With the Big Ten and SEC both boasting their own TV networks, it was only a matter of time before more major conferences clamored for the same spotlight and now the ACC is all but set to have its own TV network.
According to various reports, the ACC Network will launch by August 2019 with the conference extending grant of rights thru 2036. Like its deal with the SEC, ESPN will partner up with the ACC.
ACC Network will launch by August 2019 & ACC extends conference grant of rights thru 2036, sources told @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 19, 2016
The creation of the such a network has been in the work for quite some time.
According to Luke DeCock of the News and Observer, the conference will have it’s own cable channel and innovative online components, which is content delivered directly to viewers via the Internet, or known as OTT.
ACC commissioner John Swofford is likely to make an official announcement Thursday when he speaks at the ACC football kickoff event.
More from DeCock of the News and Observer:
The ACC’s current deal with ESPN runs through 2026-27 but has since been substantially eclipsed by the Big Ten and SEC. In May, Swofford said launching an ACC cable channel would likely be necessary to close that financial gap.
“That’s why ESPN is in the discussions with us,” Swofford said. “They like to make money, too. And we like to make money, as well.”
Some in the television industry have questioned the viability of another college sports network in the current television climate, but ACC administrators and coaches have pushed hard for a network for not only financial but competitive reasons. N.C. State months ago solicited proposals for a $2 million on-campus studio and production center designed for network programming.
With this move, the conference will no doubt greatly enhance its brand and visibility across the nation.