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Sportico Finds NCAA Severely Undervalues Women’s Tournament TV Rights

“Sportico reports the women’s tournament receives just 15.9% of the NCAA ESPN contract, despite being one of the most-watched events in the deal. So when the women’s tournament is listed as operating at a loss, it’s calculated based on an allocated number, not their individually earned revenue.”

Brandon Contes

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It’s not surprising to see the NCAA earns significantly more in TV revenue from it’s men’s basketball tournament than it’s women’s. But according to a report by Sportico, the gap would be lessened if the NCAA sold it’s women’s basketball tournament properly. 

Recently publicized data from the NCAA showed a $917.8 million profit for it’s men’s basketball championship and a $2.8 million loss for the women’s event in 2019. And although the men’s tournament generates much stronger viewership, part of why it’s so financially successful is the NCAA’s decision to sell it as a singular TV package while the women’s basketball championship receives a small portion of a larger media contract. 

Sold on its own, Turner and CBS pay around $771 million annually for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The women’s event is part of a 14-year $500 million deal with ESPN featuring more than 20 NCAA championships from various sports. 

Sportico reports the women’s tournament receives just 15.9% of the NCAA ESPN contract, despite being one of the most-watched events in the deal. So when the women’s tournament is listed as operating at a loss, it’s calculated based on an allocated number, not their individually earned revenue. If sold as a separate package, its value could as much as triple the 15.9% they currently receive from the larger deal. 

Included in the package is NIT basketball which averaged 1 million viewers for its championship game between 2015-2019, while the women’s title averaged an audience of 3.1 million. Of the $500 million TV deal, the women’s basketball tournament earned $6.1 million, about 50% more than the NIT despite tripling its viewership. 

The NCAA has already taken a lot of flak for varying levels of treatment for its men’s and women’s basketball players this year – and rightfully so with shocking disparities in the bubble accommodations for each tournament. 

This isn’t a discussion of equal pay for male and female athletes because as you may have heard, student athletes don’t receive financial compensation. But it’s a question of whether or not the NCAA maximizes its business potential for women’s basketball. 

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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