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ACC Inks A Reported $1.86 Billion, 12-Year Deal With ESPN

The SportsBusiness Journal broke the story this morning:

ESPN won the TV rights to ACC football and basketball in a bidding competition with Fox Sports that was surprisingly close, industry sources say, and as a result made the conference several million more dollars.

The back-and-forth bidding, which reached its final stages last week at the league’s spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., drove up ESPN’s rights fee from initial projections of about $120 million a year to $155 million, sources said, providing the ACC with more than double the revenue it was receiving from its previous football and basketball contracts.


That annual figure of $155 million dwarfs the average of $67 million the league was getting from its previous media deals, which expire at the end of the 2010-11 season, but falls well short of the $205 million a year that the SEC gets from its new 15-year deals with CBS and ESPN.

Raycom Sports, a 30-year partner with the conference, is expected to continue running the syndicated package of football and basketball by sublicensing those games from ESPN.

It's not SEC money, but it does close the money gap between the two conferences considerably.  The ACC's institutions will receive about $12 million per year under the new deal, up from the roughly $5 million/year they were getting under the old deal. 

No details yet as to how this affects the number of ACC games that are televised, though Lee Fowler said last week that the new deal would put every football and basketball game "on some sort of TV."