College sports are all about money; we know that.
One of the big ways that conferences can bring in revenue is through TV deals. The more markets they have in an area, the more money they can make. This is what sparked the last round of conference realignment in the early 2010’s.
All Power 5 Conferences, excluding the ACC, have expiring TV deals between 2023 and 2025. Realignment comes out of situations like this because if a conference can add more TV markets to their area the conference’s games needs to be broadcasted to, depending on the team, this will add a certain amount of value to the deal, getting the conference new money.
Realignment during this period will be especially interesting, because this is really the first time where Cable or Satellite aren’t the primary ways that people get their TV.
Conferences don’t need to rely on ESPN, FOX, or CBS to air their games, when they could just air them on mobile apps that can be projected onto a TV.
However, they will need to decide where to draw the line between mobile streaming, and Live Primetime games, to make them the most amount of money possible.
A lot of questions come up during this period:
Will conferences expand geographically, or focus on the sizes of fan bases? Will the Big 12 survive? How many groups of 5 teams will move up into the “Big Leagues”. This could even affect the future of the College Football Playoffs.
The next round of conference realignment will be big for so many reasons.