Are those haters/hacks from West Virginia sad that the Atlantic Coast Conference is here to stay (at least for the next 14 years)?
Those are some of the questions I had on my mind when the ACC announced that it and its presidents agreed to a grant of media rights for the league through 2026-27, effectively halting the exodus of any schools to other conferences – barring any lack of common sense by those schools. The ACC becomes the fourth conference to have such media rights, with the others being the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12.
Now what is this grant of media rights thing all about?
The grant of rights makes it untenable financially for a school to leave a conference, guaranteeing in the life of the deal that a school’s media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with a conference regardless of the school’s affiliation. Grant of rights is also considered to be far stronger and less litigious than a simple exit fee.
In other words, say goodbye to conference realignment for a while – if not for good.
Since the grant of media rights was UNANIMOUSLY (that means ALL the members of the ACC) voted upon, no one is going anywhere. So let’s just put those Georgia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke to the Big Ten/Florida State, and Clemson to the Big 12/Virginia Tech and NC State to the SEC rumors to bed.
Having said all of that, there are two schools that are negatively impacted by this: Cincinnati and Connecticut.
Those two schools have been hoping against hope that any of the current ACC schools would leave for greener pastures so that they would be able to take the places of those departed schools. Simply put, UC and UConn do not want any part of the conference formerly known as the Big East (the American “Whatever the Hell” Conference), aka Conference USA 2.0.
That said, there is STILL a chance that the Big Ten expands and takes UConn on the strength of the school’s location in the northeast. Its Hartford/Boston television market is very desirable.
And there is STILL a chance that the Big 12 will take UC as a travel partner to West Virginia. That would strengthen the Big 12’s presence in the Midwest.
Until then, UC and UConn will be praying and making altar calls (black church reference) for a better sports conference affiliation (more $$$ and prestige).