Wednesday, May 27th9.0°C
25936
25218

Lights, camera, #MACtion: Commissioner says 13-year deal with ESPN provides stability

Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher says the league's new 13-year media rights agreement with ESPN provides long-term stability to the conference at uncertain time for college athletics.

The MAC and ESPN officially announced the new deal, which runs through the 2026-27 season, on Tuesday. The contract reworks the final three years of the current eight-year deal that MAC has with the network, and adds 10 years.

The deal ensures a continuation of the weeknight football games in November that have become the conference's niche — and gave birth to the Twitter hashtag #MACtion.

The agreement gives ESPN exclusive rights to all MAC sporting events, and guarantees coverage of all football games on one of the ESPN television networks or its online network, ESPN3. There is also a sublicensing agreement in the deal that will allow ESPN to sell rights to MAC sporting events to other networks.

Financial terms were not revealed, though Steinbrecher said the deal puts the MAC in a competitive position with its peer FBS conferences — the American Athletic Conference, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Conference USA.

The American Athletic Conference has the most lucrative media rights deal of those leagues, a seven-year agreement worth about $130 million.

"We're in a totally different area code from where we've been in the past," Steinbrecher said.

The MAC's previous deal paid the conference about $1 million per season.

"They deserve it. They've earned," Burke Magnus, the ESPN vice-president of programming and acquisitions, said of the raise.

The MAC has been on a good run.

Northern Illinois earned the conference its first BCS bid in 2012, and made another BCS run behind Heisman Trophy finalists Jordan Lynch last season. Lynch finished third in Heisman voting, the best finish by a MAC player.

Kent State made the college World Series in 2012 and Ohio reached the Sweet 16 of the men's basketball tournament that year. In 2010, Akron won the men's soccer championship and Toledo women's basketball won the WNIT.

The conference also had three individual athletes win titles at the most recent NCAA track and field championships.

The extra revenue comes at a good time for the MAC.

The NCAA is in the process of giving the five wealthiest FBS conferences the ability to pass legislation on their own. The move will almost certainly lead to an increase in the value of athletic scholarships in those conferences to cover full cost of attendance. Steinbrecher has said MAC schools are preparing to follow suit. Also, the recent ruling in the O'Bannon federal court case could lead to schools compensating football and men's basketball players for use of their names, images and likenesses.

"We've been forecasting a little bit of where the world was going for a couple years now," Steinbrecher said. "That was why it was critical for us to figure out a way to bring this together. This is certainly one piece to in positioning our membership to move forward in whatever this new world of collegiate athletics looks like."

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

26401


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15050.81-136.59
S&P CDNX691.96-8.09
DJIA18041.54-190.48
Nasdaq5032.75-56.61
S&P 5002104.20-21.86
CDN Dollar0.8023-0.0018
Gold1187.40-16.90
Oil59.27+0.26
Lumber273.50-2.70
Natural Gas2.841+0.019

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.135-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.51+0.02
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.432+0.007
Metalex Ventures0.085+0.005
Russel Metals25.21-0.62
Copper Mountain Mining1.28-0.05
Colorado Resources0.105+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.008+0.003
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.15-0.02
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.96-0.24

 



26396

FEATURED Property
22916464 bedroom family home 359,900
$359,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Cash stressed seniors

Photo: Thinkstock.comFor many Canadian homeowners, their house represents the biggest portion of their net worth. Now, increasing numbers of seniors are starting to recognize the hidden value of their...


Do or do not

Photo: Thinkstock.com“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran Good planning is all about managing chan...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...

_



25482

26363


Member of BC Press Council


24222