Tuesday and Wednesday night games have become a staple of college football. The MAC embraced these nationally televised games as a way to place the national spotlight on its programs. ESPN has been the catalyst for these games, and it will remain so.
According to The Associated Press, ESPN extended its current contract with the MAC, which was signed in 2009, by 10 more years. The deal now runs through the 2026-2027 season.
Under the previous agreement, ESPN paid the conference $1.4 million per year. The exact amount of the new contract has yet to be revealed, but the previous number is expected to dramatically increase to reach levels close to those signed by Conference-USA and the Mountain West Conference. Each of those conferences receives at least $11 million annually.
Told MAC's deal with ESPN puts the conference "on par" with Group of 5 peers financially. Previous deal had them out of range.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) August 18, 2014
As part of the agreement, ESPN will hold all distribution rights for MAC football, basketball and some Olympic sports.
The MAC isn’t considered one of the “Power Five” conferences, but the league fills an important roll in providing content for a major television network. In return, the MAC receives the level of exposure it desperately needs. And fans usually get to enjoy some crazy high-scoring football games in the middle of the week when major college football and the NFL aren’t playing.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
(Hat Tip: Cleveland Plain Dealer)