Can't get enough #MACtion? Well, it appears ESPN can't get enough either. Wednesday the sports Goliath announced a slate of 69 weekday games to be carried on its family of networks, with the MAC garnering 18 of those slots, including the MAC Championship, which will once again air live on ESPN2 in December.
It's no surprise, considering how much people seem to love our conferences wacky weeknight games.
Here's the full slate of mid-week MAC games ESPN will air this season (conference games have an * next to them):
Thursday, Aug. 29:
- Liberty at Kent State (6 p.m. on ESPN3)
- Tulsa at Bowling Green (7 p.m. on ESPNU)
- Illinois State at Ball state (7 p.m. on ESPN3)
- Akron at Central Florida (7 p.m. on ESPN3)
Tuesday, Nov. 5
- Bowling Green at Miami (8 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU)*
- Ohio at Buffalo (8 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU)*
Wednesday, Nov. 6
- Central Michigan at Ball State (8 p.m. on ESPN2)*
Tuesday, Nov. 12
- Ohio at Bowling Green (7.30 p.m. on ESPNU or ESPN3)*
- Buffalo at Toledo (7:30 p.m. on ESPNU or ESPN3)*
Wednesday, Nov. 13
- Ball state at Northern Illinois (8 p.m. on ESPN2)*
- Miami at Kent State (8 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU)*
Tuesday, Nov. 19
- Kent State at Ohio (8 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU)*
- Buffalo at Miami (8 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU)*
Wednesday Nov. 20
- Northern Illinois at Toledo (8 p.m. on ESPN2)*
Tuesday, Nov. 26
- Western Michigan at Northern Illinois (7 p.m. on ESPN2)*
Friday, Nov. 29
- TBD (On ESPNU)*
- TBD (On ESPN3)*
Friday, Dec. 6
- MAC Championship Game (8 p.m. on ESPN2)*
The MAC helped proliferate the spread of weeknight football games a few years back, to the point where even the big boys like the PAC 12 are now getting in on the action. But we all know #MACtion is where it's at.
Currently the MAC is in the middle of an eight-year deal with ESPN that pays the conference roughly $1 million per season for the rights to airing it's midweek games. Divided up between the 13 MAC football schools it comes out to just under $100,000 per school. With new competition popping up (NBS Sports Network and FS1) live weeknight content is at a premium, so it's likely we'll see the MAC renegotiate a much more favorable deal. As long as the MAC keeps producing.
In case if you're interested here's a breakdown of how many ESPN mid-week games each MAC school has:
Interestingly, Miami has three games, while a school like Toledo has two--tied with the entire MAC Michigan.