Who knows what technological advancements we’ll see in 15 years when 2027 finally rolls around. We’ll have flying cars by then and the ability to teleport anywhere surely… and Dick Vitale’s cryogenically preserved head will still be announcing Duke basketball. ESPN and the ACC agreed on a new 15 year contract extension for the league through 2027 after the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse that brought the league to 14 teams. Previously, the ACC had a 12 year, 1.86 BILLION dollar deal with ESPN. The new contract runs for 15 years at a total price of 3.6 BILLION dollars.
To put 3.6 BILLION dollars into perspective, that matches the entire total worth of the national donut industry… and donuts are big business. The ESPN/ACC deal comes on the heels of the announcement of the long suspected Big 12 deal with ESPN and Fox for 2.6 BILLION dollars over 13 years.
The key number though isn’t the total money over the life of the deal, but how much each school will receive per year. The new ACC/ESPN deal boils down to an estimated 17 million dollars per university per year. To help put that massive number in perspective, the ACC is still behind their major conference rivals, even though they received a nice new chunk of change from Bristol. The Big 10 and Pac 12 top the list with the SEC and Big 12 also still ahead of the ACC. Although the numbers vary depending on estimates, this is roughly the hierarchy of up to date conference income:
Big Ten: 22.6 million
Pac 12: 21 million
Big 12: 20 million
SEC: 19 million
ACC: 17 million
Big East: 5 million
As soon as the SEC is able to renegotiate their television deal thanks to the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, they will surely vault above 20 million dollars per year and possibly even surpass the Big Ten at the top of the list. Also, according to the Boston Herald, the Big East has a deal on the table with ESPN that could up their payout to 9-11 million dollars per school per year. (Yippee!) That is still miles behind everyone else amongst the BCS or “major conferences” but it’s hard to see the Big East staying as a major conference with Houston, SMU, UCF, and Memphis being welcomed into the fold.
As far as the specs on ESPN’s deal with the ACC, there are plans for an increase in games televised by the family of networks with ESPNU hosting an ACC Sunday Night Basketball franchise and three Friday night football games in the Fall with one of those the day after Thanksgiving. The deal is great for ESPN as ACC basketball will never be stronger with the additions of Pitt and Syracuse. However, these contracts are always about football dollars, which is why the ACC still looks up at the other major conferences in spite of their newfound income.