A pos­i­tive gain for Moun­tain West

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - [email protected] or­lan­dosen­tinel.com

mem­ber) from $1.1 mil­lion to $4 mil­lion.

“The new deals will pro­vide the Conference with greater ex­po­sure and sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased rev­enue, but most im­por­tantly strate­gi­cally po­si­tion us for the next ne­go­ti­a­tion,” MWC com­mis­sioner Craig Thomp­son said.

The Moun­tain West’s geo­graphic foot­print ex­tends from the Rocky Moun­tains to the West Coast and in­cludes Boise State, Air Force, Utah State, Wy­oming, Colorado State, New Mex­ico, Hawaii, San Diego State, Ne­vada, San Jose State, Fresno State and UNLV.

The MWC is the lat­est non-au­ton­o­mous conference to strike a new me­dia rights deal that in­creases rev­enue for its schools.

The AAC reached a 12-year agree­ment with ESPN last May that is re­port­edly worth $1 bil­lion and be­gins in 2020. The agree­ment is slated to pay the league $83.3 mil­lion per year, with each school re­ceiv­ing nearly $7 mil­lion per year.

The AAC has worked to re­brand it­self as part of the Power 6, hop­ing to prove it should be in­cluded in the five au­ton­o­mous con­fer­ences — the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12.

The Power Five leagues make a lot more money, with the Big Ten lead­ing the way with $759 mil­lion of rev­enue in 2018-19, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est tax records.

The AAC is also bank­ing on the abil­ity to pro­vide ad­di­tional con­tent to its fan­base through ESPN’s stream­ing ser­vice, ESPN+.

The MWC and AAC lead the Group of Five con­fer­ences when it comes to me­dia-rights rev­enue gen­er­ated ahead of Conference USA, Mid-Amer­i­can Conference and the Sun Belt.

C-USA re­worked a new me­dia-rights agree­ment with CBS in 2018, which re­port­edly dou­bled the league’s an­nual pay­out per school from $200,000 to $400,000.

The MAC is cur­rently in the mid­dle of a 13-year deal that pays the league $10 mil­lion an­nu­ally to be split among its 12 members. In or­der to se­cure its av­er­age of about $833,000 per school, the MAC agrees to reg­u­larly play games on Tues­days and Wed­nes­days.

The Sun Belt reached a deal in 2018 and re­port­edly pays each school around $125,000 a year.

These new me­dia-rights deals don’t in­clude Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off rev­enue.

The AAC is ex­pected to re­ceive $4 mil­lion for hav­ing Mem­phis qual­ify as the high­est-ranked Group of Five team, earn­ing a spot in the New Year’s Six Ac­cess Bowl game.

The league will also split a $90 mil­lion col­lec­tive pool with the other non-au­ton­o­mous con­fer­ences, which is re­port­edly di­vided us­ing a for­mula based on per­for­mance.

Four of the past six New Year’s Six Ac­cess Bowl spots have gone to AAC teams, with the other two go­ing to the MWC and the MAC.

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