Conference USA schools are set to see a significant boost in TV revenue with the arrival of a new multimedia rights package that was announced on Wednesday.
The long-term viability of the conference was questioned when TV revenue dipped from $1.1 million per school to $200,000 in the previous contract, according to a 2016 report by The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot.
The league’s members should feel a little more at ease with the new 5-year deal.
Wednesday’s C-USA announcement did not include financial terms, but the Sun Herald has confirmed that schools will receive about $400,000 annually under the new deal.
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The Virginian-Pilot was the first to report the bump in revenue on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s announcement by C-USA revealed that CBS Sports Network will serve as the primary rights holder. Stadium and Facebook will also carry C-USA football and basketball games.
C-USA is in talks with beIN SPORTS to also carry games, but that has yet to be finalized. If the two parties can come to an agreement, C-USA will see another slight increase in revenue.
ESPN was not included in Wednesday’s newly-announced deal, but C-USA will continue to have a presence on the streaming service, ESPN3.
Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig pointed out that the new package will be much better for the bottom line than some TV deals announced by other mid-major conferences.
“A league might say they have a $10 million deal with ESPN,” he told The Virginian-Pilot. “What they don’t tell you is $9 million is sent back to ESPN in production costs. So they actually have a $1 million deal with ESPN.”
Beginning with the 2018-19 season, CBS Sports Network will broadcast nine football games plus the C-USA football title game and eight men’s basketball games per year. The network will also carry the men’s basketball semifinals and the men’s and women’s hoops championship games.
CBS Sports will also sublicense some events to Facebook.
Stadium will broadcast 15 football games and 17 men’s basketball games for the 2018-19 season.