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ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
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jedclampett Offline
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Post: #1
Exclamation ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
.



.

Viewership data suggest that ESPN may be getting a fairly good return on its investment in the broadcast rights for AAC football, and that - - although their total advertising revenue from broadcasting Big 12 is several times greater - - the returns on the investment made in purchasing the Big 12 broadcasting rights may be comparable to the returns on ESPN's investment in the AAC's broadcasting rights.

.

Total estimated viewership, to date, for 2020 intra-conference games:

SEC: 119,033,000
ACC: 103,687,000
B1G: 91,188,000
P12: 44,092,000
B12: 77,830,000 (Big 12 distributions per/school ~ $380 M in 2019)

Outlays for Big 12 media rights (ballpark estimate): $350 M in 2019

AAC: 21,294,000 (ESPN's payments to AAC: Less than $80 million/year)

For simplicity's sake, let's' start out with the assumption that the broadcasters earn an average of $10 for every viewer from their advertisers in 2020.

(NOTE: This is not intended to be the actual number, but is simply being stipulated for heuristic purposes.)


At that rate, 2020 AAC income for intra-conference games would be: ~ $213 million

At that rate, 2020 Big 12 income for intra-conference games would be: ~ $778 million

.

At these rates, for every dollar spent on AAC broadcasting rights, ESPN would be netting approximately $133 million from broadcasting the AAC intra-conference FB games, alone, in 2020 ($213 M in earnings minus ~ $80 M for the broadcasting rights).

--For ESPN, everything else (their earnings from broadcasting all other AAC 2020 FB & BB games) would be "gravy" after that.

At the same rates, for every dollar spent on AAC broadcasting rights, the Big 12's broadcasters would be something like $428 million from broadcasting the AAC intra-conference FB games in 2020 ($778 M in earnings minus $350 M for the broadcasting rights).

.

At such rates, the return on ESPN's investment in the broadcasting rights would be quite similar for broadcasting AAC FB games:

2020 Outlays for broadcast rights: ~ $80 million (AAC)
2020 Earnings from intra-conference FB games: ~ $213 million (AAC)

Earnings per dollar invested in broadcast rights: $2.26 (AAC)

($213 M) / ($80 M) = $2.26 per dollar invested.

A $2.26 to $1.00 ratio would be a 126% return on ESPN's investment.


2020 estimated outlays for Big 12 broadcast rights: ~ $350 million
2020 Earnings from Big 12 intra-conference FB games: ~ $778 million

Earnings per dollar invested in broadcast rights: $2.22 (Big 12)

($778 M) / ($350 M) - $2.22 per dollar invested.

A $2.22 to $1.00 ratio would be a 122% return on the amount invested by ESPN and FOX for the Big 12 broadcasting rights.


=============================================

I would invite anyone with the necessary expertise (and hopefully more comprehensive and accurate data) to take a look at this and provide a bit of feedback so any necessary corrections can be made.

Needless to say, the only numbers in this quick breakdown that might be broadly accurate are the viewership numbers and estimated amounts paid to the conferences for their broadcast rights.

.

Nevertheless, these "back of the envelope" style calculations suggest the possibility that:

ESPN might be generating a similar return on their investment for every dollar that they spend for the rights to broadcast AAC FB games as compared with the amount of revenue that ESPN/FOX generate for their outlays for the right to broadcast PAC-12 games.

=============================================

It would be interesting to know whether these findings are generalizable across seasons and across the P5 conferences.

=============================================

Notably, the ESPN's broadcasting deal with the AAC has just gone into effect, while the amounts paid for the P5 football broadcasting rights will increase substantially.

For example, it has been announced that the annual SEC per-team distributions will increase by ~ $20 million per year under the terms of the new contract.

=============================================

If the costs for P5 broadcasting rights continue to escalate, it may become more and more apparent that ESPN has locked in quite a good bargain with its AAC broadcasting deal.
(This post was last modified: 12-29-2020 07:22 AM by jedclampett.)
12-29-2020 06:35 AM
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RuckleSt Offline
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Post: #2
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
It would be nice if I could just pay $10/month directly to the AAC for all of their sports content, and not have to give anything to f**cking ESPN.
12-29-2020 10:13 AM
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quo vadis Online
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Post: #3
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-29-2020 06:35 AM)jedclampett Wrote:  If the costs for P5 broadcasting rights continue to escalate, it may become more and more apparent that ESPN has locked in quite a good bargain with its AAC broadcasting deal.

ESPN has twice gotten a very good bargain with AAC sports. In 2012, this was written off by Aresco supporters as not Aresco's fault because the Big East/AAC was in tatters and had no bargaining power. We were totally helpless and thus it was actually a credit to Aresco that we got the peanuts that we got. Some of us disagree but OK.

But in 2020 neither of those bad things were true but we still signed for what many of us believe is light money and for a LONG period of time. As you say, ten full years from now, a lifetime in college sports, the AAC will still be making $7m per school while P5 money, already vastly outdistancing us, will be even further ahead.

Did the 2020 deal separate us clearly from the other G5? Yes. Did it bring us anywhere near the ballpark of the P5? No.

It was a "Salt Lake City" deal. E.g., if the rest of the G5 is in San Francisco, and the P5 are in the Boston - DC corridor, this deal put us in SLC. Between the two, but far closer to the former. And as time goes by, it will actually inch us backwards, closer to San Francisco.

For that reason, I do not expect ESPN to ever rue signing the AAC deal the way they rued the Longhorn Network deal.
(This post was last modified: 12-29-2020 11:01 AM by quo vadis.)
12-29-2020 10:59 AM
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slhNavy91 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
It's pretty straightforward to relate primary media rights deals to viewership. Talking dollars per viewer, there's a relatively constrained band of values for the 10 FBS conferences, their football viewership, and their primary media rights deals.

It is important to be consistent with what you are talking about.
DON'T confuse total conference distributions with primary media rights deal dollars. The former includes basketball tourney dollars, money from Big Ten Network/ACC Network/SEC Network, CFP money which is significant for the contract-bowl-conferences (I'm using "significant" in the data sense not just the descriptive sense), merchandising/sponsorship, and more.
DO use the right viewership numbers: conference controlled inventory.

Let's start with the latter. You grabbed the right numbers, the conference-controlled inventory, but you used the wrong term. Conference-controlled inventory includes more than just the intra-conference games. Even in this shortened year the AAC's conference-controlled games included BYU at Navy, BYU at Houston, Army at Cincinnati and even Arkansas State at Memphis got over a million viewers. All of those are in the rights the AAC sold to ABC/ESPN.
(That reminds me, you still haven't corrected yourself making this error in the other thread: https://csnbbs.com/thread-913423-post-17...id17182068 )

For the media rights dollars, even a lot of sports reporters will mix apples and oranges and compare one conference's total revenue or total distributions to member institutions to another conference's media rights deal. You pulled the AAC and BigXII.
AAC's average annual value ...
(oh, another digression - I like to ignore the message board stuffed shirts who say "Well, actually, these things all have year by year escalators, so THIS year it's only..." They don't know that for a fact how it's structured; even IF it is structured to evolve from year to year they don't actually have any knowledge of the SPECIFICS; and ultimately that's not that important to the debate. I use aav, but try to always say so upfront to pre-empt this move)
AAC's average annual value of the 12 year $1B contract comes out to $83.3 million. I don't know why you're using 80. We don't know what IF ANY adjustment was made after UConn's departure, so putting in a guess just adds uncertainty to your analysis. These things have enough uncertainty already.
The Big XII MEDIA revenue is actually around $225 million of your cited $380 million (another typo correction - not/not per school, that's the conference total per year). 13 year deal in 2012 was reportedly $200 million and the addition then reshuffling of the CCG reportedly added about $25 Million more per year as of April 2019.

I ran 2019's conference-controlled viewers against what I could find of reported primary media rights contracts. Sometimes that meant working backwards from a known or conventional wisdom per school number, but most times could find media reports. Those went as far back as 2014 deals, but also included the then-newly-reported $300 million per year from ESPN to SEC.
In alphabetical order:
Dollars per viewer (primary media rights deal, conf controlled FOOTBALL viewers)
AAC $2.91
ACC $2.53
B10 $2.52
B12 $2.56
CUSA $33.53
MAC $3.94
mwc $5.18
P12 $3.40
SEC $1.52
SBC $1.75
Note 1 - throw out CUSA - their low-exposure contracts net SO few rated network games that it is very close to dividing by zero.
Note 2 - the PAC12...remember when everyone thought that Larry Scott was a genius? That's why.
Note 3 - before we get too froggy in the AAC ranks, that is among the most recently done deals...so likely to get passed by in the coming years.
Note 4 - still on the AAC, that's exactly why most of this board was predicting $72 million to $96 million aav for the conference (most were saying it as $6-8 million per school per year, but "per school per year" will NEVER be found in any conference-network contract).
Note 5 - SEC seems low, slh? Yes - that's the $300 million per year number -- unless I missed something and that $300 million was additive to prior ESPN-SEC secondary deal? Will crowd source the deals info in a later post.


You could figure out the networks' value on a given deal just by flipping that math -- that is, how many viewers does my dollar spend on conference X get me?
But as much as there is a pretty straight line here, the media rights aren't just for football content. It IS a pretty straight line because a primary media rights deal is 70% to 80% football. But Conference A may offer better basketball content (that is viewers=value) than Conference B so it isn't exact.
We could add basketball viewers, but I think the conventional wisdom is that is a little less consistently reported and therefore harder. We could compare Big East basketball viewers with these, too, but again that's adding a lot of variables. (long story short - Fox overpaid for the viewership they're getting)
And there are other variables - Big East isn't the only thing Fox seems to pay more for. Fox is spending to gain market share while ESPN is the top dog. MAC looks high, right? It is -- that Tuesday/Wednesday night MACtion fills otherwise gaping holes in the ESPN/ESPN2 programming, so MAC gets paid.
Anyway, we have a rough order of magnitude of dollars per viewer and therefore could get the network perspective of viewers for dollar. That shows us the "bang for the buck" they get.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT though....you need to know what $ return ESPN gets on those games. What are their advertising revenues?
The conference-network deal is the conference selling content, which both sides will produce viewers, right?
Well the network then sells those projected viewers to advertisers. They generally aren't selling SEC viewers vs AAC viewers - just college football viewers and the inherent demographic. For season long, I mean - they are certainly selling spots in the ACC / BigXII championship game to Dr. Pepper as CCG spots, but overall it's Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN vs Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN2 vs Saturday noon slot on the various networks vs Saturday afternoon slot vs Saturday primetime vs mwc game. They sell golf viewers to a different advertiser than they sell X-Games viewers, but I believe that the demographic OVERALL for college football viewers is one thing. (another digression - MMA/UFC dollars per viewer are a lot higher than the cfb ones - they deliver a pretty homogenuous demographic in the desirable 18-34 year old male who WILL spend money on whatever you show him on TV).

So for ROI, what are the networks getting for advertising?
We don't know.
Guessing doesn't interest me anymore than a completely unfounded flight of fantasy that one conference might double its viewership.
12-29-2020 11:17 AM
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jedclampett Offline
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Post: #5
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-29-2020 11:17 AM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  It's pretty straightforward to relate primary media rights deals to viewership. Talking dollars per viewer, there's a relatively constrained band of values for the 10 FBS conferences, their football viewership, and their primary media rights deals.

It is important to be consistent with what you are talking about.
DON'T confuse total conference distributions with primary media rights deal dollars. The former includes basketball tourney dollars, money from Big Ten Network/ACC Network/SEC Network, CFP money which is significant for the contract-bowl-conferences (I'm using "significant" in the data sense not just the descriptive sense), merchandising/sponsorship, and more.
DO use the right viewership numbers: conference controlled inventory.

Let's start with the latter. You grabbed the right numbers, the conference-controlled inventory, but you used the wrong term. Conference-controlled inventory includes more than just the intra-conference games. Even in this shortened year the AAC's conference-controlled games included BYU at Navy, BYU at Houston, Army at Cincinnati and even Arkansas State at Memphis got over a million viewers. All of those are in the rights the AAC sold to ABC/ESPN.
(That reminds me, you still haven't corrected yourself making this error in the other thread: https://csnbbs.com/thread-913423-post-17...id17182068 )

For the media rights dollars, even a lot of sports reporters will mix apples and oranges and compare one conference's total revenue or total distributions to member institutions to another conference's media rights deal. You pulled the AAC and BigXII.
AAC's average annual value ...
(oh, another digression - I like to ignore the message board stuffed shirts who say "Well, actually, these things all have year by year escalators, so THIS year it's only..." They don't know that for a fact how it's structured; even IF it is structured to evolve from year to year they don't actually have any knowledge of the SPECIFICS; and ultimately that's not that important to the debate. I use aav, but try to always say so upfront to pre-empt this move)
AAC's average annual value of the 12 year $1B contract comes out to $83.3 million. I don't know why you're using 80. We don't know what IF ANY adjustment was made after UConn's departure, so putting in a guess just adds uncertainty to your analysis. These things have enough uncertainty already.
The Big XII MEDIA revenue is actually around $225 million of your cited $380 million (another typo correction - not/not per school, that's the conference total per year). 13 year deal in 2012 was reportedly $200 million and the addition then reshuffling of the CCG reportedly added about $25 Million more per year as of April 2019.

I ran 2019's conference-controlled viewers against what I could find of reported primary media rights contracts. Sometimes that meant working backwards from a known or conventional wisdom per school number, but most times could find media reports. Those went as far back as 2014 deals, but also included the then-newly-reported $300 million per year from ESPN to SEC.
In alphabetical order:
Dollars per viewer (primary media rights deal, conf controlled FOOTBALL viewers)
AAC $2.91
ACC $2.53
B10 $2.52
B12 $2.56
CUSA $33.53
MAC $3.94
mwc $5.18
P12 $3.40
SEC $1.52
SBC $1.75
Note 1 - throw out CUSA - their low-exposure contracts net SO few rated network games that it is very close to dividing by zero.
Note 2 - the PAC12...remember when everyone thought that Larry Scott was a genius? That's why.
Note 3 - before we get too froggy in the AAC ranks, that is among the most recently done deals...so likely to get passed by in the coming years.
Note 4 - still on the AAC, that's exactly why most of this board was predicting $72 million to $96 million aav for the conference (most were saying it as $6-8 million per school per year, but "per school per year" will NEVER be found in any conference-network contract).
Note 5 - SEC seems low, slh? Yes - that's the $300 million per year number -- unless I missed something and that $300 million was additive to prior ESPN-SEC secondary deal? Will crowd source the deals info in a later post.


You could figure out the networks' value on a given deal just by flipping that math -- that is, how many viewers does my dollar spend on conference X get me?
But as much as there is a pretty straight line here, the media rights aren't just for football content. It IS a pretty straight line because a primary media rights deal is 70% to 80% football. But Conference A may offer better basketball content (that is viewers=value) than Conference B so it isn't exact.
We could add basketball viewers, but I think the conventional wisdom is that is a little less consistently reported and therefore harder. We could compare Big East basketball viewers with these, too, but again that's adding a lot of variables. (long story short - Fox overpaid for the viewership they're getting)
And there are other variables - Big East isn't the only thing Fox seems to pay more for. Fox is spending to gain market share while ESPN is the top dog. MAC looks high, right? It is -- that Tuesday/Wednesday night MACtion fills otherwise gaping holes in the ESPN/ESPN2 programming, so MAC gets paid.
Anyway, we have a rough order of magnitude of dollars per viewer and therefore could get the network perspective of viewers for dollar. That shows us the "bang for the buck" they get.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT though....you need to know what $ return ESPN gets on those games. What are their advertising revenues?
The conference-network deal is the conference selling content, which both sides will produce viewers, right?
Well the network then sells those projected viewers to advertisers. They generally aren't selling SEC viewers vs AAC viewers - just college football viewers and the inherent demographic. For season long, I mean - they are certainly selling spots in the ACC / BigXII championship game to Dr. Pepper as CCG spots, but overall it's Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN vs Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN2 vs Saturday noon slot on the various networks vs Saturday afternoon slot vs Saturday primetime vs mwc game. They sell golf viewers to a different advertiser than they sell X-Games viewers, but I believe that the demographic OVERALL for college football viewers is one thing. (another digression - MMA/UFC dollars per viewer are a lot higher than the cfb ones - they deliver a pretty homogenuous demographic in the desirable 18-34 year old male who WILL spend money on whatever you show him on TV).

So for ROI, what are the networks getting for advertising?
We don't know.
Guessing doesn't interest me anymore than a completely unfounded flight of fantasy that one conference might double its viewership.

Glad you responded. You clearly have a much more thorough-going understand of the complexities and the multiplicity of factors that have to be included in the computations.

I'm not sure if anyone outside of the executive office suits of the networks and conferences would have access to all the data necessary to conduct highly accurate cost-benefit analyses.

The only facts could be established in a short time were that:

1) Some P5 conferences either are receiving or will receive $330 million per year from ESPN (SEC) and a total of $351 million per year for the PAC-12 broadcasting rights, while the AAC receives less than $80 million (i.e., less than 1/4 of $330 million); and:

2) The viewership reported for 2020 AAC intra-conference games was more than 1/4 of the Big-12's viewership.

These suggested - but did not prove - the possibility that the amount that ESPN can generate by broadcasting AAC games may be in roughly the same ball park as the amount they can generate by broadcasting Big 12 games.

I do not believe that this would be counterintuitive if it should turn out to be the case, since ESPN has the marketing and accounting expertise required to make certain that their broadcasting agreements will generate a sizable return on their investment. In fact, it would be surprising if that weren't the case.

.

Lastly, while I can't prove it, I have enough quantitative and observational skills to notice that ESPN's deal with the AAC has some remarkable advantages over its deals with most of the P5 conferences - - if only because they were able to get all the tier 1, 2, and 3 broadcasting rights that they wanted, were able to persuade the AAC schools to take on many of the broadcasting expenses, themselves, and don't have to deal with the nuisance of proprietary AAC networks which must plague them in their dealings with the P5 schools and conferences.
12-29-2020 12:06 PM
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slhNavy91 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-29-2020 12:06 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(12-29-2020 11:17 AM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  It's pretty straightforward to relate primary media rights deals to viewership. Talking dollars per viewer, there's a relatively constrained band of values for the 10 FBS conferences, their football viewership, and their primary media rights deals.

It is important to be consistent with what you are talking about.
DON'T confuse total conference distributions with primary media rights deal dollars. The former includes basketball tourney dollars, money from Big Ten Network/ACC Network/SEC Network, CFP money which is significant for the contract-bowl-conferences (I'm using "significant" in the data sense not just the descriptive sense), merchandising/sponsorship, and more.
DO use the right viewership numbers: conference controlled inventory.

Let's start with the latter. You grabbed the right numbers, the conference-controlled inventory, but you used the wrong term. Conference-controlled inventory includes more than just the intra-conference games. Even in this shortened year the AAC's conference-controlled games included BYU at Navy, BYU at Houston, Army at Cincinnati and even Arkansas State at Memphis got over a million viewers. All of those are in the rights the AAC sold to ABC/ESPN.
(That reminds me, you still haven't corrected yourself making this error in the other thread: https://csnbbs.com/thread-913423-post-17...id17182068 )

For the media rights dollars, even a lot of sports reporters will mix apples and oranges and compare one conference's total revenue or total distributions to member institutions to another conference's media rights deal. You pulled the AAC and BigXII.
AAC's average annual value ...
(oh, another digression - I like to ignore the message board stuffed shirts who say "Well, actually, these things all have year by year escalators, so THIS year it's only..." They don't know that for a fact how it's structured; even IF it is structured to evolve from year to year they don't actually have any knowledge of the SPECIFICS; and ultimately that's not that important to the debate. I use aav, but try to always say so upfront to pre-empt this move)
AAC's average annual value of the 12 year $1B contract comes out to $83.3 million. I don't know why you're using 80. We don't know what IF ANY adjustment was made after UConn's departure, so putting in a guess just adds uncertainty to your analysis. These things have enough uncertainty already.
The Big XII MEDIA revenue is actually around $225 million of your cited $380 million (another typo correction - not/not per school, that's the conference total per year). 13 year deal in 2012 was reportedly $200 million and the addition then reshuffling of the CCG reportedly added about $25 Million more per year as of April 2019.

I ran 2019's conference-controlled viewers against what I could find of reported primary media rights contracts. Sometimes that meant working backwards from a known or conventional wisdom per school number, but most times could find media reports. Those went as far back as 2014 deals, but also included the then-newly-reported $300 million per year from ESPN to SEC.
In alphabetical order:
Dollars per viewer (primary media rights deal, conf controlled FOOTBALL viewers)
AAC $2.91
ACC $2.53
B10 $2.52
B12 $2.56
CUSA $33.53
MAC $3.94
mwc $5.18
P12 $3.40
SEC $1.52
SBC $1.75
Note 1 - throw out CUSA - their low-exposure contracts net SO few rated network games that it is very close to dividing by zero.
Note 2 - the PAC12...remember when everyone thought that Larry Scott was a genius? That's why.
Note 3 - before we get too froggy in the AAC ranks, that is among the most recently done deals...so likely to get passed by in the coming years.
Note 4 - still on the AAC, that's exactly why most of this board was predicting $72 million to $96 million aav for the conference (most were saying it as $6-8 million per school per year, but "per school per year" will NEVER be found in any conference-network contract).
Note 5 - SEC seems low, slh? Yes - that's the $300 million per year number -- unless I missed something and that $300 million was additive to prior ESPN-SEC secondary deal? Will crowd source the deals info in a later post.


You could figure out the networks' value on a given deal just by flipping that math -- that is, how many viewers does my dollar spend on conference X get me?
But as much as there is a pretty straight line here, the media rights aren't just for football content. It IS a pretty straight line because a primary media rights deal is 70% to 80% football. But Conference A may offer better basketball content (that is viewers=value) than Conference B so it isn't exact.
We could add basketball viewers, but I think the conventional wisdom is that is a little less consistently reported and therefore harder. We could compare Big East basketball viewers with these, too, but again that's adding a lot of variables. (long story short - Fox overpaid for the viewership they're getting)
And there are other variables - Big East isn't the only thing Fox seems to pay more for. Fox is spending to gain market share while ESPN is the top dog. MAC looks high, right? It is -- that Tuesday/Wednesday night MACtion fills otherwise gaping holes in the ESPN/ESPN2 programming, so MAC gets paid.
Anyway, we have a rough order of magnitude of dollars per viewer and therefore could get the network perspective of viewers for dollar. That shows us the "bang for the buck" they get.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT though....you need to know what $ return ESPN gets on those games. What are their advertising revenues?
The conference-network deal is the conference selling content, which both sides will produce viewers, right?
Well the network then sells those projected viewers to advertisers. They generally aren't selling SEC viewers vs AAC viewers - just college football viewers and the inherent demographic. For season long, I mean - they are certainly selling spots in the ACC / BigXII championship game to Dr. Pepper as CCG spots, but overall it's Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN vs Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN2 vs Saturday noon slot on the various networks vs Saturday afternoon slot vs Saturday primetime vs mwc game. They sell golf viewers to a different advertiser than they sell X-Games viewers, but I believe that the demographic OVERALL for college football viewers is one thing. (another digression - MMA/UFC dollars per viewer are a lot higher than the cfb ones - they deliver a pretty homogenuous demographic in the desirable 18-34 year old male who WILL spend money on whatever you show him on TV).

So for ROI, what are the networks getting for advertising?
We don't know.
Guessing doesn't interest me anymore than a completely unfounded flight of fantasy that one conference might double its viewership.

Glad you responded. You clearly have a much more thorough-going understand of the complexities and the multiplicity of factors that have to be included in the computations.

I'm not sure if anyone outside of the executive office suits of the networks and conferences would have access to all the data necessary to conduct highly accurate cost-benefit analyses.

The only facts could be established in a short time were that:

1) Some P5 conferences either are receiving or will receive $330 million per year from ESPN (SEC) and a total of $351 million per year for the PAC-12 broadcasting rights, while the AAC receives less than $80 million (i.e., less than 1/4 of $330 million); and:

2) The viewership reported for 2020 AAC intra-conference games was more than 1/4 of the Big-12's viewership.

JED PLEASE BE PRECISE - DON'T SUBSTITUTE "intra-conference" WHEN YOUR POINT IS ABOUT CONFERENCE CONTROLLED - slh

These suggested - but did not prove - the possibility that the amount that ESPN can generate by broadcasting AAC games may be in roughly the same ball park as the amount they can generate by broadcasting Big 12 games.

I do not believe that this would be counterintuitive if it should turn out to be the case, since ESPN has the marketing and accounting expertise required to make certain that their broadcasting agreements will generate a sizable return on their investment. In fact, it would be surprising if that weren't the case.

.

Lastly, while I can't prove it, I have enough quantitative and observational skills to notice that ESPN's deal with the AAC has some remarkable advantages over its deals with most of the P5 conferences - - if only because they were able to get all the tier 1, 2, and 3 broadcasting rights that they wanted, were able to persuade the AAC schools to take on many of the broadcasting expenses, themselves, and don't have to deal with the nuisance of proprietary AAC networks which must plague them in their dealings with the P5 schools and conferences.

We knocked this around pretty good on this board before the AAC media deal got done. I have the 2018-2020 numbers right here...would have to track down an old spreadsheet I haven't had lately OR find old posts for 2017...I'll edit if I have time to pull the three years together for all ten conferences.
{Edited ... my 2018 spreadsheet needs to have a couple more conferences collated. I have version control problems, or I got lazy at some point two years ago. Really quick tidbit though -- AAC 2018-2020 AVERAGE annual conference-controlled inventory viewers was 25.826 million and BigXII 2018-2020 AVERAGE annual conference-controlled viewers was 88.862 million. AAC 29% of BigXII}

But as I said, the contract we got was on target for the numbers.
There was also general agreement that twelve years seemed (still seems) too long. On target now wouldn't be after other contracts were done, and we could be back behind the value curve. (Personally, I also wanted/want it shorter to fit in with the next CFP restructure - through about 2028 for stability during the CFP negotiations then opportunity right after.)

In addition to the viewer numbers, the ESPN+ aspect is another for comparison with the BigXII. The LongHorn Network was an obstacle to a BigXII network when B1G, SEC, and PAC were all moving out (with three different models). The announcement of the ACC Network, in fact was the precipitating event to which Bowlsby was reacting in starting the 2016 expansion traveshamockery. Now, though, those third tier rights will move from the schools to the ESPN+ BigXII Network as ongoing deals expire...it looks a lot like the AAC Network branding on ESPN+. That's not some thrilling victory for the American or anything, but it is indicative that we are making solid moves and in position for future developments.
At the very least that helps quiet the naysayers who kept saying incorrectly that we would have more games on ESPN+ , which is patently false for both football and MBB, and that it would be the AAC's ruination. (Their other false refrain was the production costs bogeyman. The conference is picking up football production for ESPN+ games, which is far and away the most complex and expensive. For all other sports, most AAC schools have the infrastructure and capability already. Heck, I watched most of Navy's non-rev sports on the Patriot League Network on stadium.com....which is now moving to ESPN+. If the Patriot League can swing it, I'm pretty sure that it won'e put much of a dent in each school's share of $83 million.
(This post was last modified: 12-29-2020 03:30 PM by slhNavy91.)
12-29-2020 03:13 PM
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Post: #7
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-29-2020 11:17 AM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  It's pretty straightforward to relate primary media rights deals to viewership. Talking dollars per viewer, there's a relatively constrained band of values for the 10 FBS conferences, their football viewership, and their primary media rights deals.

It is important to be consistent with what you are talking about.
DON'T confuse total conference distributions with primary media rights deal dollars. The former includes basketball tourney dollars, money from Big Ten Network/ACC Network/SEC Network, CFP money which is significant for the contract-bowl-conferences (I'm using "significant" in the data sense not just the descriptive sense), merchandising/sponsorship, and more.
DO use the right viewership numbers: conference controlled inventory.

Let's start with the latter. You grabbed the right numbers, the conference-controlled inventory, but you used the wrong term. Conference-controlled inventory includes more than just the intra-conference games. Even in this shortened year the AAC's conference-controlled games included BYU at Navy, BYU at Houston, Army at Cincinnati and even Arkansas State at Memphis got over a million viewers. All of those are in the rights the AAC sold to ABC/ESPN.
(That reminds me, you still haven't corrected yourself making this error in the other thread: https://csnbbs.com/thread-913423-post-17...id17182068 )

For the media rights dollars, even a lot of sports reporters will mix apples and oranges and compare one conference's total revenue or total distributions to member institutions to another conference's media rights deal. You pulled the AAC and BigXII.
AAC's average annual value ...
(oh, another digression - I like to ignore the message board stuffed shirts who say "Well, actually, these things all have year by year escalators, so THIS year it's only..." They don't know that for a fact how it's structured; even IF it is structured to evolve from year to year they don't actually have any knowledge of the SPECIFICS; and ultimately that's not that important to the debate. I use aav, but try to always say so upfront to pre-empt this move)
AAC's average annual value of the 12 year $1B contract comes out to $83.3 million. I don't know why you're using 80. We don't know what IF ANY adjustment was made after UConn's departure, so putting in a guess just adds uncertainty to your analysis. These things have enough uncertainty already.
The Big XII MEDIA revenue is actually around $225 million of your cited $380 million (another typo correction - not/not per school, that's the conference total per year). 13 year deal in 2012 was reportedly $200 million and the addition then reshuffling of the CCG reportedly added about $25 Million more per year as of April 2019.

I ran 2019's conference-controlled viewers against what I could find of reported primary media rights contracts. Sometimes that meant working backwards from a known or conventional wisdom per school number, but most times could find media reports. Those went as far back as 2014 deals, but also included the then-newly-reported $300 million per year from ESPN to SEC.
In alphabetical order:
Dollars per viewer (primary media rights deal, conf controlled FOOTBALL viewers)
AAC $2.91
ACC $2.53
B10 $2.52
B12 $2.56
CUSA $33.53
MAC $3.94
mwc $5.18
P12 $3.40
SEC $1.52
SBC $1.75
Note 1 - throw out CUSA - their low-exposure contracts net SO few rated network games that it is very close to dividing by zero.
Note 2 - the PAC12...remember when everyone thought that Larry Scott was a genius? That's why.
Note 3 - before we get too froggy in the AAC ranks, that is among the most recently done deals...so likely to get passed by in the coming years.
Note 4 - still on the AAC, that's exactly why most of this board was predicting $72 million to $96 million aav for the conference (most were saying it as $6-8 million per school per year, but "per school per year" will NEVER be found in any conference-network contract).
Note 5 - SEC seems low, slh? Yes - that's the $300 million per year number -- unless I missed something and that $300 million was additive to prior ESPN-SEC secondary deal? Will crowd source the deals info in a later post.


You could figure out the networks' value on a given deal just by flipping that math -- that is, how many viewers does my dollar spend on conference X get me?
But as much as there is a pretty straight line here, the media rights aren't just for football content. It IS a pretty straight line because a primary media rights deal is 70% to 80% football. But Conference A may offer better basketball content (that is viewers=value) than Conference B so it isn't exact.
We could add basketball viewers, but I think the conventional wisdom is that is a little less consistently reported and therefore harder. We could compare Big East basketball viewers with these, too, but again that's adding a lot of variables. (long story short - Fox overpaid for the viewership they're getting)
And there are other variables - Big East isn't the only thing Fox seems to pay more for. Fox is spending to gain market share while ESPN is the top dog. MAC looks high, right? It is -- that Tuesday/Wednesday night MACtion fills otherwise gaping holes in the ESPN/ESPN2 programming, so MAC gets paid.
Anyway, we have a rough order of magnitude of dollars per viewer and therefore could get the network perspective of viewers for dollar. That shows us the "bang for the buck" they get.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT though....you need to know what $ return ESPN gets on those games. What are their advertising revenues?
The conference-network deal is the conference selling content, which both sides will produce viewers, right?
Well the network then sells those projected viewers to advertisers. They generally aren't selling SEC viewers vs AAC viewers - just college football viewers and the inherent demographic. For season long, I mean - they are certainly selling spots in the ACC / BigXII championship game to Dr. Pepper as CCG spots, but overall it's Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN vs Thursday night cfb game advertising rates on ESPN2 vs Saturday noon slot on the various networks vs Saturday afternoon slot vs Saturday primetime vs mwc game. They sell golf viewers to a different advertiser than they sell X-Games viewers, but I believe that the demographic OVERALL for college football viewers is one thing. (another digression - MMA/UFC dollars per viewer are a lot higher than the cfb ones - they deliver a pretty homogenuous demographic in the desirable 18-34 year old male who WILL spend money on whatever you show him on TV).

So for ROI, what are the networks getting for advertising?
We don't know.
Guessing doesn't interest me anymore than a completely unfounded flight of fantasy that one conference might double its viewership.

You did a nice job, because there some many other things that also factor into these bang for the buck comparisons. Like what station (over the air, ESPN/2/U/News, FS1, CBSSports, and ect...), day of the week, and time of the day. BYU for example had 6 home game broadcast by ESPN family of network (5 on Saturday and 1 Friday). Of the Saturday games 3 had start times of 10:15pm EDT, 1 10pm EDT, and the other 1 at 3:30pm EDT. With 3 games on ESPN and 2 on ESPN2 the by far worst viewed game was the Texas St game (3:30pm ESPN2). The Friday night game started at 9pm EDT on ESPN.
BYU's 4 away games had better start times (also with better named opponents): Monday 8pm EDT on ESPN (Navy- 1.15), Saturday 9:30pm EDT on ESPN (Houston- 1.16), Friday at 9:45pm EDT on FS1 (Boise St- 680k), and Saturday primetime at 5:30 pm EDT on ESPNU (Coastal Carolina- 1.21).
The MAC weekday filler games are just that fillers and will have lower ratings than the Friday and Saturday games in the same time slots.
12-30-2020 02:58 AM
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Post: #8
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333
12-30-2020 01:36 PM
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Post: #9
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

Wow adding ND in and the weird season really pulled the ACC up. We have a ways to go.
12-30-2020 02:17 PM
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Post: #10
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

A few observations:

1. ACC viewership went up in 2020? Is it a trend, or simply due to being one of "the only games in town" for part of the season?

2. The B10, P12, MAC, and MWC 2020 data are affected by shortened seasons in 2020.

3. Like the ACC, SBC viewership popped way up in 2020, due partly to less competition from the 4 conferences above, but also due to having more top 25 and top 50 teams.

4. Unlike the ACC, the B12's viewership took a plunge in 2020. This may have been mostly due to having a below-average season but it's remarkable that their viewership took a plunge, considering the way that the SBC's viewership skyrocketed as it did.

5. While both the ACC and B12 had viewership declines of ~15% from 2018 to 2019, the ACC's viewership rebounded in 2020, while the B12's viewership appears to have taken another 10%+ dip.

6. Unlike the SBC, which had a major surge in viewership during a season with 2-3 ranked teams, the AAC's 2020 viewership appears to have dropped down by about 25%, although it still remained far higher than that of the SBC.

--This seems likely to have been due to having fewer ranked teams, and to the fact that some of the conference's marquee programs, such as Memphis and UCF, as well as SMU, underperformed expectations.

--Overall, 2020 probably has to be considered an off-year for the conference. One wonders if the approval of adding Boise might have been partially triggered by the AAC disappointments of 2020.

--Hopefully, this will turn out to be just a temporary drop-off.
12-30-2020 03:11 PM
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Post: #11
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 03:11 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

A few observations:

1. ACC viewership went up in 2020? Is it a trend, or simply due to being one of "the only games in town" for part of the season?

2. The B10, P12, MAC, and MWC 2020 data are affected by shortened seasons in 2020.

3. Like the ACC, SBC viewership popped way up in 2020, due partly to less competition from the 4 conferences above, but also due to having more top 25 and top 50 teams.

4. Unlike the ACC, the B12's viewership took a plunge in 2020. This may have been mostly due to having a below-average season but it's remarkable that their viewership took a plunge, considering the way that the SBC's viewership skyrocketed as it did.

5. While both the ACC and B12 had viewership declines of ~15% from 2018 to 2019, the ACC's viewership rebounded in 2020, while the B12's viewership appears to have taken another 10%+ dip.

6. Unlike the SBC, which had a major surge in viewership during a season with 2-3 ranked teams, the AAC's 2020 viewership appears to have dropped down by about 25%, although it still remained far higher than that of the SBC.

--This seems likely to have been due to having fewer ranked teams, and to the fact that some of the conference's marquee programs, such as Memphis and UCF, as well as SMU, underperformed expectations.

--Overall, 2020 probably has to be considered an off-year for the conference. One wonders if the approval of adding Boise might have been partially triggered by the AAC disappointments of 2020.

--Hopefully, this will turn out to be just a temporary drop-off.

The ACC went up because of ND. The two Clemson-ND games totalled 19.99 million viewers. Other ND ACC games did well, too. All the ND games are in the ACC's numbers, including the NBC ones. I would have to go back to see what the revenue sharing agreement was reported in this single season as a "full" member - there may be a rationale for not counting the ND NBC games for the ACC, but I haven't given it that deep thought. Also, ACC was one of the earlier contract-bowl conferences to start play.

MAC went up - the Tuesday Wednesday night MACtion had some good numbers.

SunBelt had a lot of things go right - the dearth of contract-bowl conference games gave them opportunities at far better exposure. Just look at week 1 - Saturday 4:30 game on ESPN was SMU at Texas State. Then they took advantage of opportunities - week 2 performance against the Big12 got people talking. Continued strong performance (ULL and Coastal stepping up to replace last year's SunBelt shining star) kept them in the storylines, and that circumstances around the BYU at Coastal game got them record ESPNU numbers.

Otherwise - everybody was down. Fewer games overall, even for those of us that started on time. CCGs (with the exception of Clemson ND) were ALL down 30%+.
I doubt anyone in the conference offices or at ESPN thinks this is anything but 2020 strangeness.

As far as impacting AAC-Boise conversation, you're having timeline troubles again....All those Boise State emails were from two timeframes: January, when Boise and the mwc were in a fight about the future of their term sheet special deal, and September, when Harsin was mad about the mwc cancelling football. So the AAC perspectives that were reflected in those news stories preceded the 2020 football season.
12-30-2020 07:53 PM
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Post: #12
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 07:53 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 03:11 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

A few observations:

1. ACC viewership went up in 2020? Is it a trend, or simply due to being one of "the only games in town" for part of the season?

2. The B10, P12, MAC, and MWC 2020 data are affected by shortened seasons in 2020.

3. Like the ACC, SBC viewership popped way up in 2020, due partly to less competition from the 4 conferences above, but also due to having more top 25 and top 50 teams.

4. Unlike the ACC, the B12's viewership took a plunge in 2020. This may have been mostly due to having a below-average season but it's remarkable that their viewership took a plunge, considering the way that the SBC's viewership skyrocketed as it did.

5. While both the ACC and B12 had viewership declines of ~15% from 2018 to 2019, the ACC's viewership rebounded in 2020, while the B12's viewership appears to have taken another 10%+ dip.

6. Unlike the SBC, which had a major surge in viewership during a season with 2-3 ranked teams, the AAC's 2020 viewership appears to have dropped down by about 25%, although it still remained far higher than that of the SBC.

--This seems likely to have been due to having fewer ranked teams, and to the fact that some of the conference's marquee programs, such as Memphis and UCF, as well as SMU, underperformed expectations.

--Overall, 2020 probably has to be considered an off-year for the conference. One wonders if the approval of adding Boise might have been partially triggered by the AAC disappointments of 2020.

--Hopefully, this will turn out to be just a temporary drop-off.

The ACC went up because of ND. The two Clemson-ND games totalled 19.99 million viewers. Other ND ACC games did well, too. All the ND games are in the ACC's numbers, including the NBC ones. I would have to go back to see what the revenue sharing agreement was reported in this single season as a "full" member - there may be a rationale for not counting the ND NBC games for the ACC, but I haven't given it that deep thought. Also, ACC was one of the earlier contract-bowl conferences to start play.

MAC went up - the Tuesday Wednesday night MACtion had some good numbers.

SunBelt had a lot of things go right - the dearth of contract-bowl conference games gave them opportunities at far better exposure. Just look at week 1 - Saturday 4:30 game on ESPN was SMU at Texas State. Then they took advantage of opportunities - week 2 performance against the Big12 got people talking. Continued strong performance (ULL and Coastal stepping up to replace last year's SunBelt shining star) kept them in the storylines, and that circumstances around the BYU at Coastal game got them record ESPNU numbers.

Otherwise - everybody was down. Fewer games overall, even for those of us that started on time. CCGs (with the exception of Clemson ND) were ALL down 30%+.
I doubt anyone in the conference offices or at ESPN thinks this is anything but 2020 strangeness.

Makes sense, esp. "the 2020 strangeness," which might end up being the title of a pulp novel or a B-movie.

The main thing that continues to surprise me, is the two down-ticks in the B12 viewership.

If I were a B12 fan, those numbers would concern me enough to hope that they would add two teams. However, the numbers might tick back up over the next 2-3 years by themselves.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2020 10:02 PM by jedclampett.)
12-30-2020 09:53 PM
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Post: #13
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 07:53 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 03:11 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

A few observations:

1. ACC viewership went up in 2020? Is it a trend, or simply due to being one of "the only games in town" for part of the season?

2. The B10, P12, MAC, and MWC 2020 data are affected by shortened seasons in 2020.

3. Like the ACC, SBC viewership popped way up in 2020, due partly to less competition from the 4 conferences above, but also due to having more top 25 and top 50 teams.

4. Unlike the ACC, the B12's viewership took a plunge in 2020. This may have been mostly due to having a below-average season but it's remarkable that their viewership took a plunge, considering the way that the SBC's viewership skyrocketed as it did.

5. While both the ACC and B12 had viewership declines of ~15% from 2018 to 2019, the ACC's viewership rebounded in 2020, while the B12's viewership appears to have taken another 10%+ dip.

6. Unlike the SBC, which had a major surge in viewership during a season with 2-3 ranked teams, the AAC's 2020 viewership appears to have dropped down by about 25%, although it still remained far higher than that of the SBC.

--This seems likely to have been due to having fewer ranked teams, and to the fact that some of the conference's marquee programs, such as Memphis and UCF, as well as SMU, underperformed expectations.

--Overall, 2020 probably has to be considered an off-year for the conference. One wonders if the approval of adding Boise might have been partially triggered by the AAC disappointments of 2020.

--Hopefully, this will turn out to be just a temporary drop-off.

The ACC went up because of ND. The two Clemson-ND games totalled 19.99 million viewers. Other ND ACC games did well, too. All the ND games are in the ACC's numbers, including the NBC ones. I would have to go back to see what the revenue sharing agreement was reported in this single season as a "full" member - there may be a rationale for not counting the ND NBC games for the ACC, but I haven't given it that deep thought. Also, ACC was one of the earlier contract-bowl conferences to start play.

MAC went up - the Tuesday Wednesday night MACtion had some good numbers.

SunBelt had a lot of things go right - the dearth of contract-bowl conference games gave them opportunities at far better exposure. Just look at week 1 - Saturday 4:30 game on ESPN was SMU at Texas State. Then they took advantage of opportunities - week 2 performance against the Big12 got people talking. Continued strong performance (ULL and Coastal stepping up to replace last year's SunBelt shining star) kept them in the storylines, and that circumstances around the BYU at Coastal game got them record ESPNU numbers.

Otherwise - everybody was down. Fewer games overall, even for those of us that started on time. CCGs (with the exception of Clemson ND) were ALL down 30%+.
I doubt anyone in the conference offices or at ESPN thinks this is anything but 2020 strangeness.

As far as impacting AAC-Boise conversation, you're having timeline troubles again....All those Boise State emails were from two timeframes: January, when Boise and the mwc were in a fight about the future of their term sheet special deal, and September, when Harsin was mad about the mwc cancelling football. So the AAC perspectives that were reflected in those news stories preceded the 2020 football season.


Which tells you Boise isn't serious about joining and why the AAC seemed less the gung ho about their inquiry.
12-30-2020 10:34 PM
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Post: #14
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 07:53 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  The ACC went up because of ND. The two Clemson-ND games totalled 19.99 million viewers. Other ND ACC games did well, too. All the ND games are in the ACC's numbers, including the NBC ones. I would have to go back to see what the revenue sharing agreement was reported in this single season as a "full" member - there may be a rationale for not counting the ND NBC games for the ACC, but I haven't given it that deep thought. Also, ACC was one of the earlier contract-bowl conferences to start play.

“ The ACC announced Wednesday it will have an 11 game football season this fall, public health guidelines permitting, with Notre Dame playing a full league schedule.

As part of the deal approved by the conference’s board of directors, all TV revenue from the season – including Notre Dame home games on NBC – will be shared among the 15 schools.

“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”


https://frontofficesports.com/notre-dame...c-revenue/
12-31-2020 06:01 AM
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slhNavy91 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-31-2020 06:01 AM)CardinalJim Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 07:53 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  The ACC went up because of ND. The two Clemson-ND games totalled 19.99 million viewers. Other ND ACC games did well, too. All the ND games are in the ACC's numbers, including the NBC ones. I would have to go back to see what the revenue sharing agreement was reported in this single season as a "full" member - there may be a rationale for not counting the ND NBC games for the ACC, but I haven't given it that deep thought. Also, ACC was one of the earlier contract-bowl conferences to start play.

“ The ACC announced Wednesday it will have an 11 game football season this fall, public health guidelines permitting, with Notre Dame playing a full league schedule.

As part of the deal approved by the conference’s board of directors, all TV revenue from the season – including Notre Dame home games on NBC – will be shared among the 15 schools.

“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”


https://frontofficesports.com/notre-dame...c-revenue/

Thank you - that's what I thought I recalled.

I will continue thinking of all those viewers as ACC viewers. If someone wanted to pull those 24.227 million viewers for the NBC (and vs USF on USA Network) games, it's still over 79 million and a 2020 increase over the last two years for the ACC.
12-31-2020 09:45 AM
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Square Knight Offline
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Post: #16
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

Where do you get this data from? Do you have a link? I want to keep track of this.
04-14-2021 10:49 AM
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Attackcoog Offline
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Post: #17
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(12-29-2020 10:59 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(12-29-2020 06:35 AM)jedclampett Wrote:  If the costs for P5 broadcasting rights continue to escalate, it may become more and more apparent that ESPN has locked in quite a good bargain with its AAC broadcasting deal.

ESPN has twice gotten a very good bargain with AAC sports. In 2012, this was written off by Aresco supporters as not Aresco's fault because the Big East/AAC was in tatters and had no bargaining power. We were totally helpless and thus it was actually a credit to Aresco that we got the peanuts that we got. Some of us disagree but OK.

But in 2020 neither of those bad things were true but we still signed for what many of us believe is light money and for a LONG period of time. As you say, ten full years from now, a lifetime in college sports, the AAC will still be making $7m per school while P5 money, already vastly outdistancing us, will be even further ahead.

Did the 2020 deal separate us clearly from the other G5? Yes. Did it bring us anywhere near the ballpark of the P5? No.

It was a "Salt Lake City" deal. E.g., if the rest of the G5 is in San Francisco, and the P5 are in the Boston - DC corridor, this deal put us in SLC. Between the two, but far closer to the former. And as time goes by, it will actually inch us backwards, closer to San Francisco.

For that reason, I do not expect ESPN to ever rue signing the AAC deal the way they rued the Longhorn Network deal.

I personally think the deal was about where the data indicated it should be based on viewership numbers. That said---I think it was a mistake to do a 12 year deal. However, its worth noting that cable subscriber numbers continue to decline and that total decline is NOT being completely offset by streaming subscriptions. So---its entirely possible that in a few years--money might not be so freely dispensed by networks for sports deals---especially for non-marquis leagues. When it comes to future deals, we simply dont know what we dont know.

So, while I dont like the length of the deal and think it was a mistake---I cant say for sure that its a mistake. It may turn out to be an advantage.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2021 11:42 AM by Attackcoog.)
04-14-2021 11:40 AM
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slhNavy91 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(04-14-2021 10:49 AM)Square Knight Wrote:  
(12-30-2020 01:36 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Three year average of season-long viewership of conference-controlled games.

Conf. 2018 viewers+2019 viewers+2020 viewers --> average
AAC 27,572,000+28,612,000+21,294,000 --> 25,826,000
ACC 75,622,000+61,379,000+103,687,000 --> 80,229,333
B10 150,425,000+174,949,000+91,188,000 --> 138,854,000
B12 100,881,000+87,875,000+77,830,000 --> 88,862,000
CUSA 0+167,000+2,668,000 --> 945,000
MAC 3,005,000+2,532,000+4,780,000 --> 3,439,000
mwc 5,806,000+8,677,000+6,149,000 --> 6,877,333
P12 65,826,000+73,410,000+44,092,000 --> 61,109,333
SEC 171,188,000+196,381,000+119,033,000 --> 162,200,667
SBC 1,244,000+2,282,000+10,224,000 --> 4,583,333

Where do you get this data from? Do you have a link? I want to keep track of this.

Short answer is sportsmediawatch.com

For about 3 years now, I've been pulling that data into a spreadsheet. One tab/worksheet for all games, then pull each conference into a spreadsheet, each of which I have all games, then winnowed down to conference-controlled inventory, and then winnowed down to intra-conference games.
I've considered and even mentioned making that a shareable Google Sheet...but every time I've come close to doing so, I see some error that makes me gun-shy about doing so: you see between posts #4 and #8 here I had to re-create 2018 info - either version control problems or just lost files hopping from computer to computer. I have a 2017 file under the same file-naming conventions but it looks like it's just a comparison of a couple conferences. Some years have per game average in each of the categories, some don't. I have some data I've posted in years-ago threads but now couldn't show my work.

I have no need to be the gatekeeper of the info, and I wouldn't want anyone else to put in too much effort to re-invent the wheel, but I'm leery to say that what I've got is ready for "publication"
04-14-2021 12:04 PM
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Post: #19
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
(04-14-2021 11:40 AM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(12-29-2020 10:59 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(12-29-2020 06:35 AM)jedclampett Wrote:  If the costs for P5 broadcasting rights continue to escalate, it may become more and more apparent that ESPN has locked in quite a good bargain with its AAC broadcasting deal.

ESPN has twice gotten a very good bargain with AAC sports. In 2012, this was written off by Aresco supporters as not Aresco's fault because the Big East/AAC was in tatters and had no bargaining power. We were totally helpless and thus it was actually a credit to Aresco that we got the peanuts that we got. Some of us disagree but OK.

But in 2020 neither of those bad things were true but we still signed for what many of us believe is light money and for a LONG period of time. As you say, ten full years from now, a lifetime in college sports, the AAC will still be making $7m per school while P5 money, already vastly outdistancing us, will be even further ahead.

Did the 2020 deal separate us clearly from the other G5? Yes. Did it bring us anywhere near the ballpark of the P5? No.

It was a "Salt Lake City" deal. E.g., if the rest of the G5 is in San Francisco, and the P5 are in the Boston - DC corridor, this deal put us in SLC. Between the two, but far closer to the former. And as time goes by, it will actually inch us backwards, closer to San Francisco.

For that reason, I do not expect ESPN to ever rue signing the AAC deal the way they rued the Longhorn Network deal.

I personally think the deal was about where the data indicated it should be based on viewership numbers. That said---I think it was a mistake to do a 12 year deal. However, its worth noting that cable subscriber numbers continue to decline and that total decline is NOT being completely offset by streaming subscriptions. So---its entirely possible that in a few years--money might not be so freely dispensed by networks for sports deals---especially for non-marquis leagues. When it comes to future deals, we simply dont know what we dont know.

So, while I dont like the length of the deal and think it was a mistake---I cant say for sure that its a mistake. It may turn out to be an advantage.

True - - the first broadcasting deal didn't generate much revenue, and the 12 year deal may not have been in the best interest of the conference, since it prevents the conference from negotiating an increase after a few good seasons.

One would also have to admit that, even though it was ultimately the AAC's decision to approve both ESPN deals, the Commissioner may not have gotten the best possible deal. The AAC schools chose him because he was a former ESPN broadcasting executive, but having friendly relationships with the ESPN executives may have limited his ability to be an effective "hardball" type of negotiator.

As things are, even though ESPN seems willing to extend their AAC package broadcast games for a 14-team conference, it's not clear if any school on the conference's wish list, other than Boise St., would agree to play for the amount that the AAC teams are being paid.

Yet, if the conference doesn't expand, it's going to be awfully hard to demand a large increase in revenues for 2033 & beyond. The way things are going, expansion and success is probably the only way for the conference to develop the ability to double or triple its revenue in the next contract.

.

It's hard to know who's responsible for the less than stellar deal. Ultimately, it's the conference schools themselves that bear the responsibility, of course, since it was their decision to sign it.

The one thing we do know is that there were a few schools that refused to sign a Grant of Rights (GOR) - - because they were hoping to be snatched up by a P5 conference - - and this refusal made it impossible for the conference to negotiate better terms. That's certainly not the Commissioner's fault.

It would be interesting to know how much more revenue the AAC schools could have earned if all 11 had been willing to agree to a GOR. Some have suggested that it would have been quite substantial.

.

Perhaps there is a silver lining, however - - having a 12-year deal may have a stabilizing effect on the conference, which could be considered a positive, considering that the American is still quite a young conference.

.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2021 07:20 PM by jedclampett.)
04-14-2021 12:15 PM
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Post: #20
RE: ESPN's return on investment from broadcasting AAC vs. P5 (e.g., Big 12) football.
That the AAC creates perhaps a higher profit margin for the four-letter-network is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it would suggest that the network will continue to promote AAC content. On the other hand, the network would have no interest in paying more to the B12 or ACC for adding an American school because it is presently already getting that school’s content under the existing AAC contract for relative cheap.

The converse is true for Boise or BYU moving to the American. That’s why those schools are against the move unless the pot is sweetened.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2021 01:57 PM by Enriquillo.)
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