Ivy League Long Tail

The company I work for owns (leases?) the multi-media marketing rights for some of the largest collegiate athletic programs in the country. So this story in USA TODAY about smaller colleges and conferences turning to the web to to deliver football and other sports, jumped out at me.

“Northern Arizona offered webcasts of home football games last year. Using the four cameras already set up to provide replays on the stadium scoreboard, the school added audio from their radio broadcasts along with continually updated statistics. Fans will be able to choose which team’s audio feed to which to listen. Games will be archived and can be downloaded to portable devices like Apple Computer’s iPod.

This fall, ESPN’s new online channel, ESPN 360, will show 30 football games, 10 of them, involving teams such as Virginia Tech, Purdue, Miami and Minnesota exclusively on that website. The site, available to about 6 million homes, will also have such features as chat rooms, statistics and online polls.

The schools don’t see the Web replacing television. Major conferences make millions of dollars from their football and basketball television contracts, but many also plan to webcast other sports, such as volleyball or swimming.


The Big Ten Conference announced plans this summer create its own cable channel for minor sports. The Big Ten Channel also will be available through the Internet, iPods, cellphones and other technologies.”

Note to Learfield Senior Management: Read The Long Tail to understand why and how this is happening and what it might mean for those of us at the “head.”