Gene Smith: B1G's viewership with latest additions 'is going to be ridiculous'
Gene Smith was just like the rest of the country on Friday, reacting to the latest round of realignment news as Ohio State’s AD.
As the Pac-12 continues to crumble, the B1G landed Oregon and Washington as additions beginning in 2024. That brings the Ducks and Huskies to the league at the same time as USC and UCLA. The Big 12 also landed 3 programs from the Pac-12 in Arizona, Arizona State and Utah.
In a conversation with Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch, Smith revealed he had an inkling last week that things might start falling after a conversation with Colorado AD Rick George in Indianapolis. As for the new additions, Smith admitted Oregon and Washington bring major value to the B1G’s television partnerships.
Now, Smith appreciates how the B1G has a larger inventory across the 3 major markets in the country:
“This is all about television partnerships,” Smith said. “I can’t say they run things, but they’re a big partner. They’re a huge partner. … It’s about money. We still generate more money through ticket sales than television revenue.
“In an evolving television space, when you think about where we were and now we’ve got Fox, BTN, CBS and NBC and the top three markets in the country with more inventory, the viewership is going to be ridiculous.”
Beginning in 2024, things will certainly look different across the country. The B1G will feature 18 teams with the SEC and Big 12 expanding to 16, barring future changes.
Of course, things could shift again if Florida State makes good on its threats to find a way out of the ACC’s Grant of Rights. As for the Pac-12, the four remaining teams (Oregon State, Cal, Stanford and Washington State) will investigate their best options moving forward.