Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New TV Deal Starts in 2019 Conference Basketball Games Will Rise to 20

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New TV Deal Starts in 2019 Conference Basketball Games Will Rise to 20

Article excerpt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It has been a common refrain at past ACC media days to hear coaches and administrators tout the league's on-field performance as equal or better than any other power conference.

This year, commissioner John Swofford announced plans that should ensure it stays near the top of the NCAA's power structure off the field, too.

The ACC will partner with ESPN to create a linear cable television network, set to launch by August 2019, Swofford said to kick off the league's football media days Thursday. It will join three other power conferences - the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 - that already have their own TV networks.

The move was part of a new media agreement the conference signed with ESPN, which runs through 2035-36. The deal also includes an extension of the league's grant of media rights, which effectively ensures conference stability for the duration of the contract.

"There's no question that these new agreements with ESPN competitively position the Atlantic Coast Conference for the long-term, both from a financial perspective and from a programming content," Swofford said.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the network is expected to make the ACC competitive with the Big Ten and SEC in terms of revenue distribution to member schools. The Daily Press (Va.) reported that Notre Dame will receive full share of ACC Network revenue.

"We enter into this very excited that we're going to create an asset for ESPN, that it will be a financial asset," ESPN president John Skipper said.

As far as programming goes, Swofford said he expects the ACC Network to broadcast 450 live events annually, including 40 football games and 150 men's and women's basketball games.

To add to that inventory, the league will move from 18 to 20 conference men's basketball games in 2019-20, the first year of the network.

Swofford said there was some "periodic" talk about going to nine conference football games per season, but the plan was to remain at eight for now. …

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