Ten to try to force Notre Dame in (by destroying the Big East). Missouri's inclusion would not help them in either case.

I think Missouri's best scenarios are if the Big Ten is "just" out to add more households to the Big Ten network (adding Missouri, Rutgers, and just about anyone else that is not redundant does the trick here) or if they try to force Texas in (by adding, say Mizzou, Nebraska, and Colorado) by leaving the Big 12 weakened. I think the Big 12 can obviously stand without those schools (as long as it has Texas and/or Oklahoma), but it becomes much more regionalized from a media point of view.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:24 PM   #199
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My sources indicate that Mizzou will only accept the B10's offer if the B10 agrees to change its name to the Mike Anderson Pwn'd Conference.

They might have to considering the quality of basketball (or lack thereof) currently in that conference.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:26 PM   #200
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It would be genuinely amusing to see someone like Missouri turn down the Big Ten and then have a conference-mate take the cash and jump ship.
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