Friday, June 29, 2007

Ticket Futures--Purdue

Adam Smith's invisible hands of the are the champion of assessing the value of a good or service (all those with socailist tendency will please be quite and learn). The prices listed below are from and are for the cheap endzone seats at Ross Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. These tickets, which are sold out have a list price of $126 or about $21 per game. Chippewa fans can go to the September 15th game as a very reasonable $9. Fighting Irish and Buckeye fans will pay a significant premium. Te purpose is not to judge the buyer or seller but over the next several weeks look at the the secondary market for game tickets.

Eastern Illinois at Purdue Football Tickets 9/8$9
Central Michigan at Purdue Football Tickets 9/15$9
Notre Dame at Purdue Football Tickets 9/29$99
Ohio State at Purdue Football Tickets 10/6$79
Iowa at Purdue Football Tickets 10/20 $16
Northwestern at Purdue Football Tickets 10/27$13
Michigan State at Purdue Football Tickets 11/10$14
Total Revenue (best case) $239
Total Cost$126
Profit (best case)$113

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Hello, Disney Well Hello Disney

"Hello, Disney Well Hello Disney"
Now imagine Louis Armstrong singing the tune without Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau or a grotesquely over the top, even for a musical ending. Those of you young enough to have missed this 1969 hit film are indeed fortunate. However, for the purpose of today's entry, Hello, Dolly is about a matchmaker in 1890's New York. The key word here is matchmaker, helping couples get together like a personal eHarmony. This is something that our friends at Disney Sports are also in the business of by bringing us last season's Vandy at Michigan (not the most exciting).

West Virginia University found itself with a void in their schedule as the University of Maryland is taking a break from the 25 plus year annual series to play University of California (Berkley). WVU has been searching for a BCS opponent and finally made a call to ESPN for help. The matchmaker with the help of $200,000 found Colorado recently jilted by University of North Carolina and the deal was done. WVU will travel to Bolder in 2008 and the Buff's will visit Morgantown in 2009.

Yes, ESPN is the Barbra Streisand of the sports world.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

What is worth $75240000 to you?

The one Big 10 prediction that you can bank on this year is that the current dispute with Comcast over the Big Ten Network will get uglier.

5.7 million subscribers x $1.10 x 12 months = Third tier arguement. BTN and Comcast have been in a war of words that over the quality of product that will be shown on the new network. Rather than questioning the Iowa women's volleyball team directly the question should have been about the far market value of the product being offered on BTN. How will BTN fill up the other 8760 hours in the year?
Keep in mind the 35 football games and 105 men regular-season basketball games (55 plus regular-season women's basketball games, a great example of the gender equity that the channel announced) will only fill up on a fraction of the hours.

The offer from Comcast is fair, let the market determine the value of the channel place BTN within a sports package and give the consumer the choice. And it not just BTN that is getting this treatment from Comcast as the NFL Channel is being pushed into the Sports tier by Comcast as well.
"Nay," says BTN, "We want, deserve no demand inclusion in the basic tier." Does Mr. Delany fear the invisible hand of the marketplace?

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Black Comedy

So you never thought of a Disney theme park ride would become one of the most successful movie trilogies in Pirates of the Caribbean. You would, however,be proven completely wrong. So the idea of taking a New York Times article about college football and making it into a movie would seem just slightly more plausible? Again reality is more bizarre than we expect. While looking for a link to In College Football, Big Paydays for Humiliation from the Times that did not require you to log in, there were these links to articles about the outcome movie with the same title.

First came which teased the title but want you to sign up as for IMDbPro enjoying the 14 day free trial (no thank you). The article at gave more information including the fact the Jack Black would be the producer.

"In College Football, Big Paydays for Humiliation" (The Light Comedy)
Scandals, player rap sheets, and financial shenanigans can't stop the college football juggernaut — can Jack Black? The comedic superstar recently announced he'll produce "Big Paydays," a lighthearted take on teams paying large sums of money to play less-qualified opponents, guaranteeing more wins and a bigger slice of the NCAA pie. The film, which currently has no screenwriter, is based on a recent New York Times article by Pete Thamel.

Hopefully he will play a part similar to Carl Denham in King Kong (2005) with extra slime.

The next movie on the block should be Big 10 Network with the catch phrase, "I'm as third tier as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Special thanks to the University of Buffalo for making the all possible.

4 UB Football Season Tickets for all 5 Home Games! Order now......

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Confess Your Grudge

Just be honest and straight with us Joe. There are two reasons that you will not allow Pitt on the Penn State football schedule:
1. Pitt for some reason rejected your Eastern All Sports conference and kept PSU out of the fledgling Big East
2. There is nothing to be gained by playing Pitt

The first is a motivation that we can all relate to as we all have the business that was less than honest and forthright with us—the makers of Ken’s salad dressing can rot in the worst part of hell. And the natural reaction is to hold a grudge—the makers of Ken’s salad dressing can rot in the worst part of hell. Joe Pa needs to be the bigger man and move beyond the sins of the past—the makers of Ken’s salad dressing can rot in the worst part of hell.

The second might the real reason Penn State is currently competitive in the recruiting of players from southwestern PA. With nothing to gain from playing Pitt as proves nothing and a loss may lead a recruit to consider Pitt. The recently announced series with UVA has the opposite effect of opening up new territory and does the upcoming games with Syracuse.

Personal aside: While in the food broker business we represented Ken’s salad dressing. On a sales call to my wholesale customer with the district manager from Ken’s he agreed to a introductory deal that included a buy one get one free. I heard it, the buyer heard it, the head buyer heard it but the gentleman from Ken’s denied making any such offer. He is a lying rat bastard and can rot in the worst part of hell.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Looking For Their Place In the Sun

So for the winner these are cupcake games then to the losing side these are "body bag" games. Given the financial needs can these teams afford not to play for the big payday.

The proposal, which will likely be finalized this summer, calls for the eight Sun Belt football schools to play at least 11 home football games in a two-year period. That would cut down on road games against top Division I-A teams that often pay as much as $600,000 a game.

This would not only mean the lose of $600,000 but the expense of paying another team and the lost opportunity to pull the big upset. The , "Playing only four home games is no way build your fan base," argument has merit and remind one of the paradox of the first time job seeker--employers want experienced workers but if you never get a job you will never be qualified.

Remembering our basics of Econ 101 if the supply of cupcakes declines while the demand stays the same then the price will rise so the total revenue may not decline as much as on might expect.

Parting shot--How much will it cost the elite team that gets beaten by a member of the Sun Belt Conference
See: Taking A Win For Grant----ed from last August

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The keyboards are burning up with predictions and most of them are wrong. No, the predictions are not for the upcoming season but predictions being made about realignment of conferences. The problem with these predictions is that they rarely look at the complexity of any charge. If you change jobs it is almost always driven by an economic based decision. Even if the issue is that you hate the boss or the commute you are looking for income is the form of a better life rather than just plan dollars. But changing jobs requires you being able to fill a need of the other employer. So let's look at two such predictions about changing the current status quo of conference configurations:

Denny O'Brien of comes the conclusion that East Carolina would make a great addition to the Big East and would solve the problem the conference currently has with 8 teams, meaning seven conference games and needing five OOC games. The case is well made for freeing ECU from the limits of Conference USA and sounds like the benchwarmer's plea to the coach for a chance to prove himself. Mr. O'Brien goes a Bridge Too Far by pushing for a 12 team configuration.

— Army and Navy provide the perfect package deal. Both are national programs with wide-ranging interest and built-in bowl affiliations that could be added to the Big East's postseason package.

But perhaps no addition is more attractive than the annual game between the Black Knights and Midshipmen. Few regular season match-ups compare to that Civil War, and its eventual inclusion in the Big East TV lineup automatically drives the network bidders higher.

Yet if Mr. O'Brien were to look at the dollars that Navy generates he would see that they would be taking a pay cut by joining the Big East or even the ACC for that matter. Football carries clout at Navy

The team's overall revenue also compares well with other big college programs. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the Maryland Terrapins football team had about $9.3 million in revenue, compared with Navy's almost $15 million.

Tom Deinhart makes a similar mistake in Big trouble brewing for this midwest dirty dozen in predicting a possible break up the Big 12 with the group giving up on there marriage of 14 years and going there separate ways. The smoking guns here are the departure of Kevin Weiberg for the Big Ten Network (BTN), complaints about the unequal shares that the financial pie is cut into from Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard (his school got one of the small pieces) and the imbalance between between a dominate South and the North. He paints wild scenarios with the Pac 10 adding two Texas schools (yes the Pac 10 did look at adding Texas in the past) or the SEC taking Texas by deleting Vandy from the group.

What both of these predictions have in common is that neither address the real money motivation of the the groups and the, "What's in it for me!" of the individual schools. Change is a two sided equation in which both parties are looking to improve there current position and in the case of college sports conference the two sides is only the beginning of the complexity.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

SeCTV is on the Air

The challenge for any new cable channel is how to fill up the 8760 hours in the year. If you can move things around and broadcast 40 football games at three and a half hours each that leaves only 8620 hours to fill.

Back in the 1970's before we had the number of channels we do today there was SCTV and with the recent announcement that the SEC was looking into the idea of profiteering off of the publicproviding the public hours of high quality programming perhaps they would be will to check out the following opening and purchase the rights for the name.

And for a programming ideas they could modify the Battle of the PBS Stars.

Well worth the extra money added to the cable bill!

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So that's how much is costs

It is rare in college sports to see the price tag.

West Virginia University is replacing the turf on Mountaineer Field for $901,152. The field was noteworthy for a rather dramatic crown that will be removed (but that part of the home field advantage).


Monday, June 04, 2007

And he finds time to write a book

While most of us struggle to keep our heads above water on the job, Nick Saban had time to wite a book.

Make sure to read what customers are saying about the books.

And it is now marked down to $11.16!


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Examining the Important Numbers

The following conferences have released their financial information for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006. An the winner is...the Atlantic Coast conference.

ACC--With the addition of 12 football teams to an already strong basketball program (or is it Duke, Carolina and the others) the ACC pull in a total of $130,245,721 or about $10,850,000. Interestingly the pie is not quite big enough to feed three extra teams, "In 2003-04, the ACC’s last academic year as a nine-team conference, schools received an average of $10,885,869 from the ACC." While one of the goals of expansion was to get a second BCS invitation and the $4,500,000 that goes along with it it is difficult to imagine the ACC growing football revenues dramatically in the near future.

SEC--Surprising the king of college football is not king in the money. At $10,200,000 the Southeast Conference is sitting pretty financially especailly when compared to the $410,000 distributed to each time in 1980. The frightening but fully expected piece of news form the conference was at the very end of the Pensacola News Journal article, "Slive also said the league is exploring the launch of an SEC TV network, similar to what the Big 10 Conference has arranged."

Big 12--Lacking a sugar daddy like CBS or Disney Sports the Big 12 members shared $102,000,000 or about $8,333,000 each. Another case where it is difficult to imagine a way to dramatically grow revenue within the current structure. In the Big 12's first year, 1996-97, the conference generated $54.7 million in revenue, the bulk of which was distributed to its members.

Big East--As the odd duck hybrid-conference the numbers on the Big East show a tremendous gap with the other conferences. The football schools averaged $5,800,000 which is over half of what the ACC checks. While the picture for the Big East in there quest to recover from the ACC raid is not good, perhaps we can see that the dollars have hit rock bottom 18 months after the on field low of Pitt and the Big East being humiliated by Utah in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.

The Big East average has fallen for the last three years. For the July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2004, reporting period, when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College were still members, the average was $6,794,029.

Despite the money gap there are signs the the dollars could be growning with the West Virginia University win in the 2006 Sugar Bowl, three top 15 teams at the end of the 2006 season, a new ESPN football/basketball deal (the terms are never disclosed), several highly rated Thursday night games, improve bowl affiliations and the emergence of Rutgers--read that the New York market the conference has some upside.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Yet More on BTN

Does this picture make you sick? The BTN's lack of honesty will have the same impact.

Why does your FAQ mislead readers on the cost to consumers and benefits for the Big Ten?

The following was sent to the BTN as a question:

In your FAQ you state that, "You will not have to pay more for the network if you live in the eight states of the Big Ten because we believe it is important enough to fans and to the communities in which the universities are located that the network should be carried on basic cable." Yet publish reports have the price being charged to operators at about $1.00 per subscriber. The cable company will pass that cost along to the subscriber. You are, therefore, asking the communities to contribute $12.00 per subscriber per year to your coffers. Further down BTN is unwilling to disclose financial information. This looks to be an indirect tax on the population. Please be more honest in your FAQ and provide the real picture so people can make informed decisions.

Even more (mis)information at

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$7.5 Million is Not Free

The PSU bottle opener is only $8.95

The business page can be dull stories of earnings reports and promotion of Jane Smith to be the Senior Account Executive. Neither of these qualify as page turners but the drama unfolding between Comcast (and other cable providers) and the Big Ten Network (BTN) is one of those situations where the strategy and tactics are the equal of any college football game for entertainment value. Anyone who has ever been involved with introducing a new product can appreciate the tremendous pressure the BTN sales team is under and the challenge of getting that key customer on board.

The Patriot News of Harrisburg ran an excellent article about the situation with Penn State. An interesting quote that put the price per subscriber at even a higher rate than be reported elsewhere.

The Big Ten has ruffled feathers at Comcast and other suppliers by demanding a steep $1.14 per household. That would be the third-highest rate among all cable channels, behind only ESPN ($3) and TNT ($1.26) and ahead of the NFL Network (75 cents).

The interesting choice of the word demanded. That is a strong term which sets the tone for the article which questions the wisdom of the BTN. A note to David Jones, "Follow the moneyto the Big $7.5 Million Each Network ." The BTN is, Mr. Jones points out very nicely, is taking what was once on "free" (or at least significantly less the $12.00 per year), and wringing ever last cent out of the fan and non-fan that the Bigger 10 thinks they can get.

As Fox is involved with this with DirecTV and in production it is easy to imagine the pitch to the Big Ten, "You have a base of devoted fans, have built up a tremendous brand but, what you're getting from ESPN/ABC is just a trifle of your products value. Gentlemen, it is time to form your own network, cut out the middle man and cash in." Is greed still the word?

At what point will they resort to the NFL Channel tactic of holding back games as BTN exclusives. Stay tuned...if you can afford it.

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