Q: Is it a given to you that media revenue (rights fees) will flatten?
A: No. If you ask me last year the answer would have been, 'Oh sure.'
I've changed my mind on that because the new media is growing so quickly and in directions that frankly were unpredictable a year or two ago.
I would say that it will cease. I always think that television network coverage of the men's Final Four will be there. People love to watch that live.
I wouldn't want to see the Final Four TiVoed, even if I hadn't seen it before. I want to see it live.
Some other sporting events, as long as you don't tell me the score and how it comes out, I'll watch them. I like the Olympics, I want to see my World Series, Super Bowl, my Final Four live. Are you like me?
For those reasons, I think the Final Four will always be a network TV event.
All these new media opportunities may well provide some additional revenue. I don't know for how long. I don't know how much. In some ways it's very exciting.
Q: Did you have an epiphany about new revenue streams? Is this gained knowledge in the last year?
A: It's the latter. We've been doing some things ourselves. We blog now, you know. We do podcasts. I don't want to say we're cutting edge here because that would be false but we're trying.
Q: If you started the tournament today from scratch you couldn't do this. This is about the best sports property there is, isn't it?
A: Part of the reason is because of its evolution. Your point is an interesting one. If you started from scratch no matter how good you are, you couldn't get this.
It has a history, it has a tradition, and it has records. It has teams that have been successful. All of that takes time to build in the consciousness. The value of the property is a great part of its evolution.
A good analogy here is the World Series and the (World Baseball Classic) going on now. Think of how much interest the World Series has because of its history and tradition. To have all the major teams in the world actually play a world series is an interesting idea.
It has no cache compared to the World Series. These things have to have tradition, they have to be rooted.
Q: Speaking of which, something we don't have is a football playoff. You're asked about it everywhere you go. Without debating the barriers, which are significant, do you see some sort of modest playoff (in the future)?
A: It's possible. I wouldn't rule it out. There are going to be some constraints. First of all you have a Fox contract that goes four more years. Whether it's possible in the context of that contract to do anything at all, is unknown to me.
That's at least a short-term constraint. Secondly, even though it's likely that a good number of the presidents who are the decision makers here will turn over, I just don't see any appetite from new people coming in.
I don't see any appetite for a large playoff, an NFL-type playoff. Would we go to a four-plus-one model four years from now or even toward the end of the Fox contract? I think that's an open question. I wouldn't predict which way that would go.
I don't see massive change. Will there be modest change? It's hard to tell.
Q: Which leads to my next question. Would a plus-one BCS "playoff" require NCAA control?