According to this edited piece from the Orlando Sentinal about Central Florida’s future membership in Conference USA, football accounts for $58 million of C-USA’s current $80 million contract with ESPN. I’m guessing that Niners athletics doesn’t even see a dime of that, but I have no idea. Just found that a somewhat startling fact considering that C-USA, in its current configuration, is noted for its hoops.
[b]C-USA’s answers will come this summer when it sits down with current TV partners ESPN and ESPN Regional Television. The league has an eight-year, $80.6 million contract in place through 2008-09 but has acknowledged that its lineup changes necessitate a new deal.
As always, the next TV agreement is crucial both to the conference’s visibility and viability. In 2002-03, the league pulled in $30.1 million in revenues, and TV rights fees were the largest single source, $7.5 million, according to the league’s informational return to the Internal Revenue Service.
Football vital to league’s future
Football is integral to C-USA’s future. Football accounted for $58 million of the league’s current TV deal, though C-USA left $1.5 million a year on the table by not staging a football championship game.
Even with TV stars Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette and DePaul in tow, basketball was worth just $22.1 million of the deal.[/b]
Link: Orlando Sentinel [NOTE: site requires registration a la Charlotte Observer]