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Expansion By The Numbers 2: Television Markets

In Part 2 of our series on SEC expansion, we begin to break down the numbers for 35 different schools.  The schools we’ve included (and, no, not all of these are realistic) are: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest (from the ACC); Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia (from the Big East); Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech (from the Big 12); as well as wild cards East Carolina, Navy, Notre Dame, Penn State and TCU.

This Category:  Top 40 Television Markets within a 200-Mile Radius

Why:  Television is driving the bus on expansion.  As schools try to fortify themselves against a bad economy and rising costs (including rising scholarship costs), the best place to turn for new, guaranteed income is television.  Whether it’s networks who want high ratings in as many markets as possible, or conferences looking for additional cable households and subscription rates, TV is the reason the college sports landscape has been changing steadily from 1984 until now.

We grabbed our handy map and credited any school with “owning” any Top 40 market within 200 miles of its campus.  Networks and leagues will bicker about how many New Yorkers will watch a Rutgers game, but this still gives us a good starting point.  We took the latest Nielsen estimates for each Top 40 market and slid those households into our chart next to each school.  Some schools — those without a Top 40 market nearby — will show 0 television households.  Clearly that’s not the case, but a line had to be drawn somewhere.  We drew it at the Top 40.

There are only ten Top 40 markets located within 200 miles of an SEC school: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Greensboro-Spartanburg, Indianapolis, Nashville, Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburgh.  At the bottom of this page, we’ll show you which SEC schools “claim” these markets.  But to be fair, we do not consider Charlotte or Columbus or Indianapolis to be SEC markets (even though the league might have more influence there than we initially thought).  So if one of our 35 schools can reach a market outside of an existing SEC state that could add to the league’s pull in that area, we credited that school with the households.  (Example: Clemson would get credit for Charlotte even though South Carolina has some reach there, too.  But Clemson would not get credit for Greenville-Spartanburg or Atlanta as both of those markets are squarely in SEC territory.)

 

Rank School New Top 40 Households (millions) Top 40 Markets within 200 Miles
1 Rutgers 15.6 New York, Philly, DC, Baltimore, Hartford, Harrisburg-York
2 Connecticut 10.9 New York, Boston, Hartford
3t Maryland 7.1 Philly, DC, Baltimore, Harrisburg-York
3t Navy 7.1 Philly, DC, Baltimore, Harrisburg-York
5 Penn State 5.9 Philly, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Harrisburg-York
6 Notre Dame 5.5 Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee
7t Baylor 5.4 Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
7t Texas 5.4 Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
7t Texas A&M 5.4 Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
10 Virginia 4.5 DC, Raleigh, Baltimore
11 Pittsburgh 3.5 Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus
12 Boston College 3.4 Boston, Hartford
13 Cincinnati 2.9 Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus
14t Oklahoma 2.5 Dallas
14t TCU 2.5 Dallas
16t Duke 2.2 Charlotte, Raleigh
16t Miami 2.2 Miami, West Palm Beach
16t N. Carolina 2.2 Charlotte, Raleigh
16t NC State 2.2 Charlotte, Raleigh
16t Virginia Tech 2.2 Charlotte, Raleigh
16t Wake Forest 2.2 Charlotte, Raleigh, (Greenville-Spartanburg)
22 Missouri 2.1 St. Louis, Kansas City
23 Louisville 2.0 Indianapolis, Cincinnati, (Nashville)
24t Clemson 1.1 Charlotte, (Atlanta, Greenville-Spartanburg)
24t W. Virginia 1.1 Pittsburgh
24t E. Carolina 1.1 Raleigh
27t Kansas 0.9 Kansas City
27t Kansas State 0.9 Kansas City
29 S. Florida 0.7 West Palm Beach (Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando)
30t Florida State 0.0 None
30t Georgia Tech 0.0 (Atlanta, Greenville-Spartanburg, Birmingham)
30t Syracuse 0.0 None
30t Iowa State 0.0 None
30t Oklahoma State 0.0 None
30t Texas Tech 0.0 None

 

For those screaming that your favorite school is 201 miles from a city, too bad.  This is a ballpark study.  No one’s life is riding on it and to be honest, if something in the chart above literally makes you angry… you probably need to find a new hobby.

Some interesting notes:

* It should be clear why Rutgers and UConn are always mentioned in connection with Big Ten and ACC expansion.  Look at the potential viewers in those areas.

* Ditto Maryland.

* Navy is a unique situation, but we’ll credit them with those markets even though they don’t have the typical local following of a major university.

* We’ll get more into branding in a later piece, but a school like Notre Dame would drive up ratings in a heckuva lot more spots than just Chicago, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

* In our “Expounding on Expansion” series last year, we credited Virginia Tech with the Washington, DC market due to the fact that its top alumni base is there.  And the same could be said for other schools and other markets.  That’s why took the simple, hardline path of using a 200-mile radius.

* Once again, if you see a market in parentheses above, it means that school is within 200 miles of that market… but that market is already inside an SEC state.  So the school brings nothing new to the league in terms of market claims.

 

And for the record, here’s how the SEC would look broken down using the same methods (but, of course, counting SEC markets):

 

Rank School Top 40 Households (Millions) Top 40 Markets within 200 Miles
1 Georgia 3.2 Atlanta, Greensville-Spartanburg
2t Auburn 3.1 Atlanta, Birmingham
2t Florida 3.1 Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando
4t Kentucky 2.9 Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus
4t S. Carolina 2.9 Charlotte, Greensville-Spartanburg
6 Tennessee 1.8 Nashville, Greensville-Spartanburg
7 Vanderbilt 1.7 Nashville, Birmingham
8t Alabama 0.7 Birmingham
8t Mississippi State 0.7 Birmingham
8t Ole Miss 0.7 Birmingham
11t Arkansas 0.0 None
11t LSU 0.0 None

 

If a league wanted to raid the SEC today — and was using the urge for eyeballs as its main criteria — Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina would be okay.  The others?  Not so much.

In Part 3 of our series we’ll look at the population base for each school’s home state.

 


38 comments
Ghost
Ghost

Excellent work MrSEC. I'm sorry there are so many people who don't get what you are trying to do. Even though you have repeatedly explained in detail how you have put this together, I'm still reading people complaining that "WVU won't deliver Pittsburgh TV market" I guess these people haven't read you multiple explanations.
Having said that, if you ever repeat this exercise, here are 7 schools I would like to see added/included in this little exercise (and yes, just like Penn State, 5 of these are equally unlikely to come to the SEC, but I'd still like to see how all 7 stack up):
Rice
Tulane
Illinois
Indiana
Northwestern
Ohio State
Purdue

GCAT
GCAT

MrSEC,

You have use some common sense. You have both Pitt and U of Cincinnati having Columbus, OH as potential TV market. Never going to happen. Also, W. Virginia bring in Pittsburgh's market? Come on, now.

Nutriaitch
Nutriaitch

200 mile driving or straight line radius?

because WVU is less than 20 miles straight line from:
Washington D.C. #8
Cleveland #18
Pittsburgh #23
Baltimore #27
Columbus #32

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

Norfolk is number 42. Greenville is closer to that market than both Virginia schools. If ECU would have been in the SEC we would have had Michael Vick. Just sayin.

Mark
Mark

Why doesn't WVU get credit for any market except Pittsburgh??..............Columbus, DC, Richmond, Cleveland. Prejudicial journalism.

May as well face the facts, Mr. SEC...we're coming to your conference. No use in fighting it.

MikeTheTiger
MikeTheTiger

First, I appreciate the time and effort that you put into covering all the angles of the expansion debate. This is an interesting article with good information as a starting point for assessing expansion options. Please don't take what I'm going to say next as a criticism. I'm simply offering suggestions for information you could provide that I have not seen anywhere else. Should you pull it off, you would have my awe. The NY Times piece tried to go down this path though they didn't succeed in their conclusions. Still, the logical next steps here would be to determine how many college football fans are in each of those metro areas and then what % of those fans support the nearby schools. I'd love to see what the average college football TV ratings are in each of those markets. That could help answer my first question. The second one is much tougher to ascertain. In any case, I think we all can agree that not all markets are created equal when it comes to their college football interest. There are probably just as many CF fans in the Atlanta metro as there are in the NYC metro. With a split fan base, you arrive at Rutgers bringing less than a count of close metro areas would suggest.

jpf578
jpf578

So many flaws in this fools argument.

CKRU
CKRU

Why Navy but no Army? Just sayin'.

James Ray Davenport
James Ray Davenport

Well if you are just talking about top 40-mid. 40 markets then ECU covers a lot of markets ...Wilmington,NC,Norforlk,Va, Raleigh.N.C. But what land that is known to be the ECU market is only what that little bit on a map and not the fact that ECU covers Three states

gatormoss
gatormoss

John

What a telling ranking! Brings a whole new meaning to the word "brand". Cant you just make an algorithmic formula, you done all the data collection. Academics will then not only increase the happiness of the presidents but could also increase our brand and more viewers will take notice if a Missouri joins the SEC. I have not looked at the numbers, but I bet the average University of Florida Student SAT/ACT testing is probably higher than most Big 10 and 12 schools. The SEC is increasing their academic image because we already dominate the field of play and it will take alot of effort for increase branding in this category slightly, but academics gains will be alot easier since we do not dominate this aspect of branding. By adding Texas AM and hopefully Missouri I do not think we take anything away from our on the field domination, but greatly increase our academic standing. Like you said if Missouri comes we have more AAU institutions than the Big 12. By making rule changes favoring academics, adding AAU schools to conference and starting to hear chatter about the Floridas and Vanderbilt academic performance I see what you mean about academics are important.

Gatormoss

DC Captain
DC Captain

"We grabbed our handy map and credited any school with “owning” any Top 40 market within 200 miles of its campus." ECU is 120 miles from the Tidewater area of Virginia. Might want to add that to your numbers considering that VA is largest non NC contributor to it's student base. Just saying.

makesmyheadhurt
makesmyheadhurt

I think you have to look at total TV household within 200 miles (if that is the set criteria). For example... Let's take Tennessee - Knoxville is market #59 and within 200 miles is Chattanooga, market #86, Tri-Cities, market #96 and the Asheville NC, Greeneville, Spartenburg SC at #35. That is about 1,755,000 TV households.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

All...

My bad on "Greensboro-Spartanburg." That market is indeed Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson. Why I typed Greensboro? No clue. Brain freeze. Apologies.

As we explained in the piece, we simply locked in markets within 200 miles of a campus. Penn State -- for example -- is more than 200 miles from New York, so they don't get credit for that market.

In the piece, we tried to explain our methodology. Just a simple comparison. Obviously, Baylor won't influence Dallas as Texas will. But that's not our concern here. Those things are all open for debate. We don't want the debate. We're just listing markets that are within 200 miles drive of a market.

If there are other errors -- aside from boro for ville -- I apologize in advance.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

Sec dude 12345
Sec dude 12345

Ole Miss also sits about an hour away from Memphis (a top 50 market)

Ced Lover-Scott
Ced Lover-Scott

FYI, The correct TV market is Greenville-Spartanburg (SC). It is market #36. Greensboro, NC (which includes High Point & Winston-Salem) is #46. Not sure if that affects your data if you combined those two markets.

Also, as a SC native, I can tell you based on media coverage, I would give USC the Charlotte market and Clemson the Greenville-Spartanburg market. Columbia, SC is closer to Charlotte (by about 45 minutes than Clemson, SC)

Hokie92
Hokie92

I understand the constraints you placed on this factor. It is what it is. Virginia Tech is about 265 miles from Washington D.C. But the largest percentage of Tech students come from the DC metro area. Even though Maryland and Virginia fall in the 200 mile radius, I dare say that the Hokies are the most watched team in the DC area. I know, Penn State fans will probably claim to be as popular. Whatever. Either way, I would think the SEC would view the addition of the Hokies as a way to greater exposure in the DC metro area.

Ced Lover-Scott
Ced Lover-Scott

FYI, The correct TV market is Greenville-Spartanburg (SC). It is market #36. Greensboro, NC (which includes High Point & Winston-Salem) is #46. Not sure if that affects your data if you combined those two markets.

Mr. Coach Klein
Mr. Coach Klein

Do you mean Greenville-Spartanburg? Greensboro and Spartanburg are 165 miles apart and not part of the same metro area.

WVUASGOODASANY
WVUASGOODASANY

West Virginia is also, along with Pittsburgh, within 200 miles from the DC, Baltimore, Richmond, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Philadelphia & Harrisburg. (Among others) Please get your geography right!

Casey
Casey

I know you have to draw a line somewhere, but just fyi -- the Norfolk, VA market is 43rd and Richmond is 58. They're an hour apart. If you combine those markets into one you have a likely top 30 market. Again, I'm sure there are these situations all over the map and I'm not criticizing. But it shows how inexact this all is.

That would obviously make a big difference for UVA, ECU, UNC, Duke, and NC St. (VA Tech is outside the radius). Although in fairness, VT has a bigger presence there than UVA (though UVA is reclaiming it). If you can't tell, I'm a Bama born and bred UVA grad who'd dream of UVA in the SEC although I realize there is less than 0 chance.

smokebandit
smokebandit

Penn State is also within 200 miles of the NYC and DC markets.

ken starr
ken starr

I'm extremely perplexed that you would include Baylor as having Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Yeesh, Baylor is in Waco and I've lived in San Antonio and Dallas. Don't know if I would include them in those markets when they're not playing Taxes.

GCAT
GCAT

Yeah, because WVU will delivered the Pittsburgh TV market. If you're going to put junk data in, you're going to get junk data out. You don't need to be exact but you can add more "sense" to the methodology.

So what do you do? You want to add Ohio State, Purdue and other Big Ten teams into the mix. You actually wrote, "I guess these people haven't read you multiple explanations." Have you read the explanation?

MikeTheTiger
MikeTheTiger

Where's the prejudice? He simply provided information based upon a set of criteria. You can argue whether the criteria tell the whole story and discuss the interpretation of that data, but you can't argue that the data is biased. It is what it is.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

jpf578...

What argument? This is just a list of the Top 40 markets located within 200 miles driving distance of a school. There's no argument. It's two set numbers... could've been Top 63 markets... or 348 miles.

In talking with a network TV executive, I was told that Top 40 markets would likely be all that were considered. So we went with Top 40.

As for the 200 miles, had to draw a cut-off somewhere.

As always, I'm amazed at the number of people who read the chart and commented without reading the story... as well as the number of people who got upset with a pretty simple list: Top 40 markets... within 200 miles. Shouldn't be much confusion.

And we're sure not making an argument.

John

Jason
Jason

Not sure about average ACT/SAT scores, but in the US New Ranking, UF is in about the middle of the B1G for undergraduate rankings. UF is ranked #53. The B1G average is 57, the median is 56.

School USNWR UG
Northwestern 12
Michigan 29
Wisconsin 45
Illinois 47
Penn State 47
FLORIDA 53
Purdue 56
Ohio State 56
Minnesota 64
Iowa 72
Indiana 75
Michigan State 79
Nebraska 104

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

DC Captain...

That Newport News market is #43 according to Nielsen's 2011 list.

Thanks for reading,
John

Casey
Casey

As a UVA fan, I can attest that this is true. And that I resent it greatly. :) Easier to find Alabama gear in DC than UVA and VT is everywhere. If only this decision would have been made 20 years ago in the pre-Vick era before VT's relevancy.

WVUASGOODASANY
WVUASGOODASANY

Hay Man, I just want WVU to get a fair shake, they are a diamond in the rough, and all this liberal sports media analysis is way off base. Our university educates as good as any and our fan base is better than most. Last Saturday was a prime example, blue collar and passionate. Besides we are a lot more like our Southern brothers than those ...... at Pitt !!! LOL :)

Casey
Casey

Morgantown is 283 miles from Richmond. 205 from Columbus. Way more than that from Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, etc.

Jason
Jason

UF is at the top of the Big XII for undergraduate rankings.

School USNWR UG
Texas 45
FLORIDA 53
Baylor 75
Missouri 90
Iowa State 97
Kansas 101
Oklahoma 101
Oklahoma State 132
Kansas State 143
Texas Tech 160

bob rogers
bob rogers

i was laughing at the reporting,not you........wvu won't get a fair shake here.....these boys have an fsu agenda :)

WVUASGOODASANY
WVUASGOODASANY

Yes Casey but I'm talking from the state too. Obviously surrounding states can pickup our radio and TV signals.

lancer
lancer

Are we measuring 200 miles as the bird flies or as the car drives. If its the former, I believe WVU has a a considerably larger number of television sets than reported.

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