The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2022.07.19

The Big 12 are buyers.

Quick bit of housekeeping. I’m going to be on vacation for the next week or so. I’m still expecting to write and post, but I may not. If there’s a day where I’m not going to post, I’ll put up an open thread because the news cycle does not appear to care about vacations and what is supposed to be the quiet time of year. I’m headed to Durango with the family with the hopes of escaping a little bit of the heat.

Conference Realignment

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd¬†writes that Notre Dame wants to remain independent, but also wants to partner with a conference, previously thought to be Big Ten, but now the Big 12 appears to be a candidate:

For NBC to feel comfortable raising Notre Dame’s valuation to such a level, it is seeking “shoulder programming” (in this case, games played before and/or after Notre Dame’s contests) from a Power Five conference to enhance its college football coverage.

When such a move had been speculated previously, the Big Ten was the conference mentioned most often as a target. However, the Big 12 has emerged as a strong option to fill NBC’s shoulder programming needs.

The Big Ten is expected to announce a new $1 billion media rights deal possibly as early as this month with Fox as its primary partner. It is believed to be seeking 2-3 other partners to air its programming with NBC reportedly among the bidders.

The bombshell from last night thought was from ESPN’s Pete Thamel who writes that talks between the Big 12 and Pac-12 have broken off because there was not additional value added by including the Pac-12 institutions:

Officials from the Big 12 told Pac-12 officials on Monday that they’re no longer interested in exploring the partnership, sources said.

A Big 12 source said that the deal didn’t work for the Big 12 for “a multitude of reasons,” which included the fact that any potential deal wouldn’t have driven much revenue for the league. “It just didn’t work,” the source said.

There’s been at least three Zoom calls between top league officials in the Big 12 and the Pac-12 and other calls between other factions of the league — including legal — to discussion different options. The extent of the conversations had not been previously reported.

A Pac-12 source briefed on the conversations said that the Big 12 had expressed interest on Friday in possibly exploring a full merger. The Big 12 source said of the three options laid out by the Pac-12 — pooling rights, a scheduling concept or fully combining the leagues — that the only scenario that could have potentially driven value because of the sheer numbers of schools and populations areas was a full merger of the leagues.

The Pac-12 source indicated the Big 12 was interested in that option. A Big 12 source said the Big 12 needed more time to explore that option further, which it did over the weekend and decided not to explore any options further.

Well. That’s something and now, it would seem that the next step is for one conference to poach the other conference or to just remain status quo. With the news about Notre Dame, that would seemingly add value to the Big 12 and I just can’t imagine the Pac-12 really pulling in a ton of money on any television deal. The key will be CBS and if they want to continue a college football partnership and my guess is that they do. If they get Notre Dame in the fold then that’s pretty terrific.

Open for business indeed.

Baseball

Three additional pitchers were picked by MLB teams as the Major League Baseball Draft continued with day 2. Andrew Morris was picked in the 4th round by the Minnesota Twins, Brandon Birdsell was picked in the 5th round by the Chicago Cubs, and Chase Hampton was picked in the 6th round by the New York Yankees. Congrats to all three and go chase those dreams!

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