Hey you want to go to the Cal game on the 29th? They’re playing Oregon. Both teams are 3-0. “Yea, great. What time’s the game?” I don’t know. “What do you mean I don’t know? The games a week away!” They won’t tell us until a few days before the game.
That’s the conversation college football fans are having through-out the country. Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott has embraced this arrangement, much to his benefit and the benefit of the schools. The fans, not so much. Players? (There’s another blog-post to be written about how the players are being treated like commodities.)
At $4.9 million, Scott is the highest paid Commissioner of any of the Conferences. The skill he brings to the table is bringing in money. That’s why the Pac 12 can afford to pay him what he makes. According to USA today, total revenue for the fiscal year ending 6/30/2017 was $509 million. In addition to Scott’s salary, nine other Pac 12 executives make over $450,000 per year. Since most of it comes from television, does it matter if anyone is in the stands? We’re talking about a conference game, with two undefeated teams where the stadium will be half filled!
If the Pac 12 schools are splitting the loot, we know how they benefit. How do the fans benefit? The link below is a 2013 New York Times column that describes television’s influence not only in kickoff times but in setting matchups, the integrity in reporting, and post season awards. I’ll let you read the Times column so see how Disney Chief Executive, Michael Eisner describes what ESPN means to the Disney Company.
Ilan Ben-Hanan who seems to be the scheduling brains at ESPN says “the perfect Saturday at ESPN is to be able to have fans sit down in the morning, watch College Game Day, and really not be satisfied until the last game, usually from the Pac 12 at the end of the night and onto SportsCenter.”
The crazy thing is, I still get the phone calls from the athletic department. It’s usually a nice student athlete from any one of the sports asking me if I’ll buy football season tickets. While there was a time when I did and loved to get season tickets and taking my son, Phil to the games, there’s no way I’ll do it now. I’ll pick one game, get the tickets for a low price on the secondary market and watch the game in
All that said, I ‘m as sick as any other College Football Fan. This Saturday like all the others Saturdays in the fall, you’ll be able to find me watching College Game Day.