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Full Version: The elephant in the room (?): CUSA's next broadcasting agreement.
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There seems to be a pervasive sense of helpelessness amongst many CUSA fans about the fact that CUSA schools are getting by far the worst TV coverage and the least in compensation.

The major changeover in membership could be an opportune moment for a fresh start.

Question: Even though it's usually the broadcaster who announces that a deal is going to have to be renegotiated, would it not be possible for the conference to intentionally take the first step in re-negotiating their deal with their broadcasters?

This could basically involve opening up the broadcasting rights to any of the various "players" who are out there, including ESPN.

It could also involve setting up a subcommittee within the CUSA to develop a plan for a CUSA network, to deal with the conference's second and third-tier broadcasting needs, and possible some of their first-tier needs, as well.

Notably, it is becoming more and more common for G5 schools, as in the AAC model, which 6 CUSA schools are all going to be adapting to, to take on a lot of the basic responsibilities for broadcasting their own games.

It seems to me that "the market" has proven that what it "will bear" is a minimum of $2 million per school per year.

If the CUSA schools aren't get that minimum amount, then something is fundamentally wrong, and it might be time to ditch their current broadcasting agreements and start over again.

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That's just one person's view. I'm not claiming to be correct or very well-invormed about any of this - - it just seems like an interesting idea to discuss.

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(12-13-2021 06:03 AM)Milwaukee Wrote: [ -> ].

There seems to be a pervasive sense of helpelessness amongst many CUSA fans about the fact that CUSA schools are getting by far the worst TV coverage and the least in compensation.

The major changeover in membership could be an opportune moment for a fresh start.

Question: Even though it's usually the broadcaster who announces that a deal is going to have to be renegotiated, would it not be possible for the conference to intentionally take the first step in re-negotiating their deal with their broadcasters?

This could basically involve opening up the broadcasting rights to any of the various "players" who are out there, including ESPN.

It could also involve setting up a subcommittee within the CUSA to develop a plan for a CUSA network, to deal with the conference's second and third-tier broadcasting needs, and possible some of their first-tier needs, as well.

Notably, it is becoming more and more common for G5 schools, as in the AAC model, which 6 CUSA schools are all going to be adapting to, to take on a lot of the basic responsibilities for broadcasting their own games.

It seems to me that "the market" has proven that what it "will bear" is a minimum of $2 million per school per year.

If the CUSA schools aren't get that minimum amount, then something is fundamentally wrong, and it might be time to ditch their current broadcasting agreements and start over again.

.

That's just one person's view. I'm not claiming to be correct or very well-invormed about any of this - - it just seems like an interesting idea to discuss.

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Rather than focusing on 2 million, need to focus on the net amount. Cost of ESPN v CBS broadcasting which has a greater cost?
Viewers which is greater can you find any of the games easily?
Do sponsors prefer a network?
Dont know the answers myself but for the long term CUSA needs to consider the whole picture.
As long as poor leadership is in charge--- you will be POOR. Hire Gumbardt.
With one year to go on our current contracts, I'm sure negotiations either have begun or will soon. Our primary rights holder is CBSSN and we also have deals with Stadium and ESPN for streaming. ESPN also has the right to move games from streaming to linear.

Usually a primary rights holder has the right to negotiate first. We will not be in a position of strength until the league proves itself to be competitive and stable. I think it helps things a bit to have Liberty joining and 5 of the new 9 being in bowls or fcs playoffs this season. Basketball is not a big media money driver but we do have some good inventory for that sport and that doesn't hurt either.

The losses and gains are a mixed bag but I think we should do a short term deal if money offered is low.
We've talked about CBS and ESPN a lot, but I wonder if NBC might be interested. The only college football contract they have is with Notre Dame, and they might be interested in expanding their college football portfolio beyond just the Fighting Irish (whom they don't have all the rights to, anyway). At the very least, you could use NBC as a vehicle to up the bidding price for the C-USA media rights.

If NBC did get the rights, likely all but a handful of the games would be on Peacock; the rest would be on USA network (or maybe NBC if the stature of the game was great enough).
I don't think CUSAs contract will get worse. It may not get a lot better, but JSU and SHSU win no matter what. It's like when App and GS moved up from the Socon. We were making like $100k a year MAYBE at the time. We've at minimum quadrupled that, and if the rumors are true, we'll be up much much more. The same will apply to other recent FCS schools.
I propose we hire Jim Delaney to draft a letter that can be mailed to all the networks.
It is looking like CBS and Fox are aiming to get all the Big 10 rights. That could help CUSA to get scooped up by ESPN to gain the extra content..
(12-14-2021 10:28 AM)Tmac13 Wrote: [ -> ]It is looking like CBS and Fox are aiming to get all the Big 10 rights. That could help CUSA to get scooped up by ESPN to gain the extra content..

This could help. Of course they could also just give their current slaves (leagues) more spots. Maybe espn will tell our folks WHO to add for a tenth team that would increase the media value the most.
I was against ten for a long time but now realize we need to add one for adequate FB game content. But I hope we STOP at ten. With ten you have five conference FB games each week/weekend. If you stay at nine that only gives you four with one team off or out of conference. Media wants content and availability--- having five games (ten teams) makes it more doable.

It could even be a FB only. Sadly, it is the only sport the media seems to care about.
I care most about exposure. Put us on a good channel in good time slots and that will leave winning games up to us to grow our brands. Playing days besides Saturday is bad for our fans and recruits while playing on a channel that nobody gets or watches is pointless.

A tenth school or more really need to deliver the goods.
hoping the new CUSA is on FS1 and FS2 on the regular. I know it stinks being on wrong side of ESPN, but I don't like watching UNT on ESPN+. Would much rather be on CBSSN or FS2
FloSports!
Who could be added that moves the needle? Nearly everyone flies these days anyway in CUSA, so why not approach ESPN about NDSU? Does that mean SDSU and UND have to come also? Depends on what the network will pay I suppose.
(12-14-2021 01:10 PM)TOPSTRAIGHT Wrote: [ -> ]I was against ten for a long time but now realize we need to add one for adequate FB game content. But I hope we STOP at ten. With ten you have five conference FB games each week/weekend. If you stay at nine that only gives you four with one team off or out of conference. Media wants content and availability--- having five games (ten teams) makes it more doable.

It could even be a FB only. Sadly, it is the only sport the media seems to care about.

Agree that it does seem essential for the CUSA to at least add a 10th FB school. There would also be many advantages in having a 10th full member. For example, a 10th full member in the CUSA West would facilitate a shift to divisional play in all sports.

However, the networks seem to prefer conferences with 12 or, increasingly, 14 members. The Big 12, AAC, and Sun Belt were all reluctant to add any new members, but (in the case of the AAC and SBC), ESPN pushed them to expand to 14. They also wanted the MAC to expand to 14.

It's kind of a "chicken or egg" type of question - - does the conference start out by adding a member to interest a network or start out by talking to a network and then figuring out how many and which members to add?

It could help to add a new member, and then initiate discussions with a network. Announcing a plan to add a school such as NDSU could be a game changer in that respect.

If there is any inclination to contact ESPN, that could be done in advance of making any decisions about new members, since ESPN has shown (in the case of the AAC, SBC, and MAC) that it likes to get involved in the details of which new members to add.

Another reason to consider contacting ESPN at this point is that they seem to have the deepest pockets, and signing up with ESPN would be a way to avoid being raided again by the AAC, SBC, or MAC in the years ahead.

For example, a lot of people thought the AAC would have added at least one Sun Belt, such as App. State or Louisiana, but they didn't because ESPN is the SBC's broadcaster and didn't want them to be touched.

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C-USA's potential for a better media deal is not great. You can't elevate the value of something that no one wants. I suspect C-USA will continue to see most of their content streamed.
Saturday’s East Tennessee State-North Dakota State quarterfinal averaged a 1.1 and 1.77 million on ESPN

ESPN2 chipped in a 0.39 and 666,000 for Montana-James Madison the previous night,
Comparisons
Pittsburgh-Wake Forest ACC Championship pulled a mere 1.5 and 2.66 million

Kent State-Northern Illinois MAC Championship averaged a 0.56 (+14%) and 867,000 (-1%) on ESPN, the Mountain West Championship had a 0.52 (-49%) and 816,000 (-43%) on FOX, and the Sun Belt Championship drew a 0.26 (-46% from 2019) and 440,000 (-39%) on ESPN.

USC-Cal makeup game drew a 0.23 and 390,000
(12-14-2021 10:41 PM)Gemofthehills Wrote: [ -> ]Saturday’s East Tennessee State-North Dakota State quarterfinal averaged a 1.1 and 1.77 million on ESPN

That clearly proves that North Dakota State has the potential to generate serious viewership.

After seeing that viewership number, it seems like an absolute no-brainer to make NDSU the 10th conference member. Adding NDSU should be able to get some movement on a new and improved broadcasting agreement.
If ESPN will pay 2 million for the super low viewership of the SBC why wouldnt they pay more for CUSA? Or another broadcaster.
Our only TV game this year generated more viewers than the MAC, MW or SBC championship game and it was on a Wednesday.

Also JSU is in the largest college football TV market in the US, Birmingham. We generate about as much interest in it as UAB which is close to zero. Its an Alabama/Auburn market but TV folks dont seem to understand.
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