Following in the footsteps of many of the biggest conferences in college sports, the Atlantic Coast Conference and its athletic directors are discussing the possibility of starting their own television network.
Here is more from the SportsBusiness Journal, on the possibility of an ACC Network:
While its media rights are tied up with ESPN for the next 15 years, that hasn’t stopped the conference from beginning the process of deciding whether such a channel is feasible. It hasn’t had formal talks with ESPN, which would have to play a big role in any ACC channel since the network controls the league’s rights.
But ACC Commissioner John Swofford has quietly been exploring a branded channel and began floating the idea for it in the fall, around the time that Notre Dame joined the league in all sports but football. The Fighting Irish have committed to play five ACC opponents in football each season, but it will maintain its independence.
By having it’s own network, the ACC would be bringing in additional revenue that would allow them to compete financially with the other major conferences. It wouldn’t be collegiate sports if a decision did not involve making more money.
The big issue for the ACC will be convincing ESPN that it should help with the network. If ESPN isn’t keen on the idea, then any discussions of the potential ACC Network can be thrown out the window and according to the report, ESPN is ”lukewarm” about the idea.
If there is to be an ACC Network, it doesn’t look like it will be happening anytime soon, but it is worth noting that the early discussions are in place.