Big 12 Send Cease and Desist to ESPN

Cloneon

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Oct 29, 2015
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I have seen nothing for a court case at this point. AAC didn’t actually take teams away. Conference is still together and contract remains in place. This will end with a settlement with OU and Texas paying to get out of the league.
As has been mentioned numerous times by what appear to be more legally backed minds is the initial letter by BB was the foundation for litigation. And, while I agree with your assessment the most likely result will be a settlement, the discussion still has merit for how much.
 
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CascadeClone

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Oct 24, 2009
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I have seen nothing for a court case at this point. AAC didn’t actually take teams away. Conference is still together and contract remains in place. This will end with a settlement with OU and Texas paying to get out of the league.

Disagree. There is def a case to be heard; not saying it's slam dunk on the merits because I don't really know the merits.

However, if you mean it won't go to court because it will get settled first, then I totally agree on that.
 
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Cloneon

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The court case will happen if/when ESPN tries to reduce the payouts to the eight remaining Big 12 teams if the Out teams get out early. Otherwise, nope. An interesting point here that I've heard some quiet chatter on..Can ESPN make it to 2025 if it doesn't get the immediate cost savings it anticipated by the Big 12 breaking up? They already have slashed in-studio employees, and with the increases to the SEC and others, ESPN is going to be in a shaky position. Obviously, Disney can subsidize, but to what level.
IMO, it's not merely reducing the existing contract, but the 'residual' damage if the conference is forced to disband with the members having to settle for much lower contracts. And, yes, ESPN's health is tied to Disney. So, 'publicizing' this without negatively influencing its legal position should be part of the B12's strategy. Disney does NOT want this to become a scandal. They're already on the negative image hook from the majority of universities.
 

BCClone

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Sep 4, 2011
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is CBS just going to sit back and not do anything about the fact that ESPN out bid them for the SEC simply because ESPN had inside knowledge Texas and OU would be moving, a move of course orchestrated by ESPN? I would think CBS would be pissed.
They are waiting to see how this plays out I would guess. Let the big XII lawyers do a chunk of research and fact finding, see how it plays out and then jump in if it looks to trend well.
 
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BCClone

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I have seen nothing for a court case at this point. AAC didn’t actually take teams away. Conference is still together and contract remains in place. This will end with a settlement with OU and Texas paying to get out of the league.
A conference can not initiate calls to another conferences teams. The teams have to. If the AAC just contacted any big XII teams, it’s a violation
 

MeanDean

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Jan 5, 2009
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It could be, but it's entirely possible that Fox is more interested in their long term profitability and stability than in one-upping ESPN, which is why I included "reasonably priced". They could probably add 2 former Big 12 members to the Big 10 and 4 to the PAC 12 while sweetening the pot enough to not cut into the share of other members. That could provide stability at a reasonable price, and allow them to wait to see if ESPN can handle their splashy contracts.
The other factor that no one seems to talk about is... ESPN, by undercutting the viability of the Big XII if OU and UT exit before the end of their (Fox's) television contract with the Big XII - has reduced the value of Fox's contract. They should be able to sue for lost earning due to ESPN's behind the scenes working to undermine the value of Fox's broadcast property.
 

Halincandenza

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Oct 24, 2018
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A conference can not initiate calls to another conferences teams. The teams have to. If the AAC just contacted any big XII teams, it’s a violation
Violation of what?
We are talking about tortious interference with contract. They haven’t come close to meeting the elements. AAC didn’t induce anyone to leave. There has been no actual breach.
 

Halincandenza

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Oct 24, 2018
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Disagree. There is def a case to be heard; not saying it's slam dunk on the merits because I don't really know the merits.

However, if you mean it won't go to court because it will get settled first, then I totally agree on that.
There is no case at this time. What is the case? It would get thrown out of court at this point.
 

Halincandenza

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Oct 24, 2018
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As has been mentioned numerous times by what appear to be more legally backed minds is the initial letter by BB was the foundation for litigation. And, while I agree with your assessment the most likely result will be a settlement, the discussion still has merit for how much.
Assuming all the facts in the letter are correct it’s not enough to go to court with.
 

BCClone

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Sep 4, 2011
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Violation of what?
We are talking about tortious interference with contract. They haven’t come close to meeting the elements. AAC didn’t induce anyone to leave. There has been no actual breach.
I’m not exactly sure which rule it is, but the SEC and PAC 12 both mentioned that they did not/can’t contact teams first. It is like calling a recruit when they are a freshman or sophomore, it’s a no go. They can call you but you can’t call them. The PAC12 commissioner made that perfectly clear in his press conference.
 

Halincandenza

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Oct 24, 2018
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I’m not exactly sure which rule it is, but the SEC and PAC 12 both mentioned that they did not/can’t contact teams first. It is like calling a recruit when they are a freshman or sophomore, it’s a no go. They can call you but you can’t call them. The PAC12 commissioner made that perfectly clear in his press conference.
That’s because they don’t want to get found to be tortuously interfering with the contract. But it’s no rule of the NCAA or anything like that.
 

Cyclad

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Apr 12, 2006
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I have seen nothing for a court case at this point. AAC didn’t actually take teams away. Conference is still together and contract remains in place. This will end with a settlement with OU and Texas paying to get out of the league.
The 8 need to show solidarity, stick together, milk OU, Texas and maybe ESPN for all you can get. Then? I think the best might be to stay together, poach a few teams and try for a Fox package. Yes - us to the BIG would be great, but I am doubtful.
 

CyLyte2

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The cease and desist letter is obviously to set up the lawsuit. If any of the remaining schools jump the lawsuit is triggered.
 

AuH2O

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Sep 7, 2013
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It could be, but it's entirely possible that Fox is more interested in their long term profitability and stability than in one-upping ESPN, which is why I included "reasonably priced". They could probably add 2 former Big 12 members to the Big 10 and 4 to the PAC 12 while sweetening the pot enough to not cut into the share of other members. That could provide stability at a reasonable price, and allow them to wait to see if ESPN can handle their splashy contracts.
I think this is a great way to look at it. People thinking the Big 10 needs to try to match the SEC move, or if they expand it needs to be a counter-move to the SEC need to realize that no such move exists. There is nothing the Big 10 is going to do that is going to match that doesn't essentially dissolve the ACC and/or PAC.

Second, you don't have to match them, you just need to make sure you stay relevant and your top school(s) can to an extent keep up. I think IF conferences remain a thing, I do see uneven distribution as a way the Big 10 might need to make that happen. Teams need to understand that outside the Big Dogs in a conference, the difference in values among the "good" teams and "bad" teams doesn't really mean all that much in the total contract. Now, those marginal differences can add up to make a conference better, but the future could get cutthroat. If it does, no team outside of the bluebloods should feel secure in their place. Also, there is nothing stopping a team for paying a heavy price to join a conference and undercut others.

Last, being rash and doing something crazy for the Big 10 or Fox to jump into an arms race with the SEC or ESPN could be a disaster. I don't think the financial viability of broadcasting college football is certain enough that you'd want to do something crazy like get over the massive GoR hurdle and try to get Notre Dame and Clemson. And short of that, nothing is going to match OU and UT on a team for team basis in terms of media value. Big 10 is already several teams behind in terms of massive, national Brands. Sorry, USC, Oregon, UW aren't even close. The first two are big names, but they aren't going to juice a media contract at all like UT or OU.

So Big 10 and Fox can sit back and see how this shakes out and still be fine. They could add content and teams that are modest investments to try to compete on a volume basis and be fine.
 
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