Tales from the upcoming college football television apocalypse ignore the reality that, for one league, the apocalypse has already arrived.
Conference USA’s television deal expired at the end of the 2015-16 athletic year, the tail end of an era that saw major changes to market (bad) and to C-USA’s league roster (worse). The new deal the conference signed saw revenues drop from $15.4 million to $2.8 million — for the entire conference. Purdue brings home roughly 15 times more by itself.
The league was reduced to making due with table scraps financially and coverage-wise, airing most of its games in 2016 on American Sports Network. ASN ceased operations in March, and this week it was announced ASN will combine with 120 Sports and Campus Insiders to form a network called STADIUM, which will air C-USA games on Twitter.
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) May 1, 2017
Partnerships with ASN and Campus Insiders mean Twitter probably won’t be the only place you can watch C-USA games moving forward — ASN was syndicated on a handful of terrestrial television stations, and Campus Insiders is streamed through Sling TV — but it’ll be the most accessible place.
As we know, this will not be football’s first venture to Twitter. The NFL streamed its Thursday Night Football games on Twitter last season (while also airing them on CBS, NBC and NFL Network) last season to mixed reviews.
As the screenshot shows, many initially complained Twitter showed a timeline of tweets about the game down the right side of the screen, rather than each user’s individual timeline.
How will Twitter evolve its football coverage in 2017? Conference USA fans may be about to find out.