The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that the presidents of it’s current and future 15-member institutions have agreed upon a grant of media rights Monday that should bring stability to the conference for the foreseeable future.
Under a grant of media rights, a school’s media rights and in turn all of its ensuing revenue will be forfeited to the ACC for the remaing length of the contract, which according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com runs through 2026-27.
“This announcement further highlights the continued solidarity and commitment by our member institutions,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The Council of Presidents has shown tremendous leadership in insuring the ACC is extremely well positioned with unlimited potential.”
The 15 schools included several new members like Syracuse and Pittsburgh as well as future schools like Louisville and Notre Dame.
These sort of deals have been used by several other conferences looking to head off any expansion chatter. The ACC now joins the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 as conferences with a grant of media rights deal. The Southeastern Conference remains the only major college conference not to have a deal in place.
The David Glenn Show out of North Carolina was the first to report the deal.
The move effectively puts an end to any future discussions surrounding teams like Florida State and Clemson and their futures with the ACC. Both schools have been rumored as possible expansion candidates for leagues like the Big 12.
Under the new ACC television deal with ESPN, schools will reportedly receive anywhere from $17-$18 million annually and losing out on that type of money over the next 14 years would be too costly for most school’s to even consider.
The move also alleviates the need for an exit fee.
In the past, the ACC has increased its mandated exit fee from $20 million to close to $50 million for any member wishing to leave the league. It was an unpopular solution among several schools including Maryland and Florida State, which both voted against the increase. Maryland is currently fighting the fee through legal channels.
Monday’s news slows down any conference realignmenttalk, at least among the four major conferences. Any future realignment moves among the Big Five would now center on schools from leagues like the American Athletic Conference, the Mountain West, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference or Sun Belt.
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