Jul 25 / Rob

Something Interesting Actually Happened at CAA Media Day

schor waitCAA Football Media Day took place today in Baltimore. The Dukes were picked to finish first, because of course they were. Bryan Schor was tabbed as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Jonathan Kloosterman, Aaron Stinni, Andrew Ankrah, Raven Greene, and Robert Carter all joined him as preseason All CAA selections. Coaches spoke. Every team had a great summer, getting stronger and faster. The top teams think they’re ready to take the next step. The bottom teams like being underestimated. Blah. Blah. Blah. In short, it was like every other media day and you missed nothing from the official program. And based on the tens of thousands tens of people who bothered to tune into the broadcast, odds are you definitely missed it.

But believe it or not, we did learn something interesting today. Of course it wasn’t from the official Media Day events. Instead, it came courtesy of some solid reporting from the DNR’s Greg Madia, who tweeted the following:

Now if you’ve been following along, you’re well aware that we’re a little over a month out from football season and there is still no CAA Football broadcast deal in place. The league’s contract with NBC Sports ended after last season. Since then there has been very little information about any other deal. At this stage, it was pretty clear that the odds of a television deal were slim. But many fans (us included) were anxious to learn about streaming broadcasts. Needless to say, today’s little nugget has us very excited.

We have actually been hoping that the league would move in the direction of streaming online. Yes, watching games online is still a hurdle for some who prefer traditional television broadcasts. The days of networks paying big rights fees are probably behind us for all but a few prized properties though. The league would be better off prioritizing maximum exposure though online platforms.

The NBC Sports package sounded better than it actually was frankly. The production value was nice, but most of the broadcasts were relegated down to regional networks. That typically worked out great for those of us in the Mid-Atlantic. It all but cut off Dukes fans living elsewhere many weekends though. Twitter on the other hand, essentially offers worldwide distribution.

Some might scoff at the idea of watching a game through Twitter or CBS’ digital platform, instead of on a traditional network. That’s foolish in our opinion. The quality is top notch and both platforms are easily accessible. Ask anyone who tuned into any of the Twitter’s NFL broadcasts last year, or watch March Madness online with CBS and they’ll tell you that they are top quality products.

This is a great move for the CAA. We’d love it for the league to have the SEC’s deal with nationally broadcast games every Saturday. But that isn’t going to happen. Instead of going further down the television ladder, it sounds like the league wisely pursued more modern streaming platforms with far greater reach. If they’re able to close on the deal, it will be a win for the league, and a win for fans.

7 Comments

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  1. Cory / Jul 26 2017

    This is great information thank you.

  2. ShadyP / Jul 26 2017

    Streaming just fine in a urban and suburban areas….but in rural areas good luck with that platform. Trading traditional network coverage for streaming is a significant downgrade and downgrades access.

  3. Rob / Jul 26 2017

    @ShadyP that’s simply not true. The CAA had a deal with NBC Sports Network prior to this year. There were 85 million cable or satellite subscribers who got the network as of March of this year according to Nielsen. As of May of this year, there were 93,920,680 broadband subscribers in the U.S.

    And again, that’s just in the U.S. It’s estimated that there are over 800 million broadband subscribers currently worldwide, with the number estimated to exceed a billion by 2020.

    When you consider that NBC Sports Network relegated most of the broadcasts to regional cable networks available to fewer subscribers, the numbers tip even more in favor of streaming. And clearly much of the world has little to no interest in watching college football, but the point is that you can potentially reach far more people via a global streaming platform, than through NBC Sports Network or other cable network.

  4. ShadyP / Jul 31 2017

    Evidently, you live in an Urban/Suburban area and you simply did not comprehend the statement @Rob. Streaming is not a viable solution for the majority of folks in rural areas. You are kind of comparing apples and oranges comparing broadband to cable/satellite. If you rely on streaming you are going with a platform that is simply either not available or not a viable option for a large number of folks.

  5. Rob / Jul 31 2017

    I comprehended your statement. I get that some rural folks don’t have access to streaming platforms. That’s unfortunate. But millions more people (literally) don’t have access to NBC Sports Network. It’s not apples to oranges. It’s a comparison between two broadcasting platforms, one of which is accessible to over 8 million more people in the United States.

  6. ShadyP / Aug 1 2017

    I don’t think you do or you would not dismiss it with a statement like, ‘some rural folks don’t have access’ as if it is 5% or less.
    When in fact 39 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps. By contrast, only 4 percent of urban Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.

    This is a very large percentage where that is not even an option. It is a much smaller percentage that via either cable or satellite (DirectTV) do not have access to a cable option (not talking about subscribers, but the option). Then it is pretty much up to the cable/satellite subscriber based on their package they want to pay for what channels they can access. I know as a DirecTV subscriber there are a ton of random regional sports channels I don’t have access to but that is my option to not subscribe to them…..not that I do not even have that option.

    You are simply trying to spin this as a good deal for the CAA b/c they could not get a TV deal done. I agree it is better than no deal, but no way is a streaming option better than a TV deal overall.

  7. Rob / Aug 1 2017

    Look, we just need to agree to disagree. Your comments seem to imply that I’ve got some sort of bias against rural America. That’s not the case. But by your own numbers, we’re still only talking about 7% of the country’s population.

    While plenty of people (including a disproportionate number of rural Americans) won’t be able to watch games via Twitter, more people will be able to watch there, than if the games were on NBC Sports Network. Over 8 million more. And there’s an increasing number of people cord cutting to get rid of cable/satellite, so the numbers will likely tip further in streaming’s favor. Those things make me confident that this could be a good deal for the league and a chance to get in ahead of the curve.

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