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Billiken Volleyball 2024 - The Beaty Era Begins


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Looking at the box score, they just mopped the floor with MVSU (25-11, 25-9, 25-13). Unfortunately no way to watch it since Alabama was only broadcasting its games. 
 

For those who want a glimpse of where the on-line streaming world is leading college non-revenue sports, read on. I saw the SLU game on the SLU website had no link to watch next weekend’s volleyball games. However, I clicked on the host school, Central Michigan’s official athletics site, and they WERE apparently offering a way to see all three games. The link led me to a website called alltopcontent.com, which said I could create an account to watch the games in three easy steps. There is no app for this, just watching over your web browser from what I could determine. The fine print at the bottom of the website said:

Offer and Billing Terms: Try our service for €1.98 for five (5) days. If you don’t like it or you find that the service is not for you, You may cancel at any time in your five (5) days trial. To cancel, access your Account and click on Cancel Membership. At the end of the five (5) day trial period, we will automatically continue your membership on a monthly basis and the service will automatically charge the credit card you have provided the applicable monthly €59.99 fee, for as long as you continue the service. You may cancel the service at any time, cancelling the recurring fee moving forward. This page is designed and operated by MARTWAY LIMITED Kosta Xenofontos 5, Lakatamia, 2335, Nicosia, Cyprus

I think I’ll give a pass on this because I don’t know how hard it would be to cancel it. While I would think that any EU country, which Cyprus is, would be relatively safe because of EU laws governing it, Nicosia Cyprus is divided between the south part governed by Cyprus where EU applies, and the north part where EU laws don’t apply (feel free to look up the history of Cyprus, specifically what happened in 1974 on line for details on why if you like) and I have no idea how easy it would be to cancel this after watching and no inclination to try.

For a glimpse of where the on streaming content world is leading non-revenue college sports, it’s very illuminating. If you were a Central Michigan fan or had a family member who played there and wanted to watch the games, you would have a way to do it, but it would cost you 60 Euros a month, or 240 Euros total for the 4 month volleyball season. Not sure what the quality of the broadcasts would be, or to be fair what other content you would get, but there it is. Also, I’m sure that’s only Central Michigan home games, (maybe conference games? There’s a limit to my curiosity on how much time I am going to spend researching this). For away and non-conference games, I guess you might have to deal with and pay for more services like this.

Thankfully, with SLU being in the A10, and games being on ESPN+, one can watch fairly easily and relatively cheaply. There might be an occasional game where you have to deal with someone else if you were visiting a school and that school wasn’t in a deal with ESPN+, like the Big East. For them, if you wanted to watch non-revenue sports for a Big East school, it’s FloSports at $29.99 a month last I checked (no cheap 5-day trial either). Never thought I’d see a deal where FloSports seemed cheap, but there you go.

Next question, how secure is the A10’s contract with ESPN? How long will it stay in place? If it goes away, (and ESPN and it’s owner Disney are trying to cut costs and increase revenue for streaming services right now), just how expensive will it get to watch non-revenue, or even revenue sports for SLU fans? I don’t think many SLU fans would go for 30 bucks a month, let alone 60 Euros a month.  Food for thought.

FYI, 1 Euro equals $1.08 US at current rates. So 59.99 Euros equals $64.76 US

Edited by Lord Elrond
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On 8/26/2023 at 1:51 PM, Lord Elrond said:

Looking at the box score, they just mopped the floor with MVSU (25-11, 25-9, 25-13). Unfortunately no way to watch it since Alabama was only broadcasting its games. 
 

For those who want a glimpse of where the on-line streaming world is leading college non-revenue sports, read on. I saw the SLU game on the SLU website had no link to watch next weekend’s volleyball games. However, I clicked on the host school, Central Michigan’s official athletics site, and they WERE apparently offering a way to see all three games. The link led me to a website called alltopcontent.com, which said I could create an account to watch the games in three easy steps. There is no app for this, just watching over your web browser from what I could determine. The fine print at the bottom of the website said:

Offer and Billing Terms: Try our service for €1.98 for five (5) days. If you don’t like it or you find that the service is not for you, You may cancel at any time in your five (5) days trial. To cancel, access your Account and click on Cancel Membership. At the end of the five (5) day trial period, we will automatically continue your membership on a monthly basis and the service will automatically charge the credit card you have provided the applicable monthly €59.99 fee, for as long as you continue the service. You may cancel the service at any time, cancelling the recurring fee moving forward. This page is designed and operated by MARTWAY LIMITED Kosta Xenofontos 5, Lakatamia, 2335, Nicosia, Cyprus

I think I’ll give a pass on this because I don’t know how hard it would be to cancel it. While I would think that any EU country, which Cyprus is, would be relatively safe because of EU laws governing it, Nicosia Cyprus is divided between the south part governed by Cyprus where EU applies, and the north part where EU laws don’t apply (feel free to look up the history of Cyprus, specifically what happened in 1974 on line for details on why if you like) and I have no idea how easy it would be to cancel this after watching and no inclination to try.

For a glimpse of where the on streaming content world is leading non-revenue college sports, it’s very illuminating. If you were a Central Michigan fan or had a family member who played there and wanted to watch the games, you would have a way to do it, but it would cost you 60 Euros a month, or 240 Euros total for the 4 month volleyball season. Not sure what the quality of the broadcasts would be, or to be fair what other content you would get, but there it is. Also, I’m sure that’s only Central Michigan home games, (maybe conference games? There’s a limit to my curiosity on how much time I am going to spend researching this). For away and non-conference games, I guess you might have to deal with and pay for more services like this.

Thankfully, with SLU being in the A10, and games being on ESPN+, one can watch fairly easily and relatively cheaply. There might be an occasional game where you have to deal with someone else if you were visiting a school and that school wasn’t in a deal with ESPN+, like the Big East. For them, if you wanted to watch non-revenue sports for a Big East school, it’s FloSports at $29.99 a month last I checked (no cheap 5-day trial either). Never thought I’d see a deal where FloSports seemed cheap, but there you go.

Next question, how secure is the A10’s contract with ESPN? How long will it stay in place? If it goes away, (and ESPN and it’s owner Disney are trying to cut costs and increase revenue for streaming services right now), just how expensive will it get to watch non-revenue, or even revenue sports for SLU fans? I don’t think many SLU fans would go for 30 bucks a month, let alone 60 Euros a month.  Food for thought.

FYI, 1 Euro equals $1.08 US at current rates. So 59.99 Euros equals $64.76 US

I have a feeling that in order to keep services like ESPN+ going, Disney will have to create special price tiers to cover the costs (and probably have to have a little bit of a profit) of showing these sorts of games.  Down the road, I would pay $60 a year just for the ability to watch SLU's non-revenue sports on a streaming service.

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35 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

I have a feeling that in order to keep services like ESPN+ going, Disney will have to create special price tiers to cover the costs (and probably have to have a little bit of a profit) of showing these sorts of games.  Down the road, I would pay $60 a year just for the ability to watch SLU's non-revenue sports on a streaming service.

Disney {Iger} has been very public about needing to do something with ESPN. I beleive he is looking for a merger partner . I think it is premeture to guess what will be offered. 

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46 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

I have a feeling that in order to keep services like ESPN+ going, Disney will have to create special price tiers to cover the costs (and probably have to have a little bit of a profit) of showing these sorts of games.  Down the road, I would pay $60 a year just for the ability to watch SLU's non-revenue sports on a streaming service.

Most of these ESPN+ deals are putting the costs of production onto the schools.

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6 minutes ago, JMM28 said:

Most of these ESPN+ deals are putting the costs of production onto the schools.

Pretty much all. It's basically like YouTube Live with production standards and ESPN branding. Schools produce the content and ESPN hosts it, offering their brand recognition and convenient platform. That's why the Atlantic 10 distributed a large sum of money to each school a couple years ago to improve their broadcasts.

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1 hour ago, cgeldmacher said:

I have a feeling that in order to keep services like ESPN+ going, Disney will have to create special price tiers to cover the costs (and probably have to have a little bit of a profit) of showing these sorts of games.  Down the road, I would pay $60 a year just for the ability to watch SLU's non-revenue sports on a streaming service.

 

27 minutes ago, willie said:

Disney {Iger} has been very public about needing to do something with ESPN. I beleive he is looking for a merger partner . I think it is premeture to guess what will be offered. 

When the story came out about Amazon buying a stake in ESPN it was reported that Disney was looking to charge $20-35 a month for the new streaming service.  My guess is it is going to be much closer to $35 a month than than $20.  It will be interesting if they decide to role ESPN+ in with that purchase to encourage more subscribers or if they keep it separate in an attempt to have two revenue streams.  My guess is they charge us for both.

People thinking they were going to save money by cord cutting and going with streaming killed the cable bundle.  It is going to result in almost everyone spending much more money than they would have with the cable bundle.

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4 hours ago, cgeldmacher said:

I have a feeling that in order to keep services like ESPN+ going, Disney will have to create special price tiers to cover the costs (and probably have to have a little bit of a profit) of showing these sorts of games.  Down the road, I would pay $60 a year just for the ability to watch SLU's non-revenue sports on a streaming service.

Everyone has been looking at the big football conferences greedily expanding for more money, and while every word of that is true, it’s only half the story. The other side of it is that if you look at the overall picture the total amount of money being brought in by ESPN, Fox sports, and the regional sports networks has not been expanding, it looks like it’s been slowly shrinking due to cord cutting.  The cable channels have responded by trying to put money into what they think are the most profitable sports so they get the biggest bang for the buck, and cutting costs everywhere else. The current A10 contract was negotiated back when Disney was trying to make their bundle (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) bigger than Netflix, so they were gobbling up all the content they could, including every sport game the A10 and every other conference they could get to supply them with.  While they succeeded in passing Netflix in total number of subscribers, turns out that still didn’t make the whole thing profitable. So now they are in major cost cutting mode while trying to keep the most profitable parts, and here we are with the major football conferences all scrambling for more money, while the rest are waiting for what happens when their current contracts expire. Doesn’t look good. 
 

I’m not sure where this goes in the future, but paying more for what we now get seems inevitable. How that looks I’m not certain.  While I wouldn’t mind paying for access to Billiken games, where that has value for me is not the Billiken home games that SLU pays to produce, but the away games that the Billikens don’t produce and are unlikely to send a production crew on the road to film it themselves. Right now today there is a model for how that looks, just look at the Big East. Men’s Basketball games you can watch on Fox Sports, but if you want to watch any other non-revenue game, the conference has a deal with FloSports, which is currently $29.99 a month last time I looked, or $360 a year. I really don’t think that many people are willing to pay that much.  I hope someone comes up with a better solution.

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I know this is a pipe dream but why can’t the A-10 create their own network. The power 5 networks pay large sums of money to the member schools. A-10 schools would not command that. Work with a Fubo to produce. I would certainly sign on to a fubo for an A-10 network. Yeah I know I am dreaming .

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2 hours ago, willie said:

I know this is a pipe dream but why can’t the A-10 create their own network. The power 5 networks pay large sums of money to the member schools. A-10 schools would not command that. Work with a Fubo to produce. I would certainly sign on to a fubo for an A-10 network. Yeah I know I am dreaming .

Because it's cheaper and easier to run through ESPN+. You're also getting more eyes on your product by virtue of your games being listed next to every other ESPN+ game on at the same time. Fubo TV isn't a production company. What's in producing a second tier conference channel for Fubo? What programming are you going to air when live games aren't on M, T, Th? ESPN+ is the absolute gold standard right now for non-P5 and SLU/A10 moving from it would only be a disservice to it's current fanbase(s) and growing it's fanbase(s).

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11 hours ago, billikenfan05 said:

Because it's cheaper and easier to run through ESPN+. You're also getting more eyes on your product by virtue of your games being listed next to every other ESPN+ game on at the same time. Fubo TV isn't a production company. What's in producing a second tier conference channel for Fubo? What programming are you going to air when live games aren't on M, T, Th? ESPN+ is the absolute gold standard right now for non-P5 and SLU/A10 moving from it would only be a disservice to it's current fanbase(s) and growing it's fanbase(s).

Not saying you are wrong because my knowledge on how any of this works is zero. I do think ESPN+ in it's current state will go away. The power 5 networks in their current state are able to fill programing. They are able to function and are able to make payments to member schools.I am not looking for pay outs but accesibility. 

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5 minutes ago, willie said:

Not saying you are wrong because my knowledge on how any of this works is zero. I do think ESPN+ in it's current state will go away. The power 5 networks in their current state are able to fill programing. They are able to function and are able to make payments to member schools.I am not looking for pay outs but accesibility. 

I don't necessarily know the inner business workings of the sports streaming industry. I do however think I have a decent idea of what is best for fans. I just can't see + going away any time soon. P5 networks can do what they do because they have LARGE rabid fanbases. Football is a year round follow and basketball to a lesser extent. A10 doesn't have the size or revenue stream the P5s do with football to produce original content outside of live streams. If or when + ends, I would advocate the A10 strike a partnership with Youtube. What you might see is small conferences offering a streaming service like Mountain West Conference does. Other than Youtube, you're not going to get the accessibility you're getting with ESPN+. A10 certainly would be mistaken in putting themselves behind a paywall that doesn't come with extra benefits. ie: FloSports. I believe going behind a paywall like Fubo would be similar. I pay for DirecTV Stream. I don't want to switch from that to Fubo and I certainly don't want to add another subscription. Everyone and their gam gam knows how to use Youtube. 

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3 hours ago, billikenfan05 said:

I don't necessarily know the inner business workings of the sports streaming industry. I do however think I have a decent idea of what is best for fans. I just can't see + going away any time soon. P5 networks can do what they do because they have LARGE rabid fanbases. Football is a year round follow and basketball to a lesser extent. A10 doesn't have the size or revenue stream the P5s do with football to produce original content outside of live streams. If or when + ends, I would advocate the A10 strike a partnership with Youtube. What you might see is small conferences offering a streaming service like Mountain West Conference does. Other than Youtube, you're not going to get the accessibility you're getting with ESPN+. A10 certainly would be mistaken in putting themselves behind a paywall that doesn't come with extra benefits. ie: FloSports. I believe going behind a paywall like Fubo would be similar. I pay for DirecTV Stream. I don't want to switch from that to Fubo and I certainly don't want to add another subscription. Everyone and their gam gam knows how to use Youtube. 

My theory about what will happen is that ESPN+ will either be sold or spun off.  To me, however, that service, or something like it, is the future of how we will watch sports.  Network television is on the clock for disappearing.  Cable and its bundles are, whether it is good or bad, on the way out.  These developments are resulting in a crisis in sports television that is like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion.  The effects that we are already seeing are the Bally's debacle and college sports conference reallignment.

To me, the end result, after several more years, will be that all sports are on streaming and available through packages.  You can buy every MLB game for the year for one price, or just all of your team's games (home and road) for a lesser price, or just one game for a price that is even less (but a much higher per game cost than the rest).  You will also be able to buy an "all NCAA" package" or a conference package, or a package just to see your college, or just your college's men's basketball games, or just one particular game.  The prices will obviously be scaled.  The good news will be that to make this work, nearly every game will have to be available in some form.  It will also be nice to have the options and be able to decide what you want to pay for.  The question will be what it will cost.  I hope that interest in sports remains high and this situation results in more options for rabid fans.  The other side of the coin is that it could kill interest in sports by nickel and diming a fan's desire to watch a game.

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7 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

My theory about what will happen is that ESPN+ will either be sold or spun off.  To me, however, that service, or something like it, is the future of how we will watch sports.  Network television is on the clock for disappearing.  Cable and its bundles are, whether it is good or bad, on the way out.  These developments are resulting in a crisis in sports television that is like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion.  The effects that we are already seeing are the Bally's debacle and college sports conference reallignment.

To me, the end result, after several more years, will be that all sports are on streaming and available through packages.  You can buy every MLB game for the year for one price, or just all of your team's games (home and road) for a lesser price, or just one game for a price that is even less (but a much higher per game cost than the rest).  You will also be able to buy an "all NCAA" package" or a conference package, or a package just to see your college, or just your college's men's basketball games, or just one particular game.  The prices will obviously be scaled.  The good news will be that to make this work, nearly every game will have to be available in some form.  It will also be nice to have the options and be able to decide what you want to pay for.  The question will be what it will cost.  I hope that interest in sports remains high and this situation results in more options for rabid fans.  The other side of the coin is that it could kill interest in sports by nickel and diming a fan's desire to watch a game.

I think what you’ve laid out is great from a fan’s perspective, but does it work financially? Going to be interesting to see.

Maybe the future of sports on TV things should be moved to it’s own thread outside of the Volleyball thread? 

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24 minutes ago, Lord Elrond said:

I think what you’ve laid out is great from a fan’s perspective, but does it work financially? Going to be interesting to see.

Maybe the future of sports on TV things should be moved to it’s own thread outside of the Volleyball thread? 

I almost disagree that it's great for a fans perspective. The more these leagues branch off completely behind paywalls like Apple, Peacock, etc the worse off everyone will be. Imagine if the MLB, NBA and NFL got rid of regional offerings and EVERYONE had to subscribe just to watch their team play every game. That's what the MLS Is doing and it's totally bogus.

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17 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

My theory about what will happen is that ESPN+ will either be sold or spun off.  To me, however, that service, or something like it, is the future of how we will watch sports.  Network television is on the clock for disappearing.  Cable and its bundles are, whether it is good or bad, on the way out.  These developments are resulting in a crisis in sports television that is like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion.  The effects that we are already seeing are the Bally's debacle and college sports conference reallignment.

To me, the end result, after several more years, will be that all sports are on streaming and available through packages.  You can buy every MLB game for the year for one price, or just all of your team's games (home and road) for a lesser price, or just one game for a price that is even less (but a much higher per game cost than the rest).  You will also be able to buy an "all NCAA" package" or a conference package, or a package just to see your college, or just your college's men's basketball games, or just one particular game.  The prices will obviously be scaled.  The good news will be that to make this work, nearly every game will have to be available in some form.  It will also be nice to have the options and be able to decide what you want to pay for.  The question will be what it will cost.  I hope that interest in sports remains high and this situation results in more options for rabid fans.  The other side of the coin is that it could kill interest in sports by nickel and diming a fan's desire to watch a game.

Some of what you say will probably be true but sports will not be leaving traditional TV for a long time. NBC_CBS and Fox are major bidders for the NFL games. Golf on the networks is a staple. Who covers the OLYMPICS. Instead of developing expensive drama shows on tv that money is going to sports. Sports is one of the only areas advertisers will pay top dollars for because viewers will watch live and not fast forward thru. 

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5 minutes ago, billikenfan05 said:

I almost disagree that it's great for a fans perspective. The more these leagues branch off completely behind paywalls like Apple, Peacock, etc the worse off everyone will be. Imagine if the MLB, NBA and NFL got rid of regional offerings and EVERYONE had to subscribe just to watch their team play every game. That's what the MLS Is doing and it's totally bogus.

With the Cardinals faltering, City SC would completely own this town right now if people could actually watch them.  With the Apple TV deal their fan base is exactly what it was before they played their first game.  

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17 minutes ago, brianstl said:

With the Cardinals faltering, City SC would completely own this town right now if people could actually watch them.  With the Apple TV deal their fan base is exactly what it was before they played their first game.  

Not to mention all the insane financial and rule gymnastics they did to compensate Messi and drop him onto an awful team just because it's Beckham's and a big city. 

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1 hour ago, brianstl said:

With the Cardinals faltering, City SC would completely own this town right now if people could actually watch them.  With the Apple TV deal their fan base is exactly what it was before they played their first game.  

if u r season ticket holder u get MLS 4 free. if not & u have Apple TV soccer package is 71$. bring a family of 4 any pro sport team event u'll drop that easy. If one could get all 5 major pro team leagues for 71x5=355 a year for all pro sports cable would fold quickly.

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13 minutes ago, almaman said:

if u r season ticket holder u get MLS 4 free. if not & u have Apple TV soccer package is 71$. bring a family of 4 any pro sport team event u'll drop that easy. If one could get all 5 major pro team leagues for 71x5=355 a year for all pro sports cable would fold quickly.

Yeah that is great and all but the vast majority of the country doesn't get Apple TV+. 

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