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The core of the financial logic of expanding the Big Ten, and other league expansions, as Derek Thompson has explained, is cable television. The Big Ten has its own network and can charge cable operators to carry it. The more people who live in the Big Ten's footprint, the more households will be paying their cable operators an extra dollar a month or so to carry the Big Ten network. Hence the logic of adding Rutgers and Maryland. While the athletic traditions of both schools are, respectively, mediocre and terrible, they geographically encompass large, populous regions whose cable television subscribers will, for the most part involuntarily, be paying the Big Ten conference a chunk of their cable television bills.
In other words, as a profit-making mechanism, this is essentially a scam. It relies on an opaque pricing mechanism (bundled cable television) forcing people to pay for a product they don't want. Right now, it's a highly lucrative scam. But bundled cable television pricing is not going to last forever, and possibly not very long at all. There is already a revolution in video content under way that is going to render the cable television bundle model obsolete. When that revolution has finished, the Big Ten will realize it pulled apart its entire identity to grab a profit stream that has disappeared.
It's like taking your family dog and replacing it with a slightly better-trained breed.
I'll take Delany and his plan with Maryland and Rutgers over anything you can fish up.
Not dogging ya, just reality.
His first paragraph is spot on. It isn't a scam. Thoughts: Lets not put lipstick on a pig. College football is changing.
I do agree with his long term prospectus as to choosing your channels.
I do not work for a power company who sells fiber optics service as well
There is nothing more annoying then an opinion piece written by someone who has an uninformed opinion.
Regarding the "cable television revolution". First, I'll believe it when I see it. Most cable companies have monopolies or near monopolies in their area and can charge whatever they want (and don't tell me about dish. I prefer to have television when it rains or snows). Second, if we move to an a'la carte model for cable television the BTN will charge more then the $1.25 it currently does per person. Third, if we do move to an a'la carte model, don't you think that diversifying your brand will be important? There are 8.5 million people in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. Metro and 8.8 million people in New Jersey. The BTN doesn't need every person in those states to be interested, just a portion. Even better, what if they become successful and actually start growing their fanbase? Not only does this create geographic diversity, but Maryland is a basketball school and will create more year-round interest in the channel.
I am ok with this move, but I think Delany will be judged on whether or not this move is successful.
Another read about the expansion of the Big Ten.
The Big Ten is adding Maryland and Rutgers to its ranks. The main rationale seems to be economic, and on that account the conference's decision may be questionable.
Good article and it looked to have some facts backing it up. Looking at the "fan counts" it looks like Delany made the best move possible. According to his napkin math, Rutgers has more popularity then any other school that the Big Ten could have looked at (Mizzou made their bed and now they have to sleep in it) and while Maryland is lower then a couple of the other schools it offers something that the other schools don't, room for growth.
What is interesting about Rutgers and Maryland is that they have a decent number of fans in markets that are dominated by pro sports. If both of those programs gain more media attention or begin to play well who knows how their alumni and fan bases might react. Those are some pretty huge markets they are playing in and some pretty big alumni bases. They don't need 100% like Nebraska does, they only need 10%.
Hey Huskers. Maryland Fan here. UMD is very much smack dab in the middle of numerous professional sports. Families really have to weigh where they are going to spend their 'sports budget'. And investment wise, spending money on a program that has delivered so little over the past few decades gets harder and harder to rationalize. Combine this with a part of the country where a big portion of the population are transplants, and you are left with an even smaller fan base to start with. When Friedgen was winning the stadium was sellling out. This will sound so small-time, but I remember temporary bleachers being brought in to accomodate the influx of fans.
Question for you guys: Have you seen a change in mentality for your fanbase? A transformation from Big12 to Big 10 'thinking.' I realize the change from your former conference would not be as different as say going from the ACC but I am hoping the Terpnation can develop Big10 support.
Welcome knoxboxiot, thanks for dropping by. I can't speak for all my fellow husker fans but I love the B1G but do miss playing several teams still in the B12. Coming to the B1G was the best move for NU. How many fans does the Maryland football stadium hold? Wait until you see how the huskers travel, we love to fill up other teams stadiums if the chance arrises.
I live in Virginia, the DC metro area and completely understand your first paragraph. There are so many pro football teams pro baseball teams in this area it's really hard to attend all of them. Not to mention just how expensive it would be attending each event. Anyway thanks for stopping by.
Byrd normally holds 54k, but can add an additional 4-6. We added on to the Stadium and built suites about 7 years ago. Some genius decided to prohibit alcohol sales in the suites and they went unsold for a few years. A 50 million dollar disaster. It will definitely accommodate a lot of opposing fans; v-tech and WVU swarm the stadium. Glad y'all and many other b10 schools wear red, it won't be so embarrassing.
BTW, was a big fan of Tommy Frazier, Tom Osborne, and makovica back in the day. Better dead than Sooner Red. 2014 can't come soon enough!
Thanks for stopping by. My personal feelings, like being the middle child, are mixed. I love the B1G and all it has to offer, network, funding, tradition. I still feel left out with established traditions. However, we are the silent assassin in this league. While meatchicken and to$u keep slob nobbin we're building greatness. Welcome to the 10 and get out here for a game.
While the schools may not make sense to all folks, at least we have a commisioner who is trying to stay ahead of the curve. I'd much rather be in our position than the ACC or Big 12 which are gonna be on the outside, looking in, before long.
IOWA - Idiots Out Walking Around
EXACTLY. We have quite a few people really ticked off about the transition, but once they realize that the ACC of 1998 is no longer and that our divisional rival was going to be PITTSBURG...lightbulb. No one wants to be put in the scraps conference we loving refer to as the Bag of D!ck$ conference.
I wonder how your old conference brothers of Iowa State and Kansas now feel everytime conference alignment rises up. We're hearing a move to 16 may be in the works with UNC and UVA being primary.
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