Conference USA Inks Expansive ESPN Deal

Drew

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#1
C-USA Inks Expansive ESPN Deal

Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced today a new multi-year contract with ESPN. The agreement triples ESPN’s inventory of C-USA events from the previous deal to include more than 175 events on ESPN+ and ESPN3 for the upcoming 2018-19 season. More than 100 of those games will air on the newly launched ESPN+ -- the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer and International Segment in conjunction with ESPN.

"Building upon our previous multimedia partnership announcements with CBS, Stadium and Facebook, we were committed to extending our association with ESPN," MacLeod said. “ESPN has continually positioned itself on the forefront of digital distribution and emerging platforms, which makes them an ideal fit for us. We look forward to sharing the C-USA brand with their extensive audience for many more years.”

“As we look forward to the 2018-19 season and beyond, ESPN+ will offer the most expansive college sports lineup in the industry, right alongside professional leagues such as MLB, NHL, MLS and premier events from Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, UFC, the PGA Tour and more,” said ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling Burke Magnus. “We are thrilled to grow our relationship with Conference USA and have its 14 member institutions as part of the impressive digital lineup, which now features more games from the conference than any other network, including a significant number of postseason games.”

As part of the new deal, ESPN will air all remaining football games (approximately 45 in 2018) along with 60 regular-season men’s basketball games and 28 regular-season women’s basketball games. ESPN also picks up first-round men’s and women’s basketball action at the upcoming 2018 C-USA Basketball Championships in Frisco, Texas.
 

CL82

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#3
Three out of the G5 to ESPN+ mostly

So do you think this is a harbinger of our next deal or is it good that they are filling up with content that does not include the American?
 

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#4
So do you think this is a harbinger of our next deal or is it good that they are filling up with content that does not include the American?
Hard to imagine ESPN wouldn't want to further beef up the ESPN+ offerings with some AAC content. I think the debate is over how much and the debate should include something for schools to keep those tier 3 rights.
 

CL82

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#5
Hard to imagine ESPN wouldn't want to further beef up the ESPN+ offerings with some AAC content. I think the debate is over how much and the debate should include something for schools to keep those tier 3 rights.
I worry that we might be the beef in that scenario, which I think is a disaster for us. Out of sight out of mind.
 

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#6
So do you think this is a harbinger of our next deal or is it good that they are filling up with content that does not include the American?
Harbinger.

I think ESPN+ will get the vast majority of what is on ESPN3/WatchESPN now.

Maybe some of the CBS content they sell off as well.

They still need a ton of games to fill ESPN/2/U/News because so much has moved to conference networks - but the AAC is going to be a big headline for +.
 

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#7
Once Plus has more legs have to expect that News gets shuttered.
 

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#9
Harbinger.

I think ESPN+ will get the vast majority of what is on ESPN3/WatchESPN now.

Maybe some of the CBS content they sell off as well.

They still need a ton of games to fill ESPN/2/U/News because so much has moved to conference networks - but the AAC is going to be a big headline for +.
I wonder what the value to ESPN of + content is versus what a third party network like SNY might pay for non-exclusive rights to our Tier III content.
 

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#10
I wonder what the value to ESPN of + content is versus what a third party network like SNY might pay for non-exclusive rights to our Tier III content.
That’s some pretty complicated math and is probably trumped by how much pressure there is to grow plus.

You’ll know how much juice UConn has in this league when you see what happens with the women’s basketball games.

If a lot of those move to Plus there will be riots in the nursing homes.
 

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#11
That’s some pretty complicated math and is probably trumped by how much pressure there is to grow plus.

You’ll know how much juice UConn has in this league when you see what happens with the women’s basketball games.

If a lot of those move to Plus there will be riots in the nursing homes.
They can just show old games, no one would notice the difference as long as they win by 40+.
 

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#14
And its with this post that I woke up to the fact that Austin Cox is not an employee of The American....
 
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#15
Harbinger.

I think ESPN+ will get the vast majority of what is on ESPN3/WatchESPN now.

Maybe some of the CBS content they sell off as well.

They still need a ton of games to fill ESPN/2/U/News because so much has moved to conference networks - but the AAC is going to be a big headline for +.
I think you're right, but it depends on the exact content.

Example: If you're a fan in-market, and a cord cutter, a move to ESPN+ is actually a benefit, as it saves you from a cable sub for programming you can now get a la carte online. WatchESPN/ESPN3 blacked this out previously.

Any moves from ESPN/2/U/News to ESPN+ exclusive is an outright disaster, and should be shunned.
 

whaler11

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#16
There isn’t anyway to have access to WatchESPN without a sub.

So in this example you mean someone using another’s password to access WatchESPN.

Anyone who is actually paying for a sub either loses games or pays another $5.
 

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#17
There isn’t anyway to have access to WatchESPN without a sub.

So in this example you mean someone using another’s password to access WatchESPN.

Anyone who is actually paying for a sub either loses games or pays another $5.
WatchESPN is free if you are an ESPN subscriber.
 

whaler11

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#18
WatchESPN is free if you are an ESPN subscriber.
And unavailable otherwise. That was the point - read his example. The only cordcutters impacted by local blackouts are those trying to piggyback a password.
 
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#19
Aresco recently commented on ESPN+.

When/if this happens/our transformation to mid major status will be fully complete. Hopefully we continue to monitor the situation.

I cannot imagine espn+ is gonna provide a windfall for this league that will come even close the the lowest P5 payouts.
 

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#20
Aresco recently commented on ESPN+.

When/if this happens/our transformation to mid major status will be fully complete. Hopefully we continue to monitor the situation.

I cannot imagine espn+ is gonna provide a windfall for this league that will come even close the the lowest P5 payouts.
We are already a mid major + conference.
 
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#21
What would have to happen for UConn to return basketball to the Big East at the end of the current media deal? Are we stuck with the next AAC deal no matter what it is or will we leave if it isn't better?

Just curious what people think our timeline is to stay all in on the AAC and football. I'm guessing we stay AAC until 2023 or so no matter what. That is both reassuring in that we have time to get a P5 invite and discouraging, because I'd much rather basketball be playing a Big East schedule for myriad reasons.
 

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#22
What would have to happen for UConn to return basketball to the Big East at the end of the current media deal? Are we stuck with the next AAC deal no matter what it is or will we leave if it isn't better?

Just curious what people think our timeline is to stay all in on the AAC and football. I'm guessing we stay AAC until 2023 or so no matter what. That is both reassuring in that we have time to get a P5 invite and discouraging, because I'd much rather basketball be playing a Big East schedule for myriad reasons.
1) We never left the Big East, we just sold the name, and
2) What would we get from being in the NBE? A few more regional games and a nominal bump in TV money? Compare that to the loss of exposure by being dumped in to the wasteland known as FS1. The loss of status by not having a DI-A football program, and rest assured it would be a loss of status. And finally the loss of any chance to move to the P5.

Hard to see how it is worth it.
 
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#23
What would have to happen for UConn to return basketball to the Big East at the end of the current media deal? Are we stuck with the next AAC deal no matter what it is or will we leave if it isn't better?

Just curious what people think our timeline is to stay all in on the AAC and football. I'm guessing we stay AAC until 2023 or so no matter what. That is both reassuring in that we have time to get a P5 invite and discouraging, because I'd much rather basketball be playing a Big East schedule for myriad reasons.
UConn needs to play this thing out at least until the next round of major media deals expire. There is too much invested on the football side of things not to try to position the university for the next potential conference realignment merry go round.

I get that a large number of UConn Fans consider the fate of the basketball team first, but if you value the football team at all you have to consider what pulling your marquee programs from The AAC could mean to your affiliation for other sports. To you or I UConn is a major brand name, but from a football perspective is the conference media deal going to swing that much one way or another if tomorrow they were replaced by UMASS? I certainly don't think fans of Tulsa, SMU, or Tulane would care one way or the other.

People float the idea of going Big East and playing as a D1A independent, but I defy anyone to show me a schedule that doesn't consist of playing multiple P5 Teams on the road every season, or something so bad that dropping to FCS seems like a reasonable alternative. The sobering reality when it comes to independence is that even ND, who values their independence above factors including sensible geography and money, needed to concede to a partial membership with The ACC in order to have a home for their Olympic Sports and access to bowls. I can't imagine how UConn could produce a viable schedule complete with reasonable bowl tie ins as an independent when Notre Dame couldn't.

Your AD needs to build basketball back to a higher profile, and get football back to respectability over the next 5 years. It needs to position itself for whatever may come. Who knows perhaps The ACC needs a partner for ND? Maybe The B1G and SEC blow up The Big 12 and the remaining teams need to reform? Maybe the ultimate happens and the B1G decides to expand with an eye toward programming for The BTN outside of football season. UConn would add M/W Basketball, Hockey, Soccer etc. None of these potential outcomes happen if the school cashes in its chips now.
 
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#24
1) We never left the Big East, we just sold the name, and
2) What would we get from being in the NBE? A few more regional games and a nominal bump in TV money? Compare that to the loss of exposure by being dumped in to the wasteland known as FS1. The loss of status by not having a DI-A football program, and rest assured it would be a loss of status. And finally the loss of any chance to move to the P5.

Hard to see how it is worth it.
You can't possibly think it would be better to be on ESPN+ than FS1.
 
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