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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Greg Crawford On Sports Biz, Edition 8

Into the 8th week of doing Greg Crawford On Sports Biz, really appreciate the many emails and feedback that you have sent to me. Plan to keep doing this as long as I can on either Saturday or Sunday for your reading enjoyment.

Please also do not forget to read Crawford's Court, and Crawford's Clubhouse, each week at On to today's sports biz column.

More Sports---Several people with lots of money are starting to make waves that they want to start sports networks. Of course the leaders now are Comcast/NBC, Fox and ESPN. One of most vocal about having his own sports network is Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp and of course the person that stirs the pot greatly with all of his Fox networks.

One of the driving forces behind people creating new networks beyond the financial aspects is that there is not a hotter property in the world right now than the NFL and soon the NFL Thursday night package will be up for grabs at an estimated $1 billion per year. And to think that is just for eight games.

Maybe someday, someone will explain the fascination of the NFL, but you can't buck the trend. Fans are fanatic about it, fueled by fantasy football and gambling of course, two things gladly I am not involved with.

In reality for next 25 years, I see nothing stopping the NFL from becoming even more popular, with the exception of former players pursuing legal action in regards to concussion injuries which could have a huge impact on the financial picture of every team and it is something everyone should keep their eye on for the near future.

Monday Night---Speaking of the power of the NFL, nothing ever tops Monday night, not to mention the continued powerful force of the Green Bay Packer name. A perfect example of this is the Monday night game on September 24th. Per STUBHUB, the average ticket price for the Seattle Seahawks who are hosting the Packers is $67.26. For this games, the average price people are purchasing tickets on STUBHUB is $241.00, a mark up of 258 percent.

Monday night football and the Green Bay Packers cache continues and probably forever.

SEC---The most powerful college football conference, the Southeast Conference, is set to to debut their own network in 2014-15, which you have to bet will be modeled similar to the Big Ten and Pac-12 networks.

At present the SEC has TV deals with the CBS and ESPN which were set to end in 2024, but now have to be renegotiated because of expansion by the league of adding Texas A&M and Missouri. The current payout from these contracts is 55 million per year, divided equally among all schools, but that number is expected to jump close to 70 million in the next couple of years.

It is interesting to note that during the 2011-12 season, the average viewership for each SEC football game was 4.4 million, compared the average for the Pac-12, of 2.1 million. Surprisingly basketball viewership does really well in the SEC with an average viewership of 1.2 million per game, once again compared to the Pac-12 of 783.000 for the 2011-12 season. The Pac-12 number will obviously climb this season with the Pac-12 network coming onboard.

NHL---The impact of the lockout is wide and varied throughout the entire National Hockey League. Some teams are standing pat, not doing any layoffs and trying to use their employees with other properties that have ownership in varied other sports interests.

The same can't be said for every team, as a few teams have laid off employees, cut salaries for some staff, including coaches and senior executives by 50 percent and support staff by 15 percent.

Teams are also offering up to 5 percent interest for fans that have already paid their season ticket monies, rather than refunding, although every game missed will be refunded or credited by all teams in total.

It is safe to say that NO one wins in a lockout or strike, documentation and history can prove that over and over.

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Emails on today's column to or twitter @wchoops

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