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American Athletic Conference inks $1 billion deal with ESPN

The American Athletic Conference has cemented itself as legit, in part by churning out quality coaches who have (and continue to) cut their proverbial chops in the league before landing Power Five jobs.

As of recent, that list includes Scott Frost (UCF to Nebraska), Chad Morris (SMU to Arkansas), Tom Herman (Houston to Texas), and Geoff Collins (Temple to Georgia Tech), as well as some of the top coaching talent in the game that remain in the league despite other programs coming after them - like Mike Norvell (Memphis), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati) and Ken Niumatalolo (Navy). The AAC even includes a coach that left the coveted Power Five for an opportunity within the league in Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia to Houston). It's also where Lincoln Riley got his first shot to call plays (at ECU) before heading to Oklahoma to do the same for a few years before taking over for Bob Stoops.

Seeing the type of coaches that the league churns out and attracts, as well as the quality of football being played, ESPN decided to sign the league to a $1 billion media rights deal over the next 12 years, the Sports Business Journal shares.


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That works out to an average of over $83 million annually, and is FOUR TIMES what the league was making with its previous deal - which paid the league just $20 million annually.

Under the new deal, the annual amount provided per school comes in at just under $7 million per year. Perhaps most importantly, the AAC didn't have to sign a grant of rights, would have kept schools from jumping to a Power Five conference.

The new agreement runs through the 2031-32 academic year.

Head over to SBJ for more details.