ESPN and the ACC renegotiated the conference’s TV deal after the Syracuse and Pittsburgh additions (and potentially before). The new contract is worth $3.6 billion over 15 years. It sounds massive, especially considering the conference made just $3 million per year as recently as 2005. Though competitively, the contract does not change a great deal.
The ACC contract is worth $17.1 million per school per year, an increase of $4 million . That’s $5 million less than the $20 million per year deals signed by the Big 12 and the Pac 12. It is $5 million less than the Big Ten. The SEC has a $16.7 million per year, though that deal will be improved with the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri. The Big Ten’s first-tier rights deal expires in 2016.
This should kill any lingering thoughts the ACC will add Notre Dame in football. The ACC can’t pay more than Notre Dame would earn in the open market. It likely would need Notre Dame just to get parity with the second tier conferences. The new contract also does not insulate the ACC from the next round of conference realignment. The disparity should be enough, should a bigger conference come swooping in, to get the ACC team to jump.
A four-million increase is not a bad thing, considering the lack of leverage the ACC had with a long term ESPN deal already locked in, though, among the major football conferences, the ACC remains the clear fifth wheel.
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