Since 1996, CBS has aired a Southeastern Conference college football game on a weekly basis. According to a report, that will soon be ending.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported Friday night that CBS has “ended talks” with the SEC regarding its next contract. It’s expected that ABC/ESPN swoop in with a better offer and partner with the league.
The contract between CBS and the SEC runs up at the end of the 2023 season. Presumably, that’s when the new partnership between the league and ABC/ESPN would start. FOX Sports is listed as a “darkhorse” candidate for the package of 15 games.
Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal notes that the league could make $250-300 million more in the next deal. That equates to about $20 million per school.
Shocker: CBS walks away from SEC negotiations. All signs point to ESPN/ABC picking up the package. SBJ has the details: https://t.co/rBcPfoEnUw
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 21, 2019
NEWS: CBS exits talks w/ SEC. College football's highest-rated package probably going to Disney. SEC will make $250M-$300M more per year from premium package of 15 games. That means a raise of close to $20M per school or more whenever the new deal begins.https://t.co/96ErRupEXN
— Michael Smith (@SmittySBJ) December 21, 2019
The show currently features Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson in the booth with Jamie Erdahl on the sidelines.
If CBS really is backing out of negotiations, it will be the end of an era. While the network and the league haven’t always gotten along, fans will likely take issue with the change. There could be some backlash to ESPN/ABC landing another big live rights deal.