Jim Young takes a closer look at the ACC/ESPN TV deal

While it was widely reported Monday that the ACC had reached a new TV deal with ESPN, many of the details of that deal (aside from the money part of the equation) were left somewhat up in the air. As more details of the deal begin to come out during the next few days and once there is an official announcement from the ACC or ESPN, many of those gray areas will become much more black and white.

Jim Young of the ACC Sports Journal took the time Monday to talk about the potential for an ACC Network. This is a good read and helps clarify some of those details which will have a major impact on how ACC fans watch their favorite sports in the future.

The ACC Network?

One particularly interesting aspect to the ACC’s new television deal is the name of the league’s new regional syndication package with Raycom.

According to a source familar with the deal, it will be called the ACC Network.

Don’t jump to the conclusion, though, that the ACC is following in the footsteps of the Big Ten here. Rather, given that ESPN is the main partner and that the “network” is part of a regional syndication package, a closer model is likely the SEC network. In other words, this move by the ACC is about branding.

There have been some discussions about the possibility of revenue-sharing between the ACC and Raycom should the distribution of the ACC Network increase during the life of the 12-year deal, but no decisions have been made on that front. Right now, the ACC Network would have about 27 million possible viewers.

ACC & Other

7 Responses to Jim Young takes a closer look at the ACC/ESPN TV deal

  1. Alpha Wolf 05/18/2010 at 9:07 AM #

    The ACC should have created its own TV network, or at least shared one with the Pac-10.

    Now, they are going to absolutely be second fiddle to the SEC where ESPN is concerned, save for Duke-UNC weeks in hoops. In football, forget it.

    Essentially, the ACC has bought into security but limited its growth options for the next 12 years in so doing.

    So much for bold leadership.

  2. Plz2BStateFan 05/18/2010 at 9:56 AM #

    ^could you expand on that thought for everyone. Specifically how a partnership with the Pac-10 or some other network would have benefited the ACC more than the path they are currently taking?

  3. waxhaw 05/18/2010 at 11:32 AM #

    I’d rather be second fiddle to the SEC on ESPN instead of stuck on NFL Network or Versus.

  4. Texpack 05/18/2010 at 12:29 PM #

    I think the general view point that Alpha has on this is that the exclusivity of a true ACC Network or PAC-10/ACC Network would have generated more revenue for the ACC in the long run. You make more $$$ when you eliminate the middle man, in this case ESPN. You also take on the risk that you won’t be able to get cable systems to carry your channel anywhere in in the central time zone for example.

    We all saw the drooling over the SEC on the Disney Sports Channel as soon as ESPN inked their deal with the SEC. There was also an increase in bad mouthing ACC Football at that time. I think the most beneficial portion of this deal is the fact that ESPN talking heads will be a lot less likely to run down ACC football now that it is a part of their programming.

  5. nav 05/18/2010 at 12:51 PM #

    I would have to think that with the iron fist that companies list Time Warner keep on their programming it could have taken years of negotiations just to get the “ACC/PAC 10 Network” in their program listings. Example: NFL Network still isn’t on TWC.

    I feel that in the end the ACC made the right choice. Especially given the mediocrity that the conf has shown in fb and bb, ignore the fluke championship, over the last couple of years.

  6. Alpha Wolf 05/18/2010 at 2:32 PM #

    ^ I view it as something that would be similar to the Big Ten Network, which struggled obtaining carriage at first but has now made deals with the major cable networks and also the satellite service operators. As a result, Big Ten sports are on TV 24/7/365 nationally, and that in turn helps their recuiting not only for the revenue sports, but also the non-revenue sports.

    With ESPN, the ACC’s marquee teams will be the only ones highlighted, and that will of course help them. It will not help the ones that are not given ESPN’s limelight and in fact, it could hurt them in the long run, because they will be perpetually in an underdog’s role so far as the Four Letter Network is concerned.

    It is also a missed opportunity to grow baseball and women’s basketball coverage, sports that ESPN will hardly ever cover, even for the big players. I look at those two as potential growth properties, but now that’s not going to happen.

    Even though there is a Big Ten Network, note that the Big Ten still has a presence on ESPN, and it still has a presence on the broadcast networks to boot. What the cable network has done is expand coverage of all the teams, not just the Ohio States and the Michigans of their conference.

  7. 61Packer 05/18/2010 at 8:11 PM #

    I agree with Alpha Wolf above. NCSU has already been hurt by ESPN because just about every game we play that’s on ESPN goes to ESPNU, which has “second tier” written all over it. I’d much rather see the Pack on Fox’s Sunday Night national package rather than being on a second-rate channel like ESPNU, no doubt being bumped to less favorable times than the higher-rated ACC programs like Duke, UNC and Maryland.

    The Big Ten Network’s first game was the Appalachian State-Michigan game. What a launch that was. This network is on my basic DirecTV package and is a top-notch production. You can see all kinds of Big Ten games plus interesting programs on the conference schools, not just the top revenue sports and the top two or three schools like the ACC will be when ESPN gets hold of this package.

    And for NCSU ticketholders, especially in basketball, will we now be stuck with a bunch of 9pm weeknight starts on ESPNU? And will football ticketholders be stuck with a bunch of noon starts in September (like the Akron game a few years ago)?

    When you run behind the big dogs, the view from the back, where we’ll certainly be on ESPN, will look pretty crappy, and will likely never change.

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