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AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
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Tigersmoke4 Online
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Post: #141
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 08:48 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 07:52 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  The BE/AAC split is always good for debate because there was so many conversations going on behind the scenes and so much information that was never revealed publicly. Always makes for great speculation. 07-coffee3

Yep, definitely grist for the mill, LOL.

I think one reason many of us are waiting with interest about how the new ESPN/AAC media negotiations play out is that some of these debates are a good 6 or 7 years old, and we might finally get some resolutions.

Very true. I think the AAC will be vindicated by the next contract however it ends up playing out and our administrations seem to be confidently optimistic. However I think that the NBE is also going to be vindicated when it's time to renegotiate also. Hell it's been a very good league and I truly believe eventually that the ratings are going to catchup before their contract ends. I don't think either path was better or worse, they were just different out of necessity. 04-cheers
02-11-2019 11:31 PM
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Tigersmoke4 Online
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Post: #142
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 11:24 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 11:19 PM)Tigersmoke4 Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  If Turner wants in on the college sports game it's going to be a tough sell to get one of the really big players on board. They would have to seriously outbid the more traditional players to land one.

But someone like the AAC would be a lot cheaper. TBS and TNT could have the Tier 1 and Tier 2 content while truTV picks up the Tier 3 stuff or they allow it to be syndicated on regional sports networks.

Turner would just have to gamble that there is enough appealing basketball inventory for the winter.

Why do you think that the AAC would be cheaper than the NBE? .... I'm just curious about the thinking behind fighting muskie reasoning that's all.

What did Muskie say about the Big East?

In his first sentence about getting one of the 'really big players' on board, I kinda of assumed he included the big east in that mix. Hey they've earned it over the last few years.04-cheers
02-11-2019 11:38 PM
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quo vadis Online
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Post: #143
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 10:16 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.

The NBC contract was contingent on the AAC completing the ESPN contract. Including the very limited right of first refusal that doesn't seem to be a true RFR, based on everything we were told by professional knowers of things.
.......

The information we were given at the time was that the language in the Big East ESPN contracts was not the same as the language in the CUSA contract. CUSA was a true Right of First Refusal, Big East was a "right to make a last offer". Our best information was that Aresco and the school presidents pored over the ESPN offer for a day or two.

I guess I've never felt overly confident in the "knowers of things" and other sources of "best information". Can't even remember who they were, LOL. I would imagine the AAC would have looked over the ESPN 'match', as they had the right to make sure that ESPN was in fact matching the offer from NBC and hadn't made changes that would make it not an actual 'match'. See this McMurphy article from the time the deal was consummated:

http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story...ights-deal

In any event, this is all rehashing stuff from 2012-2013, whereas the thread is about what is likely to happen this time around.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 10:01 AM by quo vadis.)
02-12-2019 08:56 AM
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Post: #144
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
The thing about ratings. What a network wants rights for is a critical element, but so is ROI

If ESPN can get a Conference A game for $100 in rights fee and generate $150 in revenue, it does not follow that ESPN will pay Conference B $400 in rights fees if the league can generate $600 per game. On the books one nets more profit but the ROI is the same and ties up more capital getting that profit.

The problem all G5's had last couple times around was the primary value was less in how many would watch, and more in how many would change TV providers if the conference weren't available. Viewers will tune in if a UCF or Houston is making a run but many of those viewers wouldn't change TV providers just to see them play.

AAC potentially has good subscription value but tapping into it isn't going to fit what AAC wants.
02-12-2019 10:16 AM
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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Post: #145
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
Lost in the shuffle of not just the AAC TV deal, but also upcoming other P5 deals, is the Alston case. That is the biggest game changer, IMO, on the horizon. It, in theory, can cause members of the AAC (I can envision Tulane, Tulsa and maybe others) to re-focus their athletic department spending and align with more institutionally-similar schools. For P5 schools/conferences, taking-on the new expenses of paying for student-athletes is much easier when you are earning $35-$50 million annually per school. For a school not making double-digits annually, it becomes a much more difficult proposition to keep up.

Would be interesting if this is a discussion point, if at all, during negotiations.
02-12-2019 10:37 AM
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ken d Offline
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Post: #146
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 10:16 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  The thing about ratings. What a network wants rights for is a critical element, but so is ROI

If ESPN can get a Conference A game for $100 in rights fee and generate $150 in revenue, it does not follow that ESPN will pay Conference B $400 in rights fees if the league can generate $600 per game. On the books one nets more profit but the ROI is the same and ties up more capital getting that profit.

The problem all G5's had last couple times around was the primary value was less in how many would watch, and more in how many would change TV providers if the conference weren't available. Viewers will tune in if a UCF or Houston is making a run but many of those viewers wouldn't change TV providers just to see them play.

AAC potentially has good subscription value but tapping into it isn't going to fit what AAC wants.

Let's not confuse ROI with Gross Profit Margin. Given the choice between Conference A and Conference B in your example, ESPN goes with B every time unless there is a difference in production costs.
02-12-2019 11:37 AM
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adcorbett Offline
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Post: #147
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 03:49 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  The problem with that is the value of the top game doesn't change, whether it is a stand alone package, or part of a comprehensive package. However the value of the secondary games, when not tied to the top game, ie very devalued by a split package.

So why does the SEC have such a deal with CBS?

Well for one, they make FAR less for the CBS package then the make per game for the rest of the package, so it sort of proves the point. Also the SEC has more depth in their offerings. Not really an apples to apples


(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 03:49 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  It was not ESPN who exercised that option: it was the American. ESPN did use their contractional right to match the offer, but it was the Amercian who chose to use that right to rescind their signed contract with NBC and instead resign with ESPN. Big difference. It was the choice of the American to take that offer, not ESPN's choice. They were not restricted free agents.

How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.

Yes they would. That is literally what a "right to match" is, not to be confused with a first right of refusal. It gives ESPN the right to match the agreement, in this case, signed by the AAC with NBC-and it literally has to be the same terms or the clause dosn't kick in (i.e. they can't increase the offer to entice the AAC) - and gives the AAC the right to rescind the contract they signed with NBC, and take the ESPN offer. Which they did- the did sign with NBC, and they did rescind the offer. Or insert any other two parties here. They can do it, because it is known that their preceding offer allows for it during that window (and at the time they were still technically under contract with ESPN, as it was before the expiration of their ESPN contract. I am not sure how it would be affected if the agreement was signed AFTER the expiration of the ESPN contract). That is what a right to match is. It does not, under any circumstances, require the AAC to do so. It was their choice, and they took it. ESPN could not have forced them to take it.

It's not like being a restricted free agent in the NBA or a transition tag in the NFL where a team can match and you have to take it. It is just a last chance offer mechanism, which can be beneficial to either side. In this case, it was the American who used it to get the exposure they wanted, which did not pay as much, but I think their on the field results the past few years showed it likely paid off more than an extra million per year per team would have.

Edit: I did not see this was addressed above.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 02:18 PM by adcorbett.)
02-12-2019 02:06 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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Post: #148
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 11:38 PM)Tigersmoke4 Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 11:24 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 11:19 PM)Tigersmoke4 Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  If Turner wants in on the college sports game it's going to be a tough sell to get one of the really big players on board. They would have to seriously outbid the more traditional players to land one.

But someone like the AAC would be a lot cheaper. TBS and TNT could have the Tier 1 and Tier 2 content while truTV picks up the Tier 3 stuff or they allow it to be syndicated on regional sports networks.

Turner would just have to gamble that there is enough appealing basketball inventory for the winter.

Why do you think that the AAC would be cheaper than the NBE? .... I'm just curious about the thinking behind fighting muskie reasoning that's all.

What did Muskie say about the Big East?

In his first sentence about getting one of the 'really big players' on board, I kinda of assumed he included the big east in that mix. Hey they've earned it over the last few years.04-cheers

Fair enough, and that's an accurate reading of what he said--Turner WOULD have to big more than ESPN or Fox to get the next Big East contract. On the other hand, I think the same is true of the AAC--if the money is anywhere close, you're signing with ESPN.

But yes, it's very conceivable that the AAC gets more dollars per year than the Big East on your next deal, if football does indeed drive the bus.

(02-12-2019 08:56 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 10:16 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.

The NBC contract was contingent on the AAC completing the ESPN contract. Including the very limited right of first refusal that doesn't seem to be a true RFR, based on everything we were told by professional knowers of things.
.......

The information we were given at the time was that the language in the Big East ESPN contracts was not the same as the language in the CUSA contract. CUSA was a true Right of First Refusal, Big East was a "right to make a last offer". Our best information was that Aresco and the school presidents pored over the ESPN offer for a day or two.

I guess I've never felt overly confident in the "knowers of things" and other sources of "best information". Can't even remember who they were, LOL.

WE could chase our tails through the CSNBBS archives to find our old footnotes, but the idea makes me very very tired. I remember a lot of arguing over whether the Tagliabue-Marinatto era contracts even allowed Aresco to slice-and-dice the package the way everyone was tlaking about.

Quote:I would imagine the AAC would have looked over the ESPN 'match', as they had the right to make sure that ESPN was in fact matching the offer from NBC and hadn't made changes that would make it not an actual 'match'. See this McMurphy article from the time the deal was consummated:

http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story...ights-deal

In any event, this is all rehashing stuff from 2012-2013, whereas the thread is about what is likely to happen this time around.

Agreed--McMurphy's article reads like it's a straight right-to-match, with the only Providence leeway being to say "this is NOT a match for the NBC offer."
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 02:18 PM by johnbragg.)
02-12-2019 02:15 PM
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Post: #149
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 10:16 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  If Turner wants in on the college sports game it's going to be a tough sell to get one of the really big players on board. They would have to seriously outbid the more traditional players to land one.

But someone like the AAC would be a lot cheaper. TBS and TNT could have the Tier 1 and Tier 2 content while truTV picks up the Tier 3 stuff or they allow it to be syndicated on regional sports networks.

Turner would just have to gamble that there is enough appealing basketball inventory for the winter.

Nobody is going to build their college sports TV presence on the back of the AAC.

Turner bidding for the Big East TV rights made sense when it was the old 16 team Syracuse-UConn-Georgetown-Louisville-etc Big East, with enough quality basketball inventory to be a network TV college basketball package all by itself, on the same channels as the NBA and the NCAA tournament. Big East football would have been on TBS/TNT if that's what it took to get the basketball package.

Yeah I was referring to how the superior strength of the then Big East, version 2.1 per se, was what got them interested, and they were going to come in with a strong bid primarily to get the basketball, and would have taken on the football to get it - it's not that they didn't care about BE Football, it's just not what attracted them to it. My point was, if the AAC basketball had managed to remain at that level (admittedly a tall order), it would have increased the number of suitors. Much like how Fox went out of its way to nab the NBE - and probably helped lead to the breakup of the BE/American.
02-12-2019 02:16 PM
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Post: #150
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 02:06 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.


Yes they would. That is literally what a "right to match" is, not to be confused with a first right of refusal. It gives ESPN the right to match the agreement, in this case, signed by the AAC with NBC-and it literally has to be the same terms or the clause dosn't kick in (i.e. they can't increase the offer to entice the AAC) - and gives the AAC the right to rescind the contract they signed with NBC, and take the ESPN offer. Which they did- the did sign with NBC, and they did rescind the offer. Or insert any other two parties here. They can do it, because it is known that their preceding offer allows for it during that window (and at the time they were still technically under contract with ESPN, as it was before the expiration of their ESPN contract. I am not sure how it would be affected if the agreement was signed AFTER the expiration of the ESPN contract). That is what a right to match is. It does not, under any circumstances, require the AAC to do so. It was their choice, and they took it. ESPN could not have forced them to take it.

It's not like being a restricted free agent in the NBA or a transition tag in the NFL where a team can match and you have to take it. It is just a last chance offer mechanism, which can be beneficial to either side. In this case, it was the American who used it to get the exposure they wanted, which did not pay as much, but I think their on the field results the past few years showed it likely paid off more than an

I did some googling, and I have yet to be able to find a distinction between a "right to match" and a "right to first refusal". E.g., this law firm article seems to use the terms interchangeably and they mean that if the buyer with the right 'matches' the seller has to take their deal:

https://www.martindale.com/business-law/...831208.htm

Here's another article, where "right to match" is also discussed in terms of the seller having to take the deal with the buyer with the match right if the buyer exercises the match clause:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail....3c73608023

And back in 2013, Frank the Tank referenced ESPN as having a "right of first refusal" with the Big East:

https://frankthetank.me/2013/02/11/a-tv-...n-bristol/

IOW's, I have yet to find any article that makes the distinction you make between ROFR and Right to Match. They seem to mean the same thing: If buyer X has a right to match clause with seller Y, this means that the seller Y must bring them the final offer they plan to accept from a third party, and if buyer X matches, then seller Y must accept the buyer X match bid. Seller Y has no discretion to take the third party offer, unless they can argue that buyer X's "match" is not a true match.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 04:43 PM by quo vadis.)
02-12-2019 04:41 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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Post: #151
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 04:41 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 02:06 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.


Yes they would. That is literally what a "right to match" is, not to be confused with a first right of refusal. It gives ESPN the right to match the agreement, in this case, signed by the AAC with NBC-and it literally has to be the same terms or the clause dosn't kick in (i.e. they can't increase the offer to entice the AAC) - and gives the AAC the right to rescind the contract they signed with NBC, and take the ESPN offer. Which they did- the did sign with NBC, and they did rescind the offer. Or insert any other two parties here. They can do it, because it is known that their preceding offer allows for it during that window (and at the time they were still technically under contract with ESPN, as it was before the expiration of their ESPN contract. I am not sure how it would be affected if the agreement was signed AFTER the expiration of the ESPN contract). That is what a right to match is. It does not, under any circumstances, require the AAC to do so. It was their choice, and they took it. ESPN could not have forced them to take it.

It's not like being a restricted free agent in the NBA or a transition tag in the NFL where a team can match and you have to take it. It is just a last chance offer mechanism, which can be beneficial to either side. In this case, it was the American who used it to get the exposure they wanted, which did not pay as much, but I think their on the field results the past few years showed it likely paid off more than an

I did some googling, and I have yet to be able to find a distinction between a "right to match" and a "right to first refusal". E.g., this law firm article seems to use the terms interchangeably and they mean that if the buyer with the right 'matches' the seller has to take their deal:

https://www.martindale.com/business-law/...831208.htm

Here's another article, where "right to match" is also discussed in terms of the seller having to take the deal with the buyer with the match right if the buyer exercises the match clause:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail....3c73608023

And back in 2013, Frank the Tank referenced ESPN as having a "right of first refusal" with the Big East:

https://frankthetank.me/2013/02/11/a-tv-...n-bristol/

IOW's, I have yet to find any article that makes the distinction you make between ROFR and Right to Match. They seem to mean the same thing: If buyer X has a right to match clause with seller Y, this means that the seller Y must bring them the final offer they plan to accept from a third party, and if buyer X matches, then seller Y must accept the buyer X match bid. Seller Y has no discretion to take the third party offer, unless they can argue that buyer X's "match" is not a true match.

That's the distinction, I believe. (Between the Marinatto contract and the CUSA contract anyway.) A clean, simple RFR requires that the new contract be pretty much an extension of the old contract in all of the details ("NETWORK will pay $XM per year for the top ten SWC football games, 5 of which will be shown on Saturdays"). You can't have a clear RFR if the seller is changing the product.

ESPN's lawsuit against CUSA centered on CUSA, CBS and FOX including provisions designed to prevent an ESPN match. There was a clause that the RFR of the follow-on contract had to be for pretty much the same set of rights as the existing contract. The Marinatto deals don't seem to have had that provision.

Which explains why the chatter over that weekend was "Big East presidents huddling over the ESPN contract to determine if it's a true match (or a good enough match)."

The open question is, if the Aresco League Powers-That-Be had said "the ESPN contract is not a match", would ESPN have had a leg to stand on if they sued, the way they sued CUSA.

It's possible that the Aresco League presidents would have been able to say that ESPN games are NOT the equivalent of NBC-OTA games, that ESPNews or CBS-SN sublicences are NOT the equivalent of NBC-SN games, that weeknight games on ESPN2 are NOT the equivalent of Saturday timeslots on NBC-SN. Or it would have gone to court.
02-12-2019 04:59 PM
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Post: #152
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 04:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 04:41 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 02:06 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.


Yes they would. That is literally what a "right to match" is, not to be confused with a first right of refusal. It gives ESPN the right to match the agreement, in this case, signed by the AAC with NBC-and it literally has to be the same terms or the clause dosn't kick in (i.e. they can't increase the offer to entice the AAC) - and gives the AAC the right to rescind the contract they signed with NBC, and take the ESPN offer. Which they did- the did sign with NBC, and they did rescind the offer. Or insert any other two parties here. They can do it, because it is known that their preceding offer allows for it during that window (and at the time they were still technically under contract with ESPN, as it was before the expiration of their ESPN contract. I am not sure how it would be affected if the agreement was signed AFTER the expiration of the ESPN contract). That is what a right to match is. It does not, under any circumstances, require the AAC to do so. It was their choice, and they took it. ESPN could not have forced them to take it.

It's not like being a restricted free agent in the NBA or a transition tag in the NFL where a team can match and you have to take it. It is just a last chance offer mechanism, which can be beneficial to either side. In this case, it was the American who used it to get the exposure they wanted, which did not pay as much, but I think their on the field results the past few years showed it likely paid off more than an

I did some googling, and I have yet to be able to find a distinction between a "right to match" and a "right to first refusal". E.g., this law firm article seems to use the terms interchangeably and they mean that if the buyer with the right 'matches' the seller has to take their deal:

https://www.martindale.com/business-law/...831208.htm

Here's another article, where "right to match" is also discussed in terms of the seller having to take the deal with the buyer with the match right if the buyer exercises the match clause:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail....3c73608023

And back in 2013, Frank the Tank referenced ESPN as having a "right of first refusal" with the Big East:

https://frankthetank.me/2013/02/11/a-tv-...n-bristol/

IOW's, I have yet to find any article that makes the distinction you make between ROFR and Right to Match. They seem to mean the same thing: If buyer X has a right to match clause with seller Y, this means that the seller Y must bring them the final offer they plan to accept from a third party, and if buyer X matches, then seller Y must accept the buyer X match bid. Seller Y has no discretion to take the third party offer, unless they can argue that buyer X's "match" is not a true match.

That's the distinction, I believe. (Between the Marinatto contract and the CUSA contract anyway.) A clean, simple RFR requires that the new contract be pretty much an extension of the old contract in all of the details ("NETWORK will pay $XM per year for the top ten SWC football games, 5 of which will be shown on Saturdays"). You can't have a clear RFR if the seller is changing the product.

ESPN's lawsuit against CUSA centered on CUSA, CBS and FOX including provisions designed to prevent an ESPN match. There was a clause that the RFR of the follow-on contract had to be for pretty much the same set of rights as the existing contract. The Marinatto deals don't seem to have had that provision.

Which explains why the chatter over that weekend was "Big East presidents huddling over the ESPN contract to determine if it's a true match (or a good enough match)."

The open question is, if the Aresco League Powers-That-Be had said "the ESPN contract is not a match", would ESPN have had a leg to stand on if they sued, the way they sued CUSA.

It's possible that the Aresco League presidents would have been able to say that ESPN games are NOT the equivalent of NBC-OTA games, that ESPNews or CBS-SN sublicences are NOT the equivalent of NBC-SN games, that weeknight games on ESPN2 are NOT the equivalent of Saturday timeslots on NBC-SN. Or it would have gone to court.

Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake but I don't really see much of a difference there. In a ROFR/Match situation, the seller definitely does have the right to peruse the signed "match" from the buyer with the match clause, to make sure that the buyer with the match clause hasn't altered the offer the *seller* sent to the buyer.

But beyond that, no discretion, contra what Ad has said.

All of that said, it's possible the CUSA and Big East clauses could have been worded differently, thus giving different rights to the parties in those cases. Bottom line is to my knowledge, none of us has ever seen the exact wording of these contracts, etc.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 05:21 PM by quo vadis.)
02-12-2019 05:20 PM
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Post: #153
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 04:41 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 02:06 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.


Yes they would. That is literally what a "right to match" is, not to be confused with a first right of refusal. It gives ESPN the right to match the agreement, in this case, signed by the AAC with NBC-and it literally has to be the same terms or the clause dosn't kick in (i.e. they can't increase the offer to entice the AAC) - and gives the AAC the right to rescind the contract they signed with NBC, and take the ESPN offer. Which they did- the did sign with NBC, and they did rescind the offer. Or insert any other two parties here. They can do it, because it is known that their preceding offer allows for it during that window (and at the time they were still technically under contract with ESPN, as it was before the expiration of their ESPN contract. I am not sure how it would be affected if the agreement was signed AFTER the expiration of the ESPN contract). That is what a right to match is. It does not, under any circumstances, require the AAC to do so. It was their choice, and they took it. ESPN could not have forced them to take it.

It's not like being a restricted free agent in the NBA or a transition tag in the NFL where a team can match and you have to take it. It is just a last chance offer mechanism, which can be beneficial to either side. In this case, it was the American who used it to get the exposure they wanted, which did not pay as much, but I think their on the field results the past few years showed it likely paid off more than an

I did some googling, and I have yet to be able to find a distinction between a "right to match" and a "right to first refusal". E.g., this law firm article seems to use the terms interchangeably and they mean that if the buyer with the right 'matches' the seller has to take their deal:

https://www.martindale.com/business-law/...831208.htm

Here's another article, where "right to match" is also discussed in terms of the seller having to take the deal with the buyer with the match right if the buyer exercises the match clause:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail....3c73608023

And back in 2013, Frank the Tank referenced ESPN as having a "right of first refusal" with the Big East:

https://frankthetank.me/2013/02/11/a-tv-...n-bristol/

IOW's, I have yet to find any article that makes the distinction you make between ROFR and Right to Match. They seem to mean the same thing: If buyer X has a right to match clause with seller Y, this means that the seller Y must bring them the final offer they plan to accept from a third party, and if buyer X matches, then seller Y must accept the buyer X match bid. Seller Y has no discretion to take the third party offer, unless they can argue that buyer X's "match" is not a true match.


They do not mean the same thing. A right of first refusal is similar to an NBA restricted free agent: if the preceding team matches the offer, you have to sign back with them. The right to match allows for an escape clause to allow the party in question to go back with their initial suitor. I work in real estate and we have similar clauses for contract with a contingency, that if someone offers a better offer (while the contingency is still place - i.e. buyer is still selling their own house) the buyer has the option to match the new offer. The seller does NOT have to take it.

Your scenario would essentially have parties with ESPN contracts subject to reserve clauses forever. Also sometimes the right to match has limits. For example when Fox signed WWE smackdown last year, their contract with USA /NBC gave USA the right to match the contract, if it was not over $200 million per year. Fox had no intention of even allowing them to match, because while they were sure WWE would still take the Fox offer, they didn't want the company they had been with for 20 of 25 years to match their contract and give them a reason to consider going back. So they gave them precisely $205 million per year, to take USA out of the equation. Even then, USA's right to match did not mean they had to take the offer. But generally speaking, if you can get the same terms from the place you are already familiar with, there is no need to make a move.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 05:36 PM by adcorbett.)
02-12-2019 05:31 PM
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adcorbett Offline
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Post: #154
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 04:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  ESPN's lawsuit against CUSA centered on CUSA, CBS and FOX including provisions designed to prevent an ESPN match. There was a clause that the RFR of the follow-on contract had to be for pretty much the same set of rights as the existing contract. The Marinatto deals don't seem to have had that provision.

Which explains why the chatter over that weekend was "Big East presidents huddling over the ESPN contract to determine if it's a true match (or a good enough match)."

The open question is, if the Aresco League Powers-That-Be had said "the ESPN contract is not a match", would ESPN have had a leg to stand on if they sued, the way they sued CUSA.

It's possible that the Aresco League presidents would have been able to say that ESPN games are NOT the equivalent of NBC-OTA games, that ESPNews or CBS-SN sublicences are NOT the equivalent of NBC-SN games, that weeknight games on ESPN2 are NOT the equivalent of Saturday timeslots on NBC-SN. Or it would have gone to court.

The difference here. Fox sued ESPN because they claimed it was not an exact match, and thus CUSA could not withdraw from their contract to sign with ESPN using the right to match clause. They settled with the championship game.

The reason Aresco and the league presidents scoured over the ESPN match offer, was not to see if they "had" to take it. It was to 1) make sure it legally met the parameters to withdraw from the NBC deal. 2) See "how" they were going to match the timeslot guarantees the NBC deal had, they ESPN would not give them before. 3) make sure the sublicensing plan used to match the NBC deal, met the requirements, AND were satisfactory to the members compared to being on NBC Sports.

IIRC they were curious about ESPN suddenly having the timeslots open, reconciling that for the third time they were getting an offer from ESPN that was significantly less than the last one, and deciding if a bird in the hand was better than two in the bush. I think the deciding factor was the realization of how much NHL coverage disappeared when the NHL went completely off of ESPN, adn they decided they were getting what they wanted from ESPN, and they had those options to reevaluate and add in. I also think the holdover teams really didn't want to leave ESPN.
02-12-2019 05:44 PM
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quo vadis Online
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Post: #155
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 05:44 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 04:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  ESPN's lawsuit against CUSA centered on CUSA, CBS and FOX including provisions designed to prevent an ESPN match. There was a clause that the RFR of the follow-on contract had to be for pretty much the same set of rights as the existing contract. The Marinatto deals don't seem to have had that provision.

Which explains why the chatter over that weekend was "Big East presidents huddling over the ESPN contract to determine if it's a true match (or a good enough match)."

The open question is, if the Aresco League Powers-That-Be had said "the ESPN contract is not a match", would ESPN have had a leg to stand on if they sued, the way they sued CUSA.

It's possible that the Aresco League presidents would have been able to say that ESPN games are NOT the equivalent of NBC-OTA games, that ESPNews or CBS-SN sublicences are NOT the equivalent of NBC-SN games, that weeknight games on ESPN2 are NOT the equivalent of Saturday timeslots on NBC-SN. Or it would have gone to court.

The difference here. Fox sued ESPN because they claimed it was not an exact match, and thus CUSA could not withdraw from their contract to sign with ESPN using the right to match clause. They settled with the championship game.

FOX sued ESPN? When did that happen?

My recollection was that ESPN sued CUSA for finalizing a deal with FOX without giving ESPN their contractual right to match:

https://www.sfgate.com/sports/college-fo...062527.php
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 07:22 PM by quo vadis.)
02-12-2019 07:20 PM
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Post: #156
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-12-2019 05:31 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 04:41 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 02:06 PM)adcorbett Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:26 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  How could the AAC have the legal ability to disregard a signed contract with NBC? It would seem that it would have had to have been ESPN that had the right to match, with their match legally superseding the NBC agreement. The AAC wouldn't have a "right" to rescind a contract with NBC based on something a third party, ESPN did.


Yes they would. That is literally what a "right to match" is, not to be confused with a first right of refusal. It gives ESPN the right to match the agreement, in this case, signed by the AAC with NBC-and it literally has to be the same terms or the clause dosn't kick in (i.e. they can't increase the offer to entice the AAC) - and gives the AAC the right to rescind the contract they signed with NBC, and take the ESPN offer. Which they did- the did sign with NBC, and they did rescind the offer. Or insert any other two parties here. They can do it, because it is known that their preceding offer allows for it during that window (and at the time they were still technically under contract with ESPN, as it was before the expiration of their ESPN contract. I am not sure how it would be affected if the agreement was signed AFTER the expiration of the ESPN contract). That is what a right to match is. It does not, under any circumstances, require the AAC to do so. It was their choice, and they took it. ESPN could not have forced them to take it.

It's not like being a restricted free agent in the NBA or a transition tag in the NFL where a team can match and you have to take it. It is just a last chance offer mechanism, which can be beneficial to either side. In this case, it was the American who used it to get the exposure they wanted, which did not pay as much, but I think their on the field results the past few years showed it likely paid off more than an

I did some googling, and I have yet to be able to find a distinction between a "right to match" and a "right to first refusal". E.g., this law firm article seems to use the terms interchangeably and they mean that if the buyer with the right 'matches' the seller has to take their deal:

https://www.martindale.com/business-law/...831208.htm

Here's another article, where "right to match" is also discussed in terms of the seller having to take the deal with the buyer with the match right if the buyer exercises the match clause:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail....3c73608023

And back in 2013, Frank the Tank referenced ESPN as having a "right of first refusal" with the Big East:

https://frankthetank.me/2013/02/11/a-tv-...n-bristol/

IOW's, I have yet to find any article that makes the distinction you make between ROFR and Right to Match. They seem to mean the same thing: If buyer X has a right to match clause with seller Y, this means that the seller Y must bring them the final offer they plan to accept from a third party, and if buyer X matches, then seller Y must accept the buyer X match bid. Seller Y has no discretion to take the third party offer, unless they can argue that buyer X's "match" is not a true match.


They do not mean the same thing. A right of first refusal is similar to an NBA restricted free agent: if the preceding team matches the offer, you have to sign back with them. The right to match allows for an escape clause to allow the party in question to go back with their initial suitor. I work in real estate and we have similar clauses for contract with a contingency, that if someone offers a better offer (while the contingency is still place - i.e. buyer is still selling their own house) the buyer has the option to match the new offer. The seller does NOT have to take it.

Your scenario would essentially have parties with ESPN contracts subject to reserve clauses forever.

How so? E.g., let's say I'm right about the ESPN/Big East situation in 2012, that ESPN had a "right to match" clause that meant that the Big East had to bring ESPN a final offer from another network, in this case NBC, and if ESPN matched it, the Big East had to take the ESPN "match" with no discretion to refuse it in favor of NBC.

So long as the contract the Big East negotiated with NBC did not have a "right to match" clause in it, then the new 2012 - 2019 deal with ESPN wouldn't either, as ESPN could not insist on sticking that clause in their "match", because it was not in the NBC deal.

IOW's, the Right to Match clause doesn't necessarily carry over to the next agreement, the seller is free to negotiate it in or out each time they put their rights up for sale. It is not a reserve clause in perpetuity.

I posted links showing that in standard usage, ROFR and RTM are the same thing. Now, we all know that firms can negotiate their own terms that differ from the standard meaning, but until either of us see the actual language of the pre-2012 deal we can't know for sure.
02-12-2019 07:29 PM
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Post: #157
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 11:19 PM)Tigersmoke4 Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 06:47 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  If Turner wants in on the college sports game it's going to be a tough sell to get one of the really big players on board. They would have to seriously outbid the more traditional players to land one.

But someone like the AAC would be a lot cheaper. TBS and TNT could have the Tier 1 and Tier 2 content while truTV picks up the Tier 3 stuff or they allow it to be syndicated on regional sports networks.

Turner would just have to gamble that there is enough appealing basketball inventory for the winter.

Why do you think that the AAC would be cheaper than the NBE? I agree that the NBE has been one of the best conferences performance wise over the past 3 years and that the AAC has been down due to some bad coaching hires, but the AAC has out rated the NBE consistently every way possible since the split and the football has delivered the best ratings outside of the p5 by miles. I think it's totally reasonable to expect the AAC to become a much better money maker ratings wise over the next year or so once the 'brands' complete their rebuilds. I'm not trying to start a war with any NBE fans or quo. I'm just curious about the thinking behind fighting muskie reasoning that's all.

When I say big players here I'm talking about big football players--the P5. The Big East only has one sport to market while the AAC has two. In the long run I think it's a worthy investment for Turner to go with the conference that gets them both fall and winter programming. As you said, we have an idea of what kind of a draw to expect in football and the basketball product is on an upward trend.
02-12-2019 08:23 PM
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Post: #158
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-10-2019 09:49 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-10-2019 04:26 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  I will be surprised if ESPN and AAC reach a deal in the exclusive window.

ESPN may very well come at with a good number but I would expect that is going to condition their offer on getting a decent chunk of content on ESPN+ and not reselling content to CBSSN and I can't see AAC going for that.

If anyone objects to reselling content to CBSSN it would be the AAC, not ESPN. And I don't really see why the AAC would object to that. CBSSN is a valid network with wide cable distribution. It might not be as ideal as viewing on the main ESPN channel, but it's not worth fighting much over, IMO.

Now putting stuff exclusively on PLUS, which ESPN will also almost surely want to do, I agree, that is likely to be a bone of contention for the AAC.

But remember, the AAC has claimed that 7 years ago, the AAC was willing to accept less money for more exposure (FWIW, I don't agree but that's the claim). The idea has always been that for this deal, the main thrust is to get paid, which implies a willingness to do the opposite, trade exposure for more money, at least up to a point.

Guess the point of this noodling is i do expect a deal of some kind with ESPN this month. We shall see. 07-coffee3

They got that exposure they wanted and did pretty good with it. Football conference had a access bowl contender almost every year.

If then the AAC could keep 20 weekend exposures FB and BB on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 then offload the remainder to ESPN+ for 2 million extra per school I don't see a reason why not to accept.

ESPN+ at 2 million subscribers doesn't sound like much at 5 dollars per month but its like having 0.20 carriage fee for 50 million distribution. A number several cable networks would be happy to have.
02-12-2019 09:11 PM
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Post: #159
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
Most of the ESPN contracts have a "right to match" clause. ESPN's bread-and-butter play is to make a last minute, lower but not offensive offer. That way they don't get involved in a back-and-forth escalation during the negotiations. Expect ESPN to offer, say, $4 million/school. If NBC or some other entity offers $6 million, ESPN will match it, getting the price they originally wanted.
02-12-2019 09:41 PM
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Post: #160
RE: AAC and ESPN Exclusive Negotiating Window?
(02-11-2019 01:09 PM)YNot Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 12:22 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 12:15 PM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 11:45 AM)usffan Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 11:30 AM)YNot Wrote:  What are the chances that ESPN encourages the AAC to add Boise and San Diego State again? ESPN would seem to have all the inventory it needs for the 10pm ET kickoff timeslot on ESPN and ESPN2 with the PAC 12, BYU, Boise and SDSU.

All indications are that the AAC will see an improvement to its current media deal. No such indications for the MWC.

Complicating that further will be the sweetheart deal Boise negotiated to stay in the MWC instead of joining the Big East. You have to wonder if the MWC will be willing to do that again when their deal expires in 2020.

USFFan

I would not rule out ESPN getting involved in re-shaping the AAC as a prelude to a better TV deal. The point about Boise is well taken; BYU has their own deal with ESPN. But in each case if the worldwide leader sees a way to increase revenue through such conference re-engineering it may find a way.

I wouldn't rule it out either, but I think it is very unlikely, because I doubt ESPN wants to do anything to increase the value of the AAC - they would prefer to pay the AAC as little as possible.

And I would bet the money the AAC would have to offer Boise would be a lot more than the MWC could, not just marginally more, because you are asking Boise to play teams from far away that their fan base has little interest in. Even Texas schools like Houston and SMU are far, far outside of Boise's fan base interest, to say nothing of Florida and east coast schools.

Remember, in 2012, it took not only about $10m a year, but also the prospect of being in a Power league, to lure Boise to the Big East. And this time, the Power league thing would be off the table.

ESPN would take the money that it would otherwise pay the MWC (currently $18M per year -do for a raise?) and pay that to the expanded AAC.

And, Boise has recently played: at UConn, at Louisiana, at Troy, at Virginia,
...and has future games scheduled at Houston, at Cincinnati, at ECU, at UTEP, at Marshall, at Georgia Southern, and at Rice.

Boise attendance has struggled with home schedules that include the best of the MWC. Boise home attendance would likely improve with AAC opponents....and the AAC contract could double what Boise gets from the MWC, even with the sweetheart deal.

ESPN if they are going to renegotiate with BYU for 8 million dollars sounds like they have no interest in paying the MWC much of anything.

MWC could be in for some sticker shock negotiating the next deal. Boise is in trouble with that 4 million per year distro, a distro that is almost 10 percent of their budget.

Part of the reason Boise backed off a BE football only deal was of a sketchy Olympic sports situation, the Big West who demanded travel $$$ for membership. This time Boise could flip into the WAC which has slowly solidified for no subsidy at all.

Boise as an Independent probably could fetch BYU money and play a solid set of P5 and AAC opponents.
02-12-2019 09:44 PM
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