Just weeks after nearly being raided by other college football conferences, the Atlantic Coast Conference signed a new 12-year multimedia broadcast deal with ESPN.
The Associated Press reported that the deal is worth $1.86 billion, however, neither the ACC, nor ESPN would specify the value of the deal. But, when asked about the AP report, ACC commissioner John Swofford said, “I have read some things that have been written that have been quite accurate.”
The proceeds of the contract, according to Swofford, will be divided equally among the 12 member institutions, as has been the case with previous media contracts. The deal, according to Swofford, will more than double each school’s current TV revenue.
The ACC and ESPN announced the new deal on Thursday, July 8. The new agreement will begin with the 2011-2012 academic year and gives ESPN exclusive broadcast rights to every conference-controlled football and men’s basketball game, women’s basketball, Olympic sports games, and conference championships.
The agreement runs through 2022-23 and during that time, nearly 5,000 ACC athletic events will be broadcast on ESPN’s television outlets, digital and mobile platforms, syndication and more.
Raycom Sports, which regularly broadcasts ACC football and basketball games will still be involved and will continue to broadcast games according to ESPN, which called Raycom a valued partner.
George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports pointed out that this is ESPN’s first all-in deal with a conference, noting that ESPN’s deal with the SEC is not exclusive as CBS has some broadcast rights.
And with regards to potential future conference realignment, there are provisions in the contract that deal with conference makeup, so if the conference landscape changes, the ACC and ESPN can renegotiate to reflect any changes.
How this new agreement affects ACC football:
With exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football game, ESPN will serve as the national cable and broadcast TV home for the conference and distributor of syndication telecasts via an agreement with Raycom Sports. With the agreement granting rights to every matchup, there is flexibility where games can be distributed on a weekly basis throughout the season. Outlets will include:
- ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC: The networks will televise ACC games each week, including Thursday, Saturday and a Labor Day Monday telecast each season. The ACC Football Championship Game will continue to be televised each year on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.
- ESPNU: The 24-hour college sports network, currently distributed in more than 70 million households, will continue to televise ACC football. Syndication: ESPN will sublicense games to Raycom Sports and potentially to additional national outlets. As part of the agreement, Raycom Sports will produce and distribute a package of games for over-the-air syndication and for the first time, an additional package of games through regional cable syndication in the ACC markets and beyond.
- ESPN3.com: Exclusive ACC game presentations as well as simulcasts will be offered on the broadband network.
- ESPN 3D: ACC matchups will be part of the live schedule of games offered on the new service.
- ESPN Mobile TV: Extensive ACC content, including highlights and live game simulcasts will be presented on mobile phones.
- ESPN International and ESPN Deportes: The deal includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations across ESPN’s International platforms and domestic Spanish-language rights for ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour, U.S.-based network.
- ESPN GamePlan: The out-of-market college football service will continue to offer an extensive weekly schedule of ACC games.
- ESPN Classic: The network may televise live ACC games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations.
- ESPN.com: Extensive ACC content, including highlights, will be presented online.