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Big Reason the Big 12 TV Contract Stinks

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The way the TV contracts work is that the Big 12 teams' home games (conference and non-conference) are sold in tranches.

ABC/ESPN gets first pick of available games, and Fox SW gets next pick. A season is 13 weeks (12 games) long, and your typical Big 12 team gets seven home games (four conference and three non-conference) for a total of 84 available games. Spread over 13 weeks, it works out to about 6+ games per week.

I think we all understand that networks are willing to pay more for better games, and less (or none) for weaker games.

Check out the 2010 schedule. There are eight games scheduled between Big 12 teams and D-1AA teams (and counting- check out KSU's ominous unscheduled Oct. 30 date). They are:

SHSU @ Baylor

Northern Iowa @ ISU

NDSU @ KU

Missouri State @ KSU

McNeese State @ Mizzou

SDSU (South Dakota State, not San Diego) @ Nebraska

SFASU @ Texas A&M

Weber State @ TT.

Oklahoma is not playing a D-1AA team for the first time in a couple of years. I wonder if they discovered what Texas did when it played its one D-1AA opponent (SHSU in 2006)- you sell all of your tickets, but 20% of the fans don't show up, and those that do bring their kids and leave at halftime. Texas probably took in half of what it usually does in concessions.

You might say, "Wait, TaylorTRoom. How can you criticize schools for scheduling D-1AA teams? The SEC does the same thing." Yes, the SEC does do the same thing. Too bad. The Big 12 is not the SEC. Viewers outside Iowa barely care about Iowa State / Iowa games. They care not one whit about Iowa State/Northern Iowa games.

I think it's interesting that several of the programs that complain the most about media revenue sharing are doing so much to hurt the TV package. Eight out of 84 games makes for pretty close to 10% of the games being of absolutely no interest to the networks. This should make for some tough conversations before the next TV contract.