1) A really small piece of the NY/NJ pie is still a BIG piece of pie.
2) Better conference affiliation, like the B10, will eventually lead to more interest.
3) Factor in those living in NY/NJ who are a fan of a B10 team other than Rutgers. That's a lot of fans, I'm guessing.
The issue is the subscriber fees paid by cable providers (per household) for the Big Ten Network. Within the conference footprint, the BTN charges something close to double for cable networks to carry it.
Lots of folks in DC / MD / VA and the NY/NJ media markets already get the BTN as part of their expanded cable package, and the B10 receives a set price per household. With the expansion of Rutgers and MD, now each of those cable viewers will be worth double to the BTN. Additionally, the BTN pushes cable providers to make the BTN a part of the basic cable package in these markets (and they run spots telling fans to "call your cable operators" and demand the BTN on their basic cable). If THAT happens, it increases the amount of money the BTN receives exponentially.
It's, among many reasons, why Cincinnati isn't considered any kind of "fit" for the BTN -- Cincinnati / NKY is already considered part of the BTN's footprint. They don't add revenue by adding Cincinnati the same way they would, say, Georgia Tech (Atlanta metro).
23 Years and Counting...
Correct, CE, but I think it's an even bigger difference than that -- last figures I saw, a BTN subscriber in a non-B1G home state gets them somewhere between a nickel and dime per month. In B1G states, it was closer to 90 cents, and their near-universal success in muscling their way onto the nearly-everyone-gets-these-channels tiers means nearly everyone living in those states with a cable/satellite subscription is paying it. Multiply times twelve times millions, and we see where that's going.
Not all who wander are lost
If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.
As for WVU, I view WVU the same way as Nebraska. Tradition rich football program and loyal fans but adds little else. The Big 12 was also in a state of panic after losing Nebraska, Colorado, A&M, and Missouri and had to make a move to keep stability within the conference. TCU made sense given they were already in the state, but given the other options, WVU was the next available option.
Rumors swirling of the Big East Trio heading to the ACC. Announcement supposedly Monday.
What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?
All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.
As a UC fan I'd be elated to see UC join the ACC. Realistically I don't think UC would be able to field a perennially competitive football team in any of the other power conferences, but I do think they'd be able to compete in the ACC.
And while TV execs don't seem to care, adding Louisville, UC and UConn to the likes of UNC, Duke, Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame should make for one heck of a basketball conference.