Conference expansion paid off for the ACC; What looms for the SEC?

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) raided the Big East in an attempt to improve its position during the conference realignment process. Today, the ACC reaped the benefits of its Machiavellian policy—a new rights deal with ESPN.

Details of the new media deal with ESPN were released by ESPN and the ACC today. Of course, the ESPN press release left off the most important point—the cash. According to a Tweet from John Ourand, “ESPN’s new ACC deal comes out to 15 years for $3.6 billion. That comes out to a whopping $17M per school.”

The ESPN deal includes football, basketball and other sports including Olympic and women’s events. Of course, football and basketball are the most important revenue elements. Clearly, the expansion of basketball games available for television and football games helped sweeten the pot.

“The conference’s planned increase to an 18-game conference men’s basketball schedule and the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse will bring an increase of 30 conference men’s basketball games per year and two more conference tournament games,” according to the ESPN release. “In football, 14 more conference-controlled games will be televised each year. Per the extension, ESPN has the right to televise three Friday ACC football contests annually which will include a standing commitment from Boston College and Syracuse to each host one game as well as an afternoon or evening game on Thanksgiving Friday.”

The deal runs through 2026-2027.

What does this mean for the SEC?
This comes on the heels of a Broadcasting & Cable report that CBS was “getting substantial price increases for its Southeastern Conference schedule” for the upcoming football season.

What is driving the demand? Sipmly put, the SEC’s brand dominance.

According to the report, “CBS’ SEC package has a limited number of high-rated games with top-ranked teams and the threat of a potential sellout is pushing agencies to do business now and pay CBS’ price.”

This type of demand following conference expansion and the SEC’s talks with ESPN and CBS should serve as another boost to the SEC’s negotiations. Couple this with the bounty just given to the ACC, the SEC stands to gain substantially thanks to Mike Slive’s expansion with Missouri and Texas A&M