Big 10 Expansion: Hook 'Em Horns?

January 11, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

For those of you that are interested in articles and speculation on Big Ten expansion, check this link out

Even if you arrive at different conclusions than ‘Frank the Tank’, you have to appreciate the lengths he went to and the rationale he used to arrive at his conclusions.

His conclusions?  The Big Ten is not going to add someone just for the sake of expanding.  The Big Ten + 1 is not the way to think…you almost have to look at it as the Big Ten +2.  No, not two teams, but one team that is an out of the park home run.  Because whomever the Big Ten brings in is going to get A LOT in return…so that team has to bring something extraordinary to the plate.  Only two teams can do that in my opinion, and in the opinion of the author linked above; Notre Dame and Texas.

We have gone down the Notre Dame road, so no need to continue.  Texas?  That’s new territory.  Well, it’s been discussed by others and on my radio show with Steve Deace, but we have not spent a great deal of time on it because we have come to the conclusion that Texas has the Big 12 playing field tilted significantly in its direction as it relates to television revenues, we have wondered why they would consider leaving.  The Big 12 seems like a subsidy for the Texas schools and Oklahoma, afterall.

Well, there were more dollars at stake than we had previously considered.  From the article linked above:

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“”The Big Ten receives $242 million per year in TV revenue to split evenly among its 11 members, which comes out to $22 million per year for every single school. In contrast, the Big 12 receives $78 million per year in TV revenue that is split unevenly among its 12 members based on national TV appearances. That comes out to $6.5 million per year for the average Big 12 school. Even Texas, which is a beneficiary of the Big 12’s unequal revenue distribution model since it receives a large number of TV appearances, received only about $12 million in TV revenue last season … In other words, every single Big Ten school makes $10 million per year more than Texas does on TV revenue whether such school is on ABC 12 times or the Big Ten Network 12 times.   Remember that the $10 million difference is more than what Notre Dame receives from its vaunted NBC contract. If Texas were to simply bring enough to the Big Ten to maintain the status quo of per school revenue, that would be an 83% jump in TV revenue for the Longhorns immediately off the bat. Considering that the addition of Lone Star households to the Big Ten Network’s distribution would yield an even greater increase in revenue, Texas would easily see in excess of a two-fold increase and maybe even close to a three-fold increase in TV revenue whether it wins or loses.””

As Lee Corso is fond of saying, “YO!”

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Missouri won’t bring more dollars to the league, nor would Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse or any of the other teams mentioned, outside of them giving the league a chance to have a title game for football.  The dollars that would bring in is chump change compared to the dollars that the television sets in the state of Texas would bring, and every single cable provider in the state would have to carry the Big Ten Network.

That’s one huge advantage that the Big Ten has over say, Notre Dame’s contract with NBC; The Big Ten Network receives monthly cable and satellite subscription revenue fees before it even sells one dollar of advertising on its own network.  The article linked above does a great job in spelling that out.

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So take the time to read through that article; it’s a great piece of work and it will have you thinking about Texas where you might not have been before.

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