NINJA COMMISSIONER JOHN SWOFFORD SECURES ACC’S FUTURE WITH DEAL FOR NEW CONFERENCE NETWORK
BY ANDY STAPLES
Though there was plenty of speculation that the ACC might launch an over-the-top (direct to consumer) network similar to the HBO Now streaming service, Jordan said the plan was always to create a linear channel. “There’s not an over-the-top model that has been proven successful,” Jordan said. “Even ones that are successful are not what they thought they’d be.” So while the ACC will have the digital capability to shift with the times, it also will have the cachet provided by its own channel. More importantly, it will have the stability Swofford has sought since he began pondering how to secure the league’s future in 2003.
But the ACC Network means more than money. Duke athletics director Kevin White, chair of the ACC’s TV committee put it like this:
“We can’t be a real Power Five player without a network.”
What an ACC Network means as the Big 12 is now alone without a channel
Even though it was under a bit of pressure, ESPN and the ACC got this deal done
The ACC has teams in nine states – including some very heavily-populated areas – that total about 29 million cable and satellite subscribers. The question with all of these conference channels is whether there’s enough viewership demand to get the desired subscription rates, especially as more people cut the cord with cable and satellite TV.
It’s a package deal along with a nine-year grant of rights extension through 2035-36 with the league’s longtime TV rights partner.