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ESPN Antitrust Suit

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by osugrad21, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Hijacked this thread from BN but it is an interesting article:

    Federal inquiry looks into ESPN's college sports practices

    Richard Sandomir
    New York Times
    27 June 2004

    The Justice Department's antitrust division has opened an inquiry into how
    ESPN acquires and uses its college football and basketball programming, two
    television industry executives said.

    A lawyer for the antitrust division has begun to contact the athletic

    ESPN and Justice Department officials declined to comment.

    The investigation, the executives said, may be examining the practice of
    warehousing, under which ESPN televises only a small portion of the games it
    has acquired from a conference, then restricts the conference from making
    deals with any other television entities.

    They said the inquiry could also focus on how ESPN uses football and
    basketball as leverage with conferences, and how it schedules football games
    at nontraditional times like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights
    to give colleges national exposure for recruiting.

    College football and basketball is omnipresent now on numerous networks. But
    by any measure, ESPN is the biggest force. It carries several hundred games
    on ESPN and ESPN2, through syndication and pay-per-view. ABC Sports, its
    corporate sibling under the Walt Disney Company, carries a full schedule and
    the major bowl games.

    For decades, college football was run by the NCAA. But 20 years ago, the
    Supreme Court ended the NCAA's control over the market for televising
    college football by regulating the number of appearances teams could make
    and how much it can charge the networks.

    The court ruled that the NCAA had in effect become a "classic cartel." The
    7-2 decision was the result of an antitrust suit filed by the University of
    Georgia and the University of Oklahoma in 1981.

    ESPN has the rights to numerous conferences, including the Atlantic Coast,
    Big East, Big Ten and Southeastern in football and the Big East, Big 12, Big
    Ten and ACC in basketball.

    ESPN and ABC recently renewed their deal to carry ACC football for seven
    years, at $260 million to $270 million, and to add a conference championship
    game in 2005. ESPN is in arbitration with the Big East to determine what to
    pay the conference because of the loss of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston
    College to the ACC.
  2. BuckeyeInTheBoro

    BuckeyeInTheBoro This space left intentionally blank


    I've always hated the way they charge for their games in an all or nothing fashion and they buy up all the games and then just show me one I don't care about (Duke-Wake???) unless I buy the whole package. In my mind it's just bad business, but if this makes them re-think it then good for us!
  3. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    This may not be good news for fans...precedence in Sports Antitrust has been established with such cases as the Minnesota Twins' case against baseball's contraction attempts. The courts ruled in favor of Minny based on the tradition based in the state and the overall well-being of the community. If the plaintiffs can prove that ESPN is hurting the game's tarditions by playing games on other days than the traditional may be trouble for ESPN. However, the conference contracts will be scrutinized in terms of wording and obligations to see if a monopolistic advantage is being gained by ESPN.
  4. BuckeyeInTheBoro

    BuckeyeInTheBoro This space left intentionally blank

    Virginia Tech played some crazy dates the last couple of years.

    Last year they played Thursday, Wednesday and Sunday games.
    In 2002, they played 2 Sunday, 2 Thursday, and a Wednesday game.

    Must be crazy to be a Hokie fan... you never know when your team plays next.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2004
  5. Bucklion

    Bucklion Throwback Staff Member Former Premier League Champ

    I'm no fan of ESPN....again, I'm no fan of ESPN.....there, feel better. But anyway, the one problem I have is that other networks want to be able to carry football, but don't want to put the work into making a good broadcast. Example: anyone watch the TBS games last year? Just what I want...Ron Theulan and Brian Bosworth calling a game or being in the studio. Garbage. The camera work quality was also not as good. So, if ESPN is the only network that wants to put the work into a good product, then I don't mind watching it predominantly on ESPN.
  6. gbearbuck

    gbearbuck Herbie for President

    I like the games not played on Sat... gives me more nights to watch college football :biggrin: . Any network can sign a conference. If ESPN is paying the most then they should get the rights... it shouldn't matter if they are showing the games or not. If CBS wants the conference rights they can shell out big bucks...

    ABC, NBC, ESPN all carry games (I don't think Fox sports has any although I could be wrong... I could have told you several months ago, but I currently don't recall)...

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