Wednesday, May 09, 2012

What the ACC's new TV deal means

The ACC and ESPN announced a revised TV deal today. It extends and enriches the current deal until 2027. This was overdue since the market has shifted in the two years since the ACC and ESPN last signed. In 2010, the ACC's deal was second only to the SEC. Since then the Big Ten and Pac 12 received monster deals and the Big 12 is also expected to sign a huge deal. One of the big reasons the Conference added Syracuse and Pitt was to trigger a clause that allowed for renegotiation. Under the new deal each team will receive $17 million annually. Here are the big (and somewhat expected) changes:

Friday Night Lights I've been saying for a long time that this was coming. Not only will the ACC be playing on Friday nights, but BC will be at the center piece of this. Why? Because it makes too much sense not to play in those games. The WAC and Big East have been playing on Fridays for at least five years now and getting big ratings. With the NFL invading Thursdays and with the Pac 12 and SEC willing to play on Thursdays, Friday is now one of the lone spots where the ACC can get true national attention. The argument against playing Fridays is that the coaches lose a chance to watch high school games and that it is tough to fill your stadiums. I think the branding tradeoff is worth it for BC. Maybe we can even turn Friday nights into events and extend tailgating hours.

Under the deal, BC will host a game annually on a Friday. Syracuse will also host a annual Friday game too. Plus the conference committed an annual game on the Friday after Thanksgiving. So in some years BC could be playing in as many as three Friday games (at home, at Syracuse and at another ACC team on Thanksgiving weekend).

18-game basketball schedule The ACC already announced this plan, but now ESPN is officially paying a premium for the extra two conference games. The extra games help our wallet and RPI ratings but hurt scheduling flexibility. We will see fewer non-conference games.

A place at the table This is not in the contract but implied in the deal. Right now the ACC is the only major conference that has all of its media rights tied to ESPN. ESPN will be a driving factor in the evolving bowl and playoff scenarios. There is no way they are going to devalue all this ACC inventory by have the ACC shunned from the championships. If automatic qualifiers are part of the playoff, the ACC will be included.

I would prefer that the ACC had its own outlet like the other conferences. Being so aligned with ESPN limits some cool opportunities, but it is a great insurance policy. This deal offers short-term cash and stability and will probably be adjusted within the next five years.


chicagofire1871 said...

Atl,how would this deal be adjusted within the next 5 years?

Goberry said...

Friday night college football is ridiculous. When the NFL wanted to add a weekday game for TV, they tried Fridays and Gerald Ford said it would be over his dead body, as Friday night was high school football's night.
ESPN now wants a game every night of the week, and in doing so has made it so there are virtually no good games on Saturday at noon.
Forget the fact that A LOT of BC alums travel from out of state to go to the games and won't be doing that for a Friday night game.

Jeff said...

You had to think this was coming, as the NFL moves to take over Thursday nights...

I for one, will be traveling to BC from out-of-state for these Friday night games. For me, it'll mean taking a half-day off from work.

mod34b said...

ATL - why do you think BC seems to be singled out as the Friday night team? Is it for a good reason? no one else wanted it? I am curious to see if you ahve any insight into it.

Big Jack Krack said...

ESPN has ruined college football in many ways.

I thought we could only have one night game evey 4 years because of agreements with our neighbors.

eagleboston said...

Darn, only 17 million. I believe the Big 12 is offering Florida State 20 million. FSU hates that the ACC is dominated by Tobacco Road. Let's hope they see the light and stay in the ACC.

EL MIZ said...

eagleboston, i don't think FSU is going anywhere. they were an original member of the ACC, right? plus they'd lose an in-state rivalry with the U. they'd go from big dogs in the conference to middle of the pack, and for less money:

the big 12 TV deal pays each of its 10 members $20 million per season. if FSU were to join the big 12, it would presumably deflect with a 2nd team. that $200 million annual pot would then be split amongst 12 teams, which would result in $16.6 mil per season, or less than they are due to get in the current ACC deal. unless the big 12 could then opt out of its TV deal and enough $ to make up the difference (no guarantee as the TV market approaches saturation), FSU would actually be making less. plus they'd owe the ACC a $20 million exit fee.

this TV deal is good news for BC. i am with ATL on this one -- i think we need to do all we can to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the middle of the pack. having one game a season on a friday night will be a lot of fun.

goberry, i don't think one friday game a season will ensure that there is never a good game at noon on saturday. also, this is just personal preference, but i'd rather duck out of NYC early on a friday, head up for the friday night game, and then spend the weekend in boston than race up on saturday morning and just make it for kickoff.

finally, i haven't been to a high school football game since...middle school? i may have gone to 1 HS football gm during HS. needless to say, i could care less if this move hurts high school football attendance.

ModA36 said...

I suppose El Miz meant he could not care less. Ever to excel.

Big Jack Krack said...

FSU was not an original member of the ACC as far as I know.

Bottyeagle said...

There is no saturation in the college football television marketplace right now. Maybe at ESPN, but not overall. Just look at the change in two years, from around $13 million a school to $17 million. The numbers that the SEC and Big Ten will get upcoming will blow everything out of the water. The main driver is FOX and, more specifically, NBC desperately trying to get more live sports action. It is incredibly valuable in the marketplace right now (live viewing, no DVR), and ratings have been stable or up, compared to much of television, which is down.

NBC is desperate to get anything on their sports network, and will pay top dollar. Rights will continue to go up, look for the new "playoff" deal to be monstrous.

CatabEagle said...

I think night games are greatly to our advantage, and I'd prefer as many Thursday/Friday nights as possible;
First; It maximizes BC's tailgating advantages and minimizes our disadvantages. Much ink has been spilt over how our tailgaiting time-frame weakens the BC experience. On night games, this time frame is less of an issue. Further, the night games are great for those of us who work in the City. We can leave work, meet up with friends and grab a drink, hop on the T and run into the game, then go back out afterwards. Few other schools (outside GT, NW, etc) can achieve this.
Second, it maximizes the experience of being a BC fan in New England. A reason alot of us stayed in Boston, or came back from NYC/DC/Chicago, was that Boston had much easier access to beaches and mountains. This enables us to enjoy being fans of BC football without missing great Fall weekends in NH, VT, ME, or the Cape & Islands.
Third, it increases our national exposure. Currently, we cannot compete for eyeballs on Saturday afternoons with the Big 12, SEC, or Big 10. If we are the only show in town on Friday/Thursday nights, we will achieve far greater viewship, thus far better exposure.

All in my personal opinion, of course.