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Mid American Conference and ESPN television deal

The Mid American Conference

Update - 05:18 EST - According to Sports Illustrated the new deal puts the MAC in the neighborhood, if not head, of the GO5 Schools "it (The Deal) does favorably position the MAC ahead of other members of the Group of Five (the American, Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt and MAC)."

Update 5:42 EST - The MAC has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning at 9:30 with MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher and ESPN Senior Vice President, Programming  & Acquisitions, Burke Magnus, on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 9:30 am ET.

Today the Mid American Conference and ESPN concluded a renewal of their television deal which began last may.The deal means that MACtion will stay a staple of ESPN's weeknight lineup for years to come. It also means that the schools of the Mid American Conference will see a long overdue bump in their television revenue.

ESPN will continue to have first rights to any Mid American conference home football and basketball games. ESPN values the MAC's midweek appearances. Once derided as playing on an island the games have affectionately become known as "MACtion". Most midweek MAC games pull TV rating of between 0.4 and 0.5, according to, which isn't on par with power-conference number. Every year however there are a handful of top-200 college football performances put on by the conference.

Out with the old:

The previous deal was set to expire after the 2016-2017 season and put one million dollars a year into the conferences coffers every season. Divided by the conference 12 schools that came to less then $100,000 per school.

In with the new:

The new deal is for and will continue until . With the new deal each school in the conference is rumored to significantly up their take.

CBS and other outlets are saying it's believed the new deal will be a significant increase over the old 1M dollar deal.

How Much Exposure

This year UB already has five games set for ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. The balance of UB's games will now be on ESPN3. This means that UB will have all 11 of their 12 games telecast on the ESPN network. One consequence of this deal is that WGRZ's two contracted UB sporting events will not include a football game.

So Buffalo will be getting more exposure but are forfeiting any chance they might have had to shop around for second and third tier rights to football games.

The new deal will keep MAC football games on ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN2 or ESPN3. It will also mean that the MAC will continue as part of ESPN's new digital network. The channels can be streamed to television via Apple TV or Roku, and they will feature live men's and women's college basketball games and replays of college football games.

More details will be coming out soon.