Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
An interesting question came up during a teleconference with members of the media to announce the Mid-American Conference’s new TV pact with ESPN.
Elton Alexander, my esteemed colleague from the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and the Worldwide Leader’s senior vice president, programming and acquisitions, Burke Magnus whether they thought MAC hoops is getting stiffed with the conference’s new TV deal.
Football is indeed front and center in the pact. ESPN now owns the rights to every MAC-controlled football game for the next 13 years. They are free to air games five days a week and they will continue to spread the MACtion brand in the process all while having the ability to license some games to regional partners.
Basketball?To read more or comment...
Sometimes it’s good to be king, unless of course you’re completely freakin’ unhinged – say like Hamlet [yeah, I know he was a prince, but work with me] and, I don’t know, King Midas, that guy who could turn things to gold with his touch.
Come to think of it, Midas is sort of like the NFL. There’s very little that the NFL can do and not make a huge pile of stinking cash in the process. Usually people line up to give them money.To read more or comment...
The SEC Network, a joint venture with ESPN, is seven years late to the party. They could, however, be the life of it.
When the channel, which will cover all things related to SEC sports debuts at 5 p.m. today, it will be seven years after the Big Ten Network made its splash.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and his partners at Fox were laughed at when they announced they were going to put second tier games from Big Ten teams on a cable network. Critics called it “risky” and said it wouldn’t fly.
Some video providers (Time Warner and Comcast for instance) held out for a while before adding it. And the trickle to add it by smaller systems only came when Appalachian State upset the Michigan Wolverines during the opening week of the college football season.To read more or comment...
This is what worried some when talk of autonomy for the Power 5 conferences surfaced in college athletics.
An ESPN poll revealed that the majority of football coaches in those top 65 schools that comprise those conferences would prefer to play only schools in those conferences.
While it would likely eliminate strength of schedule issues when it comes to polling and how it relates to the upcoming college football playoff, it opens an entirely different can of worms for the likes of Mid-American Conference schools such as the University of Akron and Kent State University.
To be honest, we’re talking what it always comes down to in sports - cash. The Power 5 may as well form their own league today, because the Group of 5 (MAC, American, Conference USA, Mountain West and Sun Belt) would be on life support should something like this occur.To read more or comment...