Compilation: Not everyone loves the new ACC TV deal
The ACC made national headlines (the league even trended nationwide on Twitter) on Wednesday afternoon with the announcement of an extended TV deal with ESPN that will take the league through 2026-27 and mean approximately $17 million per school. The immediate reaction, penned by David Teel, who has quotes from John Swofford, is to say that a 30% increase in TV rights fees seems like an overwhelming positive. As Teel noted via Twitter, in February the Sports Business Journal projected the league schools would net $14-15 million per year in the next television contract, so $17 million seems like a windfall.
But hold on a second. Given the nationwide explosion in rights fees, and considering what the league gave up to ESPN, is this really such a great deal? Not everyone is convinced. Forbes compared the new ACC deal to some of the other pending contracts and found the league would likely lag behind the Pac-12 and Big XII in per-school payout, to say nothing of CBS-rich SEC. That's significant in a week that has seen more expansion rumors kick up, most notably around Florida State and the Big XII. The Seminoles' athletic department is facing a $2.4 million budget shortfall, and the Orlando Sentinel gave an illuminating take on what the new ACC deal might mean--or not mean--to FSU. Their takeaway? "If you’re FSU, you are very happy to see a bump in the ACC television deal, but there are reasons you can’t be too happy with the way the finances add up." The Seminoles, it seems, are facing "fairly drastic" budget cuts next year. A recent Warchant.com report painted a somewhat bleak outlook for FSU's finances.
Which means we haven't heard the last of the expansion rumors. OrangeBloods.com, which is closely tied to Texas athletics and has consistently had solid reports on conference expansion, laid out the case for FSU to the Big XII yesterday. It's a long and somewhat complicated read, but a summary is this: if money is FSU's driving force, the new television deal in the ACC isn't likely to solve all their problems.