For the last half-century, the halves have enjoyed increasingly more wealth than the have-nots.
College football’s schism between rich and poor is no different.
That’s why the new contract the AAC signed with ESPN should not be surprising.
Sure, the AAC received more money (a reported $1 billion) from ESPN but it pales in comparison to what the Power 5 schools get.
The 12-year deal with ESPN will be worth $1 billion, or an average of $83.3 million per school over the life of the contract. The new deal will run from 2020-21 through the 2031-32 academic year.
For Temple, the new contract will increase its yearly conference media revenue from $2.16 million to $6.94 million.
A significant part of the deal is the absence of a grant-of-rights agreement which would have prevented schools from jumping to a Power Five conference. Such agreements enhance media rights deals because conferences offer TV partners the assurance that the composition of the league will not change.
According to the Sports Business Journal, “the majority of basketball games and a significant number of football games will go to ESPN+,” which is a subscription digital streaming service. The contract will include some Saturday football games on ABC, while most football, and men’s and women’s basketball will remain on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU — at least those not on the streaming service or CBS networks. (I don’t know about you, but the $4.99 a month on ESPN+ is among the best investments I have made. For the price of a beer at Xfinity Live, you can get to see an unlimited number of live sporting events.)
Bottom line with this contract is that Temple is in a better position to compete with its G5 partners because of the recent football buyouts and this new contract. The other AAC schools do not enjoy the windfall that the Owls have had with Geoff Collins’ $2.5 million and Manny Diaz’s $4 million.
Still, unless some miracle happens, they (and Cincy, Houston, and UCF) will remain on the outside looking in for a long time.
Wednesday: Tidbits From Spring Practice
Friday: Mark Your Calendar
Monday: Glass Houses