Football Rights, And Wrongs

A column I wrote comes out tomorrow on about sports rights, and how complex the situation is in the digital age for people trying to manage it all. Just for fun, over the weekend, I logged on to my team's sports portal,, to see what was up with my alma-mater's football game and was very surprised to learn that there was NO TV coverage, at all. This for a Pac-10 (that's a major conference for you non-football geeks) rivalry, where the other team, Oregon, is highly ranked (#13 according to one poll). So, you've got a team with great demographics and an avid alumni body against a team that's top 15 and it's not to be found on any TV platform. Very odd.

Turns out that Fox has the rights to Pac 10 games, and instead of -- as is common practice -- letting the rights revert to the school or conference if the network chooses not to pick up the game for its TV network, they hold them regardless. Seems short-sited of Stanford/Pac-10 to have let that happen, and of Fox to demand that (though I can't fault them in a hard-nosed business sense for doing so. "If they wanna watch football, they should watch something on Fox.")

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