Demand that the GSC reconsider their exclusive football streaming deal with FloSports
Recently, the Gulf South Conference entered into an agreement with "FloSports" - an online streaming platform which specializes in livestreaming college sports of individual conferences (such as Big 10 baseball, Big 12 volleyball, etc) as well as some minor league, semi-pro & international sporting events (such as ECHL & EuroLeague basketball). This agreement was both exclusive in nature and made effective immediately, which caused ESPN to have to cancel several future GSC football games they had scheduled. This decision was made by the GSC suddenly and without warning, and seemingly without any input from the fans of the individual schools themselves. However, the biggest issue that the majority of fans have is the high cost of a FloSports monthly subscription which is a whopping $19.99/month - over 3 times as much as ESPN+, where a lot of GSC football games were previously broadcasted. To make matters worse, because this is an "exclusive agreement" between the GSC & FloSports - GSC Football fans now have no other options except to shell out $19.99/month if they want to continue to watch their favorite team's football games. There does not appear as of this writing to be any kind of free trials made available by FloSports. The recent article disclosing that this agreement has been reached can be found here: https://is.gd/rbrxEZ
This anti-competitive, monopolistic, possibly corrupt backroom closed-door dealmaking by the GSC needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. For too long fans, coaches and student athletes have had no say so in the process of who gets to show our school's sporting events. And now, due to some shady deal-making by those running the GSC, we are expected to shell out big bucks - more so than any fans in NCAA Division 1 FBS are - if we want to continue watching our schools' football games. It now cost nearly as much every month to simply livestream a football game online as it does to actually attend a game in person. This is completely unacceptable. There are many schools in our conference that are trying to build their fanbase from the ground up. Others are trying to hold on to their's after several years of unsuccessful losing seasons. Forcing fans to pay $19.99 a month to watch a Division 2 football game will not build up or maintain our schools' fanbases - in fact, it will do the exact opposite. We will lose fans and our schools' football programs will lose interest. With a loss of interest comes a loss of talent and high caliber recruits. And without talent and good recruiting, our schools' football teams cannot be successful on the field. This ill-advised agreement between the GSC and FloSports is a one-way ticket to fan apathy, subpar football, schools exiting the GSC for better exposure (which we used to have on ESPN+) and the eventual loss of football as a GSC-sponsored sport. In this day and age - bad TV and streaming deals can make or break a college athletic conference. Take a look at the WAC, the (former) Big East, and now the Big 12. Yes, these are Division 1 conferences - but that doesn't matter. They all experienced (or are currently experiencing in the Big 12's case) much difficulty, turmoil and hardship over the past 2 decades - mostly because of either bad TV/broadcasting deals, or their inability to get together a TV/broadcasting deal at all. How many schools will wind up leaving the GSC when their fans start complaining at every opportunity that they can't afford or won't pay to watch their football games? How many schools will leave the GSC when their boosters & alumni stop donating money to their football & other sports programs because they now have to shell out $20/month JUST to watch their school's football games? How many schools will leave the GSC when fan apathy becomes so ridiculous that no one even shows up to watch the games in person?
This petition is put forward by the author and all signees hereafter and addressed to the Commissioner of the Gulf South Conference - Matt Wilson - and his three Assistant Commissioners. We strongly urge the Commissioner all relevant decision-makers at the GSC to reconsider their 4-year exclusive streaming rights deal just recently made with online streaming provider "FloSports". We - the fans, students, alumni, boosters, players, coaches, university staff members and other stakeholders who have signed their names below - do not believe this agreement to be in the best interest of our fans, teams, schools and/or conference as a whole. Again, we urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider this exclusive streaming agreement with FloSports and research any and all possible alternatives.
Most Sincerely Yours,
-The GSC Football Community
Michael White Contact the author of the petition
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