Monday, June 05, 2006

Conference Networks

When the Mountain West announced plans for their own sports network it seemed like a quiky idea that was the only option for a conference that is low on the TV pecking order. Now that the Big Ten and SEC are moving in that direction the assumption is that there must be something in theis business model.

This week, The Sporting News reported that the Big Ten is negotiating with DirecTV to form the Big Ten Network.

The magazine suggests the SEC would likely follow the Big Ten. Such networks would, of course, be funded by you, the fan, through pay-per-view television. Somewhere, Gordon Gekko smiles.

Because when it comes to the SEC, no dollar is left behind.

To be fair, the SEC schools aren't just hoarding their cash. They're spending it and in a big way.

Pay per view in sports is associated with boxing and the WWE. This seems to be an idea with a big flaw in that while the faithful Dawg or Nittany Loin fan will pay $10 or $20 to see the game there could be a lost in attracting the casual fan to watch the game. How much of a market is there for the Vandy v. Mississippi or Northwestern v. Indiana?

There is not much information as the details of these plans and the conference need to tread carefully in the land of media and money.


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