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January 15, 2016

The death of CFB as a national brand

You would think the college football Illuminati would be able to talk to the NASCAR folks in Daytona Beach and figure out something: the push for more market share has a downside.

Then my concern was what the playoffs, in a push for the CFB championship process to be relevant to a national TV audience, would make what happened in the regular season more or less irrelevant. While we aren't there yet, I have to think that's coming at 8 or 16 teams.

Now, my concern is in trying to get those regular season game as widely distributed as possible, those in charge of CFB are thinking that because they are in X number of homes means X number of homes want to watch them.

Well, 56% of that X number of homes disagrees with that premise.
A survey of 1,582 consumers commissioned last week by BTIG Research found that 56 percent of respondents would remove ESPN and ESPN2 from their cable packages to save $8 per month, which is about the cost cable subscribers pay to receive the networks.
Blutarsky goes in depth about the economics, and how those in charge have failed to demonstrate any sort of long term thinking about how to sustain the financial model beyond the current TV contracts. More telling, those same people seem to think that the road goes on forever and the party never ends, so to speak.

Hey, I'm a cord cutter, but I got Sling because of sports. While ESPN is the 400 lb gorilla in the cable/satellite TV game, there is only one platform that ensures nation wide coverage: commercial over the air television. OTA TV hasn't exactly died, cable just made it easier to receive local and non-local channels.

However, what really killed OTA viewership is sports programming. The whole gambit. And ESPN lead that charge, as evidenced by their industry highest market saturation and per subscriber charge. And wouldn't it be high irony if what makes over the air television the thing that kills cable TV the same thing that led to the long term decline in over the air television?

The sad part, for me, is it might also mean death to nearly 24/7 college football from August to December.


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