"Everyone knows about Oregon", was the comment recently from an ESPN analyst describing the ongoing recruiting season. Now that the TV particles that were such a huge part of the advancement of the Oregon brand have settled, some of the notoriety and numbers are staggering.
First, there is this; The BCS championship game was the highest rated cable television show in history. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/01/11/bcs-national-championship-game-scores-record-cable-overnight-ratings/78080
Sorry O'Reilly and John Stewart. More than 27 million people watched the game, which for the first time was carried by ESPN and not a traditional over-the-air network. There are a many things to conclude with this result; With DirecTV and Dish Network penetrating about 20 percent of the marketplace, and new technologies delivering programming to set top boxes, internet TV, mobile, etc., there are very few sports fans these days who watch sports that only have traditional over the air television. So few, that the networks have concluded that these folks are statistically insignificant from a revenue perspective. Of course it took the leader in the sports television industry to have the fortitude to test the theory, which I'm sure was researched heavily, in a practical manner with a big-time event. Look for more of this in the future as well with other sports programming that has been traditionally reserved for the big four networks. ESPN has always been tremendous about building excitement for events, but this year's championship game showed off the symmetry that has made ESPN so powerful and influential. The timing for Oregon couldn't have been better. A 35 day constant drumbeat about the game, featuring Oregon football specifically, and Oregon Athletics in general brings long-lasting rewards in brand worth, marketing and media rights. It really is true now that "Everyone knows about Oregon."
The TV result is also another indicating factor of the growth of the college athletics business. For years, TV and media rights have been undervalued and that is finally being market-corrected if you will. An example of this strength is the topic of this story linked here written by Darren Rovell of CNBC;
Oregon is clearly in unique and elite company when it comes to sellouts. Duck fans have been among the greatest supporters of their team and no doubt will continue to be in the future. You are the root, along with fans of all the other schools driving attendance, tv ratings, merchandise and licensing, multi-media and web traffic higher, which allows us to be competitive at the highest level. Every time you visit the website goducks.com, watch or listen to Jerry Allen's daily show at goducks.tv, buy a hat online, a ticket or watch games on TV, post and spread our message on facebook, etc. you are helping Oregon win, and for that all of us at Oregon athletics thank you.