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  1. #1

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    Is College Athletic Revenue at / close to "Maxed Out". IE, gains in TV revenue just

    are offset (for most programs) by reductions in donations and/or ticket sales?

    Most conferences at this point are locked into their TV contracts. There's an opportunity for some additional revenue from conference networks and possible online content being paid for, but over all, I see those markets as becoming saturated (see Colonel Jessup's linked article as well), so I don't see those being a big revenue driver going forward. They could provide a couple of million a year per team for some power conferences, but I don't see even the SEC with the SEC network getting to B1G network money any time soon, and I could even potentially see the B1G Network money scaling back some.

    So if the money from media is going to be relatively flat, with maybe some small gains, and you combine that with the reducing attendance trend in college athletics, are most programs at or close to 'capped', other than adjusting for inflation?

    Some programs (ie, Bama) are so successful right now that I'm betting they still have a lot of people willing to buy season tickets, and/or up their donation to get tickets to replace anyone who drops out due to cost, distance, etc. But the average program seemingly doesn't, otherwise, we wouldn't see the declining attendance trend.

    I picture VT to be an 'above average' program in terms of fan involvement, and we didn't sell out this year. A home game for VT is worth $50 times 62,000 seats = $3.1 million. If only 56,000 buy tickets, say goodbye to $310,000. For 1 game. Not counting parking, concessions, etc. Not counting the likelihood that some of those empty seats are people who reduced or eliminated their donation. And, as I said, I think VT is probably in the "above average" category, so average or lesser programs will likely see even bigger reductions in the ticket and donation revenue.

    As TV money edges up, but perhaps attendance and donations dip, does it essentially end up offsetting? Is right now, essentially, the peak? When Charles Steger mentioned, seemingly offhand, that the next AD could be dealing with a $100M budget, what will make that happen?

    I'm asking sort of a mixed VT and "all of the BCS conferences" question, but any discussion around the general issue is welcome. Is the average BCS athletic program going to experience stagnant revenues?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Late 80s Hokie View Post
    are offset (for most programs) by reductions in donations and/or ticket sales?

    Most conferences at this point are locked into their TV contracts. There's an opportunity for some additional revenue from conference networks and possible online content being paid for, but over all, I see those markets as becoming saturated (see Colonel Jessup's linked article as well), so I don't see those being a big revenue driver going forward. They could provide a couple of million a year per team for some power conferences, but I don't see even the SEC with the SEC network getting to B1G network money any time soon, and I could even potentially see the B1G Network money scaling back some.

    So if the money from media is going to be relatively flat, with maybe some small gains, and you combine that with the reducing attendance trend in college athletics, are most programs at or close to 'capped', other than adjusting for inflation?

    Some programs (ie, Bama) are so successful right now that I'm betting they still have a lot of people willing to buy season tickets, and/or up their donation to get tickets to replace anyone who drops out due to cost, distance, etc. But the average program seemingly doesn't, otherwise, we wouldn't see the declining attendance trend.

    I picture VT to be an 'above average' program in terms of fan involvement, and we didn't sell out this year. A home game for VT is worth $50 times 62,000 seats = $3.1 million. If only 56,000 buy tickets, say goodbye to $310,000. For 1 game. Not counting parking, concessions, etc. Not counting the likelihood that some of those empty seats are people who reduced or eliminated their donation. And, as I said, I think VT is probably in the "above average" category, so average or lesser programs will likely see even bigger reductions in the ticket and donation revenue.

    As TV money edges up, but perhaps attendance and donations dip, does it essentially end up offsetting? Is right now, essentially, the peak? When Charles Steger mentioned, seemingly offhand, that the next AD could be dealing with a $100M budget, what will make that happen?

    I'm asking sort of a mixed VT and "all of the BCS conferences" question, but any discussion around the general issue is welcome. Is the average BCS athletic program going to experience stagnant revenues?
    I think what happens with TV will be a huge factor. ESPN has up to 4 networks plus ESPN3 and Fox and NBC are picking up games to fill their sports channel line ups. I would guess the bubble hasn't burst yet but I think it'll continue to go for a little longer. I'm not sure if it will plateau or drop off once that happens. And I think it will be part of the larger landscape of sports. As long as the NFL is doing well, college football will be big to help feed the nation's desire for football. If the NFL drops off, I'm not sure college football will survive in its present form. These are just random musings with no real facts behind them, just some half baked opinions as I each my lunch

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mercury's Avatar
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    simple different revenue streams, ie corporate naming of facilities. Ie like Louisville

  4. #4
    Femoyer Hokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    simple different revenue streams, ie corporate naming of facilities. Ie like Louisville
    Not in Blacksburg. Not NEARLY enough population/visibility.

  5. #5
    To answer your question, yes, college athletics revenue is very close to maxed out.

    The economy shows no sign of improving, and my and your cost of living keeps increasing. There are few good jobs coming available any more. College athletics is driven by disposable income. All disposable income is what will get squeezed first.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by HokieJack View Post
    To answer your question, yes, college athletics revenue is very close to maxed out.

    The economy shows no sign of improving, and my and your cost of living keeps increasing. There are few good jobs coming available any more. College athletics is driven by disposable income. All disposable income is what will get squeezed first.
    Unless you get super-wealthy alumni willing to write huge checks.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 133304Hokie View Post
    Unless you get super-wealthy alumni willing to write huge checks.
    Where are these super wealthy alumni? UVA has several. VT has a few, not very many.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mercury's Avatar
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    Market is not sw va...

    I guess many of you just think vt market is sw va.. Tech is very dominate in northern va ..just look at the 4 campuses and with it solicit ties with all the corporate hq up there..

    You just have to have to have the right skill sets to seize these opportunities. You might have to get someone with no ties to vt and experience in national sports marketing ..

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieJack View Post
    Where are these super wealthy alumni? UVA has several. VT has a few, not very many.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    I guess many of you just think vt market is sw va.. Tech is very dominate in northern va ..just look at the 4 campuses and with it solicit ties with all the corporate hq up there..

    You just have to have to have the right skill sets to seize these opportunities. You might have to get someone with no ties to vt and experience in national sports marketing ..
    All valid points ... but the fact remains that about 2/3 of VT's potential fan base lives 4+ hours from Lane/campus. Outside of Syracuse and Notre Dame, I'm not aware of any BCS program that has such geographic constraints. Even tu and A&M are much closer to their respective population centers. And all four of those programs have much more storied traditions than VT does.

    This isn't insurmountable, but it is an issue.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Perfesser View Post
    All valid points ... but the fact remains that about 2/3 of VT's potential fan base lives 4+ hours from Lane/campus. Outside of Syracuse and Notre Dame, I'm not aware of any BCS program that has such geographic constraints. Even tu and A&M are much closer to their respective population centers. And all four of those programs have much more storied traditions than VT does.

    This isn't insurmountable, but it is an issue.
    I would say that most of Miami and Duke's fan bases are not near them. Also you could argue Army and Air Force are away from their fans as well.

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