CBS Leaving the SEC (Or Disney Forces them Out)

7 months 2 weeks ago - 7 months 2 weeks ago #80695 by SouthernDawg
Buc mentioned this in the other thread, but I absolutely believe that this merits its own discussion.

I do my dead-level best never to bring politics to this board, and this topic is as close to a political rant as you'll ever see me get. In case you've been living under a rock and didn't hear the news, CBS is "walking away" (quotes emphasized) from broadcasting SEC games after the 2023 season. I have several thoughts on this that I want to get off my chest. I'm not looking for anyone to agree with me, I'm not looking for thank yous, I'm just laying my thoughts out there.

CBS no longer broadcasting SEC games is the end of an era to me when it comes to college football, a crossing of the rubicon of sorts. For my entire life, CBS has been broadcasting football games. I grew up, as most of you know, in Florida in the 1980s - a state that is steeped in football, and where passions run high for SEC football. My friends and I would do our chores (mow the grass, clean bathrooms, make sure the oak pollen was washed off all the windows), and then gather around my friends' TV with his obnoxious Gator-fan dad in the afternoon to watch SEC football games. Those games were on either ABC or CBS. My earliest memories were of hearing Uncle Verne, Steve Zabriskie, Dick Stockton, and others calling college football games. Without getting too nostalgic, reflecting on that time speaks of a much simpler time of my life. I grew up in a neighborhood where very few people had the money to afford cable TV, and most anytime we kids wanted to see something that was on ESPN, we had to go to my friend's house to watch it, since his dad worked for the cable company and got free cable. I can only imagine that many other yutes in my area were in the exact same boat. But there was always CBS and ABC - broadcasting over the air - that we could pick up with rabbit ears and later, the electric "amplified antenna" which made it seem that we were watching "high def" football on the 32" Zenith TV with the knobs dialed in just right. The thought of that being taken away in the 1980s and thrown on cable television exclusively would probably have sparked a pitchfork rebellion amongst the peasants.

Fast forward 30 years. Are we in any better financial shape today than we were then? Well, no. In fact, most Americans have less than $500 in their savings accounts. Now we read that ESPN (Disney - which like Buc, I know far too much about as an organization and I despise) has thrown up $300M a season for the exclusive rights to broadcast SEC games. That means that no longer will any SEC game be on regular "over-the-air" broadcast where anyone, no matter their financial circumstances, could watch a game. But none of that matters any longer. If you want to watch a game - go to a sports bar citizen. But what is $300M? Let's examine it. 12 Saturdays in a regular season means that's $25M per Saturday. Let's assume they broadcast for 9 hours a Saturday. That's $2.7M per hour, $46,276 per minute, $771.26 per second of broadcast.

This season saw the debate reopened about the GA/FL game in Jacksonville, and from what I heard from someone quite close to the situation, there was immense pressure from both Georgia, Inc. and Florida, Inc. to ditch Jacksonville. Other interests intervened, mainly old guard big money boosters on both teams, and gave Jacksonville a temporary stay of execution for a few more years. I have been told to enjoy the Cocktail Party while it lasts because it is in its farewell period, and when the current contract expires, there's not going to be enough support to keep it there. And why? What's it about? Money and recruiting. From Kirby, what did we hear about Jacksonville? Well, very little other than how he "respects it" ...but, don't you know, we just can't use it as a recruiting opportunity. Somewhere, the game became about recruits. That game is, has always been, and always should be about the fans. Growing up in FL, that game was basically like the Super Bowl to us. But now, to the programs, it's nothing more than an irritating date on the schedule where the teams can't fly in, on private jets, the objects of their passion to wine & dine, put up in a 5 star hotel, and give exclusive sideline access to the game.

I'll close it out with this. Why is Disney anteing up $300M a season and why is the SEC ditching CBS? My personal opinion is that there are two reasons:

1) ESPN has had a revenue problem due to a massive loss of viewership because subscribers have been cutting the cord. They know that college football, with their stadiums still packed to the rafters, is their #1 draw. And by locking up the SEC, they are betting on drawing more advertising dollars by securing more cable contracts with ex-subscribers that cut the cord beginning to re-attach it. And it will, of course, give Disney the opportunity to socially engineer the broadcast team to make sure there's the appropriate ratio of non-binary alphabet soup whatevers to backward, antiquated, "cisgendered" men to call the games.


2) Because the SEC knows that NCAA players are within 5 years, 10 at max, of being given salaries and the SEC wants to stockpile the revenue stream to distribute out to the programs the money to pay the salaries. I had no problem with the player stipend program to cover basic expenses. But I have said before, and I mean it, that the day the player starts making $50 - 100K a year - and receives a college education free of charge - is the day I am done with college football. Disney has taken concrete steps to make that happen and I realize I'm on borrowed time.

It will be a sad day when the SEC on CBS theme song plays for its last time. Truly an end of an era.
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7 months 2 weeks ago #80696 by yankeedawg1
Replied by yankeedawg1 on topic CBS Leaving the SEC (Or Disney Forces them Out)

Passion has always been in my mind a necessity for success..

Your post is heartfelt passion about a subject that holds a special

Place with you.... as it does many of us who love college sports..

Self included...... stay well friend...

Go Dawgs!
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7 months 2 weeks ago #80699 by Buc
Well written SouthernDawg, spot on.

Little doubt that the NCAA strangle hold will now follow the orders from Disney. Change that . . . . NO DOUBT.

Too often the media captures too many FANS attention and much goes unnoticed. Disney is MEDIA at it's best and Uncle Scrooge just replaced the frown on his face to a huge smile. Money flows again, sadly in the direction of Disney and away from the FAN base.

You are so correct about salary arrangement(s) for players, and . . . . the next "big change" will come when Disney makes a move to bring the NFL down a step or two, bet that. At that point all one can hope for is a repeat of the divestiture that AT&T was forced into, no longer being listed as "Ma Bell". Beginning to feel old SouthernDawg, guess I am one that enjoyed football in it's purest form, time truly marches on.

Spending the holidays in South Florida (Southwest Ranches) with family and friends. Pass this along . . . . Football friends in South Florida are really happy that Marcus Rosemy chose Georgia over the gators. As you know, gators are off limits for the most part down this way. UGA has a lot of followers and respect in South Florida, second choice for many. First of course is the "U".
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7 months 2 weeks ago #80700 by Buc
If I were a betting man, my wager would be that we can expect to see the current setup of a four team playoff for the National Championship change quickly to a eight team system. Will occur soon after Disney works out the details and gets a "handshake" approval with the NCAA. That will not be a tough hurdle to jump, for sure.
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7 months 2 weeks ago #80702 by dawgs_fans_dad
Replied by dawgs_fans_dad on topic CBS Leaving the SEC (Or Disney Forces them Out)
Great read and historical perspective. Thanks!
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7 months 2 weeks ago #80703 by Buc
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