Blog Entry

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



The ACC's decision to expand with Pitt and Syracuse has reportedly paid off with a substantial addition to their television contract's bottom line--though if the addition was substantial enough to justify the drawbacks of that expansion may be debatable.

The Sports Business Journal reported Monday that in the wake of the addition of the Panthers and Orangethe ACC has been able to "reopen" its recently signed contract with ESPN and negotiate a $1 million to $2 million annual increase for each of its now 14 member schools. Under the revised contract, each ACC member "can expect at least $14 million to $15 million a year," an increase from the current $13 million. The overall value of the contract is expected to increase from $155 million per season to north of $200 million.

The increase would bring the ACC nearly on par in annual distribution revenue with the Big 12, which the SBJ estimates currently averages $15 million per school, with the SEC at $17 million and the Big Ten and Pac-12 at $21 million.

But those figures illustrate why the ACC's expansion may not have provided enough buck for its bang. All four of those leagues should see their TV revenues increase in the near future, the Big 12 and SEC through their own expansion-induced negotiations and the Big Ten and Pac-12 through growing profits from their in-house networks. When the dust from the current round of expansion settles, the ACC is likely to still trail four of the five other BCS conferences (though they may have pulled closer to the Big 12, depending on how that league's negotiations go).

There's other downsides to the expansion, too. For one, the revised contract reportedly won't kick in until Syracuse and Pitt become active members of the league, which may not take place until 2014-2015 and certainly won't be in 2012-2013. In exchange for the boost to the contract, ESPN is also expected to exact a not-insignificant price: a three-year extension of what was already a 12-year deal, meaning the ACC won't be able to enter a full contract negotiation until 2026. (If the Big Ten and Pac-12 networks continue at their expected rates of growth, how wide will the gap be between those conferences and the ACC 14 years from now?) 

And though a potential $2 million per season is certainly nothing to sneeze at, shuttling not just the football team but volleyball, baseball, tennis (etc.) teams to West Pennsylvania and upstate New York on an annual basis will add to the travel budget. Then there's the fewer games between traditional ACC rivals in both football and basketball (though the nine-game gridiron schedule will help) and increased difficulty for any individual team to earn a championship ... all for a financial windfall that at Clemson equals not much more than a single assistant coach.

Is it worth it? Given that the ACC couldn't really stand pat as those other four BCS leagues pushed the financial gap even wider, John Swofford and Co. probably didn't have any choice. But the first time we watch Georgia Tech play at Heinz Field instead of Death Valley or the Orange disrupt what would have been a Duke-North Carolina ACC Tournament final, we're going to wonder.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Comments

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 8:44 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

"Can someone explain to me how the Pac-12 is getting $21 million? If you put aside Stanford's recent success in football(which history suggests won't last) and the ACC's recent struggles in football(which again, history suggests won't last), the ACC is arguably a better football conference than the Pac-12." 

This year a barely-ranked Big East team scored 70 points on your conference champion. The ACC's record in BCS bowl games is 2-13. The ACC is swimming in the crapper and it will be for a long time. Feel lucky there is a plate for you at this table and you're not paying ESPN to broadcast your games.



Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: February 7, 2012 5:09 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

This evaluation is too short-sighted, TV money is all about market share.  Who has better big market cities in its league than the ACC?  The largest concentration of viewing audiance in America is the Northeast and now with PITT and 'Cuse the ACC picks up even more market share.  From Miami to Boston is now covered by the ACC.  This is just the beginning of the NCAA Conference mergers, soon we'll be left with the seven or eight; ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Mountain West . . . then it's time for a playoof system!




Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2012 4:48 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

Can someone explain to me how the Pac-12 is getting $21 million? If you put aside Stanford's recent success in football(which history suggests won't last) and the ACC's recent struggles in football(which again, history suggests won't last), the ACC is arguably a better football conference than the Pac-12.  Miami and Florida State have in the not too distant past dominated college football in the same way USC has at times in the past. No offense to Oregon, but no one else in the Pac-12 is even close to USC.  Recent recruiting rankings suggest to me that Miami and Florida State will re-emerge as true national powers again in the not too distant future.  The Pac-12 doesn't have rabid football fanbases like the SEC and the Big 10. Fans out there can be as apathetic about football as ACC fans...you'll find lots of empty seats on fall Saturdays out West. Is it the Pac-12 TV markets?  Who tunes in for a classic Oregon State vs. Utah match up?

For what it's worth, ACC basketball is and has always been way better than Pac-12 basketball. Spare me the UCLA championships arguments...who else other than maybe Arizona has any real basketball tradition in that conference?  

The ACC should hold off on signing some low-ball contract that doesn't reflect the value and potential of the league.  They should ask for Pac-12 money at the very least. 



Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2012 4:03 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

So to all of those disparaging WVU now, here it is in black and white.  The move to the Big 12 will net way more money and have a much better prospect for the future than the ACC.  Travel budgets will be more, but this is a significant upgrade in income for WVU.  Nice work Mr. Luck and thank you
The ACC needed to better than this they are still way behind the PAC 12 and B1G and that is where the current benchmark is right now.  Watch for Slive to make a monster deal with the SEC additions including setting up an SEC network (something the ACC should have address with this negotiation) that will further the gap between the two conferences.

Overall I would be disappointed if I was the ACC and would demand better of my leadership.



Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

Much as I hate it, perhaps this will help MD save a couple sports they intended to cancel next year because of finances.



Since: Dec 3, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2012 3:18 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

Traditional rivalries are being killed so "the suits" can collect the an extra couple million that they'll spend with traveling to play teams and games that nobody cares about.  Way to ruin college sports ESPN.



Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2012 3:04 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

Think B1G!



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Report: ACC expansion to net bump in TV deal

So to all of those disparaging WVU now, here it is in black and white.  The move to the Big 12 will net way more money and have a much better prospect for the future than the ACC.  Travel budgets will be more, but this is a significant upgrade in income for WVU.  Nice work Mr. Luck and thank you.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com