As you certainly know by now, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting financial fallout is putting the squeeze on every industry, and college sports is certainly included in that as you’ll notice in the assorted links below.
But while things seem dire right now with no NCAA Tournament revenues and quite a few questions around whether a 2020 football season is even played, some seem to think that good times are just around the bend with another big TV rights payday in the near future — especially if the College Football Playoff expands to eight or more teams.
While there’s plenty of credence to the ideas laid out in the Mercury News piece above, I personally have my doubts. It’s not to doubt the abilities of Navigate Research, which is leaned on for much of the piece. But I would like to point out that TV’s also been changing quite a bit lately, and that’s only been sped up by a lack of live sports leading to audiences putting that expenditure under a greater microscope.
Among the many potential issues is that once people who are not as invested in sports as maybe you or I might be realize what life’s like without it, they may take a more cynical lens to its importance. There’s also the growing collection of cord-cutters amid our current situation, the fact that people are finding things to watch even without sports (TV ad impressions are up year-over-year right now) and the fact that this stretch is now hammering home just how overweight cable and satellite packages are with sports rights fees.
Couple all of those aspects with media stock struggles and a likely depleted war chest for ESPN, Fox Sports and the like to go after sports TV rights, and it’s certainly fair to say that the sports rights — and specifically college sports rights — bubble looks like it’s about to burst.
Hopefully I’m wrong, for all of our sakes. But even if tech companies like Google and Amazon get in on the next round of sports rights bidding, this recent month and a half has sort of shown us how overweight sports can be with regard to the rest of TV programming. And how the amount of money available to throw at it (whether for linear viewing or steaming) could definitely be waning soon.
That, plus the rest of today’s links below:
Massive cash infusion looms for Power Five schools: They just have to get there (Mercury News)
The next round of media rights deals will bring massive cash to the Power Five, as well. Navigate’s latest projections call for an increase in value of 50-to-100 percent. “The next set of TV deals, we believe, will be enriched, not harmed, by what’s happening right now — that shift toward home (viewing),’’ Maestas said.
How former Syracuse football, NFL LB Marquis Spruill transitioned to cannabis cultivation (Syracuse.com)
So Spruill researched the basics of cannabis cultivation and dedicated time each day, after conditioning workouts and classes, to take care of his plant. He moved it to the backyard in the early afternoon before following the sun to the other side of the building. He watered it, pruned it and relished the feeling of watching it grow under his care.
Carrier Dome renovation takes a big step, won’t be impacted by austerity measures (Syracuse.com)
Sala said architects were in the building recently looking at the restrooms, and mechanical contractors are working on installing piping needed for the eventual addition of air conditioning. Sala has said he hopes air conditioning can be installed before the 2021 graduation. The restroom improvements are scheduled to be done by 2022.
How COVID-19 budget cuts could affect Syracuse, collegiate athletics (Daily Orange)
Syracuse may be less susceptible to program cuts, Losak said, because SU already operates with fewer athletic programs than Atlantic Coast Conference schools (SU has 18 teams, fewer than 10 ACC schools). But ramifications could go beyond program cuts, affecting “all areas on campus,” one athletic director wrote in the LEAD1 report. And, if the pandemic continues into the fall season, things will only get worse.
Syracuse coaches Jim Boeheim, Dino Babers take voluntary pay cuts (ESPN)
Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim, football coach Dino Babers and athletic director John Wildhack will take a voluntary 10% pay cut to help deal with financial shortfalls as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Syracuse alumni poll: Best memories, note to self, favorite food in town (The Athletic)
FSU’s 2013 football title was the fuel the ACC Network needed to lift off (Richmond Times Dispatch)
How a promise from Dino Babers guided RB Josh Hough to Syracuse football commitment (Syracuse.com)
Coronavirus shutdown removes urgency from Syracuse women’s basketball coaching search (Syracuse.com)
Former Syracuse, NFL wide receiver Alec Lemon will ‘shoot for the stars’ as Glen Burnie football coach (Capital Gazette)