Meetings should foster rivalry

If ESPNof Burke Magnus When he held a college conference today, he was more focused on fostering rivalries than worrying about market size.

That’s a change from a decade ago, when the size of the New York and Washington, DC television markets played a major role in the expansion of the Big Ten with Maryland and Rutgers.

The idea in 2012, when the expansion was announced, was that the conference would generate significant revenue by expanding the cable channel. BTNto enter these two big TV markets.

Today, as the market for college conferencing channels matures and the cord-cutting trend continues, market size seems to play a much smaller role in these kinds of decisions.

The future addition of UCLA and USC will bring Big Ten into the Los Angeles market, but will also add another major rivalry.Getty Images

Last week, ESPN’s President of Programming and Original Content, Magnus, joined a podcast I’m hosting. Andrew MarchandIn the midst of such chaotic times for college sports, I asked him what he would do if he held a college conference.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” he said. “Given what happened in the Big Ten, college sports is still an incredibly healthy proposition from a TV and media standpoint.”

He offered seven ideas that he would pursue if he were in the Commissioner’s seat.

Membership stabilization

Communication is key here. Magnus works to ensure that all schools understand that they have a common purpose.

“Each situation is a little different,” he said. “It may be that the Pac-12 is clearly about to replace UCLA and USC, but the Big 12 are happy with their membership. It is not about the acquisition of

Focus on rivalry

Magnus said people focus too much on market size. However, market size does not affect collegiate sports as much as professional sports.

For example, do you play in two schools in Alabama (Auburn and Alabama) or in two of the three largest media markets (Rutgers and Northwestern)?

“The time you spend thinking about market size pales in comparison to the time you spend thinking about rivalry,” says Magnus. “In college sports, it’s a rivalry. It’s a tradition. It’s the brands that really bring the audience together.”

expand college football playoffs

Magnus said he was stunned earlier this year when the CFP said it would stay with four teams until 2025.

“It was very well thought out,” said Magnus. “It wasn’t anyone’s idea.

Magnus said he sees no downsides to the expansion of CFP.

“From a TV standpoint, it’s going to benefit everyone across the company because it’s going to bring in a lot of revenue,” he said.

Remaking the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Magnus: “I’m just thinking about the next iteration of what the men’s basketball tournament will be like. As good as it is, I think it can be even better.”

make more money from women’s sports

The conference could do more to monetize women’s sports, Magnus said. “[It] If you’re not here yet, it’s just around the corner.

Make sponsorship more national

College football, in particular, is the second most popular TV sport in the country, after the NFL. Magnus said sponsorships for these games should better reflect their popularity.

“sale And sponsorships at the conference level still tend to be more local than national brands,” he said. “National brands may already be missing out on the ship at that point where he is one big source of revenue.”

Keeping track of NILs

Magnus did not outline any specific ideas about how names, images, and likenesses should develop. said.

“I feel like it could get messier before it gets better,” he said. On the one hand you can’t do a billion dollar TV deal, but on the other hand it suggests that it’s not a commercial enterprise. It’s somewhere in the middle of the mechanics.”

John Ourand can be reached at [email protected]. follow him on twitter @Ourand_SBJ Read the weekly newsletter or listen to the weekly podcast.

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