On Tuesday, the American Athletic Conference announced that the semifinals and final of their men’s basketball tournament would be on CBS for the 2018 edition of their tournament, to be held at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Most recently they were televised across ESPN and ESPN2.
The ESPN family of networks will continue to air the first two days of the tournament and will sublicense the semifinal and final to CBS.
AAC commissioner Mike Aresco, a former television executive who worked for both CBS Sports and ESPN before taking on his position as commissioner, scored a win here in helping ESPN gain more revenue and creating more exposure for the conference’s member teams by getting it on CBS.
Aresco is faced with the tough task of making The American financially solvent, but he’s working hard as the conference tries to change its perception.
With the current television deal set to expire in 2019, more eyes on one of the conference’s marquee events, on the heels of adding Wichita State to the basketball conference, will help close the gap in perception between The American and the “power five.” At the very least, it certainly puts more distance between the AAC and the rest of the Group of 5.