UConn expresses reservations about AAC media deal with ESPN

UConn expresses reservations about AAC media deal with ESPN
FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2017, file photo, American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco, center, talks with Connecticut athletic director David Benedict, right, before an NCAA college basketball game between UConn and South Carolina, in Storrs, Conn.Aresco says the league's new media rights deal with ESPN gives the AAC a platform similar to having its own branded network. The American and ESPN announced a 12-year agreement that runs through the 2031-32 school year. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut is expressing reservations about a new media-rights deal that could force fans to pay an added subscription fee to watch many of the school’s football and basketball games.

The billion, 12-year deal between the American Athletic Conference and ESPN gives the sports media giant the rights to almost all AAC sporting events, including UConn men’s and women’s basketball games, many of which are now aired on the SNY network as part of a regional deal.

ESPN says it’s willing to discuss farming out some games to SNY, but emphasized that much of its AAC content will go to its direct-to-viewer subscription service, ESPN-plus.

UConn issued a statement saying parts of the deal are “not in the best interest of our fan base or representative of maintaining and building our brand.”