While we await the Canes' opening round of the NCAA baseball regionals (great time of year) at 7 p.m. Friday against Stony Brook, below is a statement released Tuesday by football coach Al Golden on the Atlantic Coast Conference's new Television contract through 2027 with ESPN -- announced May 9th.
The deal is worth $3.6 billion over the next 15 years, according to the Associated Press. Each of the league's 12 schools now are paid an average of about $13 million per year in rights fees -- but will eventually (after incremental increases) get an average of about $17 million apiece with the addition of new ACC members Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
GOLDEN: "The new ACC-ESPN television deal achieves many things that are essential to us as a conference, institution and program. The ACC is ESPN’s only all-in conference partner and this provides marquee Thursday and Saturday coverage with the multi-platform promotional power that only the World-Wide Leader in Sports can provide. There is no doubt that national sports fans tuning in to normal ESPN programming will be exposed to more of the ACC brand over the next decade than any other league in the country. The ACC’s footprint extends from Boston to Miami and, with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, it now encompasses nine of the top 25 media outlets in the nation. This increased TV exposure will help recruits identify with the University of Miami Hurricanes and showcase ACC football, not just to the eastern half of the United States, but to the rest of country as well. The ACC-ESPN television pact is historic in nature and a strong indication of the future of the Atlantic Coast Conference."
Wow. That's a very long statement, with some significant ACC and ESPN-pumping.
The Big 12 meetings have begun in Kansas State, and though it's doubtful anything major will happen this week, you probably are aware by now of the rampant talk regarding Florida State and Clemson (and, initially, spurred by TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte, also the Miami Hurricanes) being open to pondering a jump to that conference.
The Big 12, which voted to add TCU and West Virginia to its conference, still has not announced its pending TV deal with ESPN and FOX (as previously reported by SportsBusiness Daily being worth $2.6 billion over 13 years for first-tier rights, which means for nationally televised football and/or basketball games. The $3.6 billion ACC deal over 15 years is the figure that encompasses all sports). The Big 12 TV deal could eventually end up netting more money for each school.
UM has made it clear it is sticking with the ACC. Barry Jackson reported recently that the subject of exiting for the Big 12 "hasn’t been discussed inside UM,'' according to two Board of Trustees members "and they could not envision Miami being interested. One pointed out UM would need to pay more than $15 million in ACC exit fees even if it wanted to move."
FSU reportedly (Tallahassee Democrat) has a $20 million ACC buyout fee from the ACC.
Still, most of these decisions, when you get to the nitty-gritty, usually come down to money. I'd love to have a looking glass 10 years into the future to see how it all shakes out. But I'm wondering how you'd all feel if FSU, first and foremost, bolted for another conference. That would certainly shake the foundation of the ACC, and make things rough football-wise.
Also wondering how you'd feel if UM ever left. I remember when we first heard the Canes were contemplating leaving the Big East. It was thrown around for years, with UM saying "No,'' and was huge news when it finally happened. Now, with the landscape of college sports in continual flux, nothing seems crazy or strange anymore.
Will have some baseball availability Thursday at The Light, where we'll shift into full baseball mode.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN