I hadn’t heard about this until now, but apparently three weeks ago IMG signed on as FOX’s International Content Distributor. On the surface it seems like just another deal but when you take into consideration that IMG is working on a commission basis, the BCS contract is up in 2010 and the negotiations are actually this Fall….it’s actually much bigger than just a deal.

What’s the problem you ask? Well with IMG at the helm, and FOX having a 30-day window to negotiate, it’s not likely that the BCS is going anywhere. That means ABC is S.O.L. when the contract is up and we’ll be getting more band shots for years to come. Fanhouse’s C. Rich has broken it down the best….

Fox has the TV rights to the BCS bowl games excepting the Rose Bowl. They have the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange through January 2010. Fox also has the National Championship game through January 2009. The contract is coming up for renegotiation this fall.

Disney/ABC/ESPN is expected to push very hard to get the rights for the BCS and Championship games. This means one way or another the 4-year, $330 million dollar deal Fox gave last time will be going significantly higher….

….The big loser regardless, will be the fans. No matter which media group gets the BCS and National Championship game, it means trying to make back that money. That means advertising revenue. We have seen how Fox has jammed tons of ads in the last couple years. That isn’t likely to change.

It also means any hope of a playoff is still years away.

With this amount of money on the table I’m pretty sure we’re never going to get to see a Playoffs in our collective lifetime. If anyone remembers how bad last year’s BCS games were, just think how bad it will be next year and the year after. More random crowd shots, a ton more ads slowing down games to a crawl, and dying livers from our “Band Drinking Game”. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually rooting for an ABC/ESPN win this Fall. Go Team!

IMG, BCS, Fox in an Interesting Money Triangle (Fanhouse)

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