Dissecting the new ACC media deal

Yesterday I spoke with someone in the ACC's league office regarding the league's recent signing with the Orange Bowl. I think it's important for fans to understand how the current payout works to fully understand how the new payout will work starting in 2014.

In the current BCS, the ACC gets a payout of $22 million for the Orange Bowl. In 2011, the ACC received $28 million from the BCS as the league had two teams in the BCS: Clemson and Virginia Tech. These numbers will be accurate until next year’s Orange Bowl in 2013.

ACC & Orange Bowl media rights

In the current system, the ACC gets paid from the BCS and the money has a small part of the media rights included in the formula which comes to $22 million for the Orange Bowl. As of Tuesday, the ACC now is guaranteed 50 percdent of the Orange Bowl media rights.

What does this mean? Let’s use the media rights payout for the current Rose Bowl as an example. To be clear, this is not representative of what the ACC will get or has negotiated. This is only an example to illustrate.

The current BCS Rose Bowl's media rights are worth $30 million. If the Orange Bowl were worth this same $30 million the Rose Bowl was, the ACC would be guaranteed $15 million of that money. This $15 million would be divided amongst 14 schools for a total of 1.07 million per school. In last year’s model it would have meant each ACC school would have received $3.4 million each instead of the $2.33 million the ACC received in 2011. This is in addition to the bowl payout when the conference controls its media rights. The Pac-12 and B1G share control of the Rose Bowl and extended this agreement last week.

It's unclear what exactly these media rights will be worth going forward as the ACC has them out for bidding. Controlling the media rights means the ACC can have the Orange Bowl broadcasted on ESPN, Fox, Raycom, NBC or whoever has the highest bid.

Starting in 2014 the new system will have 12 teams and seven games. Four of these teams will be in the semifinals. Four times in the 12-year contract, the Orange Bowl will host the national semifinals. In the years the semifinals are at the Orange Bowl, the ACC champion will play in one of the other six BCS bowls as determined by the selection committee

The Orange Bowl will be broadcasted at 1 p.m. Circling back here, the Rose Bowl garners the highest media rights. With that said, I was told yesterday that the night games on New Year’s Day will garner more money for those that were wanting to know. This is to be expected as they are primetime games. This doesn't diminish the Orange Bowl in any way. As I was told yesterday and tend to agree, the ACC has to take care of business when on the big stage.

Future scheduling

Many have wondered why Clemson plays FSU early in the season starting last year. Yesterday I was told that each school has a certain amount of requests and this was the only spot available for this game. Clemson and FSU were offered to play last year the week before the South Carolina and Florida game and declined that request, which is why the game was played earlier in the year.

Nine-game conference scheduling

Yesterday I inquired about whether the nine-game schedule comes to fruition. I was told that all schools voted for this and, yes, the nine-game schedule would go in to effect. I was also told the league felt that this would improve the conferences strength of schedule. Some schools like Clemson and FSU have scheduled tough, but not everyone has. The sentiment is the ninth conference game equals this out.

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