This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
If you've paid any attention to college sports whatsoever, you know that there's a vast disparity between the television revenue brought in by schools in the Power Five conferences and what the Group of Five members get.
But here's a look at a few numbers that emphasize the point. Here's the estimated TV revenue (on average) for each member of a Group of Five conferences for the 2016-17 school year.:
American Athletic Conference • $2 million
Mountain West Conference • $1.7 million
Mid-American Conference • $670,000
Conference USA • $200,000
Sunbelt Conference • $100,000
Alabama football coach Nick Saban will make $11.125 million in salary this season. That's 92 percent of the combined TV revenue for the Sunbelt, C-USA and MAC.
According to documents the Big Ten released to USA Today, commissioner Jim Delany is receiving $20 million in bonuses (over a number of years) on top of his $2.4 million salary (as of 2015).
Delany's bonuses are more than the total TV revenue for each Group of Five conference except the AAC, and they're 91 percent to that league's total. Delany's bonuses are 40 percent more than what the Sunbelt, C-USA and MAC combined make from TV in a year.
I'm not saying Saban doesn't deserve it. He did win four national championships from 2009 to 2015.
And Delany has doubled the Big Ten's total revenue (including, but not restricted to, TV money) since 2010 up to $483.4 million and rising.
The point is that the gulf between the Power Five and the Group of Five is almost unimaginably wide. It's a miracle if an AAC, MWC, MAC, C-USA or Sunbelt team ever beats a member of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC or Pac-12.
Pro Bowl doubles down
The 2018 NFL Pro Bowl will be simulcast on sister channels ESPN and ABC.
Great! Now there will be two channels on which not to watch this meaningless game.
And Burke Magnus, ESPN's executive vice president, programming and scheduling a smart, effective TV executive allowed someone to issue a statement quoting him saying, "The Pro Bowl has become a fun, week-long event that celebrates the game of football and the NFL's top players."
Yes, ESPN has to promote the thing. But that doesn't change the fact that the Pro Bowl is the worst all-star game in professional sports.
Good news, bad news
ABC will give viewers a "Game Night" edition of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" during the NBA Finals for the 10th year in a row.
The half-hour show will air after the games in this time zone, but they won't be talking about what happened on the court because it airs before the game in the Eastern half of the country. But it's generally a lot of fun.
Scheduled guests include Kevin Hart, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Jamie Foxx, Billy Crystal, Snoop Dog and former Utah Jazzman Karl Malone.
On the other hand, ESPN will give us extra, live editions of "First Take" on game days. They're scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. for Game 1 (Thursday); 5 to 6 p.m for Games 2 through 6; and 3 to 4 p.m. for Game 7. Assuming, of course, there are Games 5 through 7.
More Jimmy Kimmel is fun. More Stephen A. Smith is just punishing ESPN viewers.
By the way, Smith has been wrong in his predictions of who would win the NBA Finals for six years in a row. You'd do better flipping a coin.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune . Email him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.