AAC, ESPN Restructuring Media Deal After UConn Departure
The AAC and ESPN are "hammering out final details" of their 12-year, $1B media rights deal that "kicks off next year after UConn opted to leave the league," according to Matt Murschel of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. UConn's exit "triggered a clause" in the agreement allowing ESPN to "amend the agreement if a school leaves the league, but AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco cautions this is far from a renegotiation." Aresco said, "Any time a school leaves, you potentially negotiate an adjustment because obviously you lost something. We lost one of our teams and right now, we don't have any intentions of replacing them, at least not for now. We're talking with ESPN and we'll reach a resolution and it will be amicable." Aresco said that most contracts of this nature "contain a composition clause that deals with the overall makeup of the league and when a member school exits, then the two sides can discuss the impact" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/13). ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions Nick Dawson said, "There's a process that's outlined in the agreement that we're working through with Mike and his team to address the departure." Aresco responded, "Nick's right. There's a process. We're working through it. We'll have a resolution down the road. It won't be far off, and we'll move on" (THE DAILY).