The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: TV Contracts And NIL

Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
Don’t expect to see Ohio State playing in Lane Stadium again anytime soon. (Ivan Morozov)

1) Thoughts on how an “Alliance” schedule could work? Something like a B10/ACC challenge but for a week in football? – st_andrew

Chris Coleman: I suppose it would be something like that, though it would be harder to make something like that work in football. In basketball, there are 30-plus games each year, and in football there are only 12. Put yourself in Clemson’s shoes, and your future schedules against P5 competition already looks like this…

2022: at Notre Dame, vs. South Carolina
2023: vs. Notre Dame, at South Carolina
2024: vs. Georgia (in Atlanta), vs. South Carolina
2025: vs. LSU, at South Carolina
2026: at LSU, vs. South Carolina
2027: at South Carolina, vs. Notre Dame
2028: at Notre Dame, vs. South Carolina
2029: vs. Georgia, at South Carolina
2030: at Georgia, vs. South Carolina

Clemson’s goal is to make the playoffs. When the Tigers are already playing Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina in their non-conference schedules, do you think they’d want to add Ohio State or Michigan to that slate? I somewhat doubt it. Could it potentially make a little more money? Sure. But would it make enough to offset the risk of not making the playoffs? I would have my doubts.

Florida State would probably be against it, too, I’d guess. The Seminoles already play Florida in their non-conference schedule, and they are struggling to make bowl games these days anyway. Would adding somebody like Penn State to their non-conference schedule help them, especially when they’ve already got Alabama, Georgia and Notre Dame on their future schedules?

I suppose a real “alliance” between the ACC and Big Ten should include some sort of a provision to where they don’t play SEC teams anymore, but that would mean some natural rivalries (such as Clemson-South Carolina and Florida State-Florida) would no longer exist.

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To be honest, though, I think it’s a moot point. The Big Ten’s TV rights deal expires next summer, and there will be a bidding war between Fox, ESPN and perhaps even CBS and NBC for those rights. Some experts in the field believe that their new deal could be worth as much as $1 billion per year. As a comparison, the league’s current deal is worth $440 million per year.

With that type of money possibly coming in soon, what incentive does the Big Ten actually have to form a scheduling partnership with the ACC? The ACC’s TV contract is with ESPN. What if the Big Ten goes with CBS, and then you’ve basically got a network war between ESPN (SEC) and the Big Ten (CBS). The ACC’s TV contract is also with ESPN. How would all of that work? If it does turn into a network war between ESPN and CBS, then ESPN will need as many SEC games as possible to compete with CBS. That means you should probably get ready for some thrilling Wednesday afternoon games on ESPN8 The Ocho with Cotton