Mid-week football in November isn't going anywhere.
The MAC and ESPN made a 13-year deal official on Tuesday and as part of it, ESPN's networks will televise 14 mid-week football games in November in 2014.
The deal covers the final three years of the original agreement between the conference and the network and an additional 10 years. The MAC Championship Game will stay on the Friday evening of championship weekend (December 5) on ESPN2.
"This is a historic day for the Mid-American Conference," MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. "ESPN and the MAC have a long history together and were visionary in embracing mid-week football which continues to be a significant presence on the ESPN college football calendar. The length of this partnership brings long term stability for the Conference well into the next decade."
The deal also includes "MACsgiving," which includes four games on the Friday after Thanksgiving. (There are two MAC games on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.) Thanks to the mid-week MACtion in November, there is only one day without an FBS or NFL football game in November. That was Wednesday, Nov. 27 last year. This year, it's Wednesday, Nov. 26.
As part of the agreement, ESPN will help MAC schools establish their own production capabilities to offer more sports like baseball, softball and Olympic sports via ESPN's ESPN3 online-streaming platform.
- - - - - - -