ACC lawsuit against FSU draws support from SEC, Big Ten & Big 12 over disclosure of ESPN TV deals with FBS powerhouse

Photos courtesy of ACC website and FSU Twitter
Photos courtesy of ACC website and FSU Twitter

As the ACC lawsuit between the conference and the Florida State Seminoles rolls on, the other three power conferences – the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten and Big 12 – are in agreement to keep the Atlantic Coast Conference's TV deals with ESPN private. The three power conferences' brief in court filings on Wednesday explains their reasoning for keeping the media rights deal confidential.

"Requiring disclosure of those media agreements would make the Conferences' confidential strategies available to their competitors and other potential contracting counterparties." h/t Tampa Bay Times

ESPN took it a step further than the brief, claiming that if its contract with the ACC is released to the public, that will give its competitors an advantage in the next round of media rights negotiations. ESPN also claimed that Florida State would be harmed as well, as other networks may turn the other direction if the contracts became public.

A major factor of the contracts being publicized in the ACC lawsuit would be where the case continues. According to Matt Baker's story in the Tampa Bay Times, Florida law states that documents are public if they are examined by state lawyers for a public reason. This is a major domino to see what will happen next in the ACC lawsuit.

What does the ACC lawsuit mean for the future of college football?

The ACC lawsuit and the ruling on whether the contracts are public will be a major development for the future of college football.

Right now, only a handful of media rights companies are involved in college football. If the contract goes public, it would be a chance for other companies to get into the fold as they know the previous terms and clauses.

The Power Five conferences are watching as this could be a massive boost to their contracts as, in theory, more entities could compete for the rights. This could be a huge benefit to the teams and conferences if the contracts became public.

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