College football is going to look a bit different in Conference USA next season as the conference, which is adding five new members in the coming years, is moving to a new media rights deal that will condense its coverage to two national networks and move many conference games to weeknights, mimicking the MAC.
Starting in 2023, Conference USA will begin new five-year-long media rights deals with CBS Sports Network and ESPN that will broadcast most of its October conference games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, according to the Sports Business Journal. The move is similar to the MAC’s current media rights deal which puts all of the conference’s November games during the week.
Conference USA commissioner Judy MaCleod hopes the move will increase exposure and make it easier for fans to find the conference’s games.
“Obviously, revenue is important, but what kept coming up with our membership was exposure. How do we maximize our potential and move forward?” MacLeod said, according to Sports Business Journal. “This is our chance to prove ourselves and then hopefully we’ll go back to the market (in five years) and increase our value.”
The move is big as the conference undergoes quite a transition as part of conference realignment, adding Liberty, Jacksonville State, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State to the league in 2023 before Kennesaw State joins in 2024 to make it a 10-team league.