Financial terms of the contract, which will run throughwere not disclosed. More than conference-controlled games will air annually on the networks, and more than 1, events will be telecast throughout the duration of the contract. At least 1, American events will be featured on the platform beginning in and in each subsequent year of the contract. A similar number of Thursday and Friday contests.
That kind of money will help pay a lot of training table meals, facility upgrades and other necessities. Then consider that the new contract will virtually triple the amount of money AAC schools are receiving for their media rights under the current deal.
Other sports will be available on ESPN-plus, a subscription digital service, with more than 1, AAC events scheduled to be broadcast by the third year of the deal.
That could end up paying even greater dividends in the areas of recruiting, fundraising and brand recognition. More money coming in means more money to hire and keep better assistant coaches in football and perhaps, even an indoor practice facility.
It means a greater recruiting budget for Joe Dooley and his staff to go out and surround All-AAC freshman basketball star Jayden Gardner with more talent. It also means stability for a conference whose success leaves it vulnerable to poaching by other leagues — especially the Big 12, which has long been rumored to be eying AAC members Cincinnati, Memphis and Houston.
It has yet to be announced whether the new contract will require member schools to sign a grant of rights, a document that makes it all but impossible for anyone to leave for the length of the contract.
Big-time college athletics has turned into an arms race centered around super sized coaching contracts, modern facilities and high-tech marketing campaigns.