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SBD/January 9, 2012/Colleges
BCS Committee Says Changes To Postseason Format To Be Completed By Fall
Published January 9, 2012
SEARCH FOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS: Hancock, who is leading the search for a media consultant, will recommend one or multiple consultants to the BCS decision-makers in the coming few months. He watched how the NCAA used two consultants, Chuck Gerber and Kevin O’Malley, to negotiate its deal with Turner and CBS. “That seemed to work pretty well for them,” Hancock said. He also expects the BCS to create a small TV committee of perhaps three to five commissioners to steer the discussions on the next deal. The last time the BCS went to the negotiating table for a TV contract in '08, ACC Commissioner John Swofford was taking his turn as the body’s coordinator and he led the talks along with IMG consultant Barry Frank. Now the BCS operates differently, with Hancock serving as the Exec Dir rather than commissioners rotating the responsibility as the leader. ESPN Senior VP/College Programming Burke Magnus said he expects the next round of negotiations to be more competitive than last time when ESPN outlasted Fox. However, he said he did not expect any networks to partner with each other, as CBS and Turner did on the NCAA tournament, and Fox and ESPN did on the Pac-12. Magnus said it is also going to be important to lengthen the next deal beyond four years. “That would give us a longer horizon to recoup our investment,” Magnus said. “We view a longer term as critical. With four years, you’re never really that far away from change.” Magnus said ESPN has supported the idea of keeping the BCS games closer to New Year’s Day, which would minimize the number of mid-week games after New Year’s (Smith).
DROP IN NUMBERS: The AP’s Tim Dahlberg noted fans seem to be "tired of a bloated bowl season, fed up with mismatches.” Bowl attendance was “down this season, and that's not the biggest story.” The Rose Bowl had its “lowest television ratings in history, Orange Bowl ratings dropped 37 percent from last year, and Sugar Bowl viewership was almost nonexistent.” Even the Fiesta Bowl -- won by Oklahoma State over Stanford “in an overtime thriller -- was the third-least viewed of the past decade" (AP, 1/8).