Have to start somewhere…
Most of the offseason around the ACC has been about the speculation that the ACC Network was never going to happen. That the losses in the last year at ESPN over cord-cutters and a shrinking subscriber base meant that the Mouse Monopoly was not going to add another channel devoted solely to a conference. ACC schools would have to just accept the extra $3 million/year each on the present deal.
Never should we count out Ninja Swofford. Last month came the surprise announcement by ESPN and the ACC of the long-discussed, but seemingly doomed to never happen ACC Network.
ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the ACC Network – a comprehensive linear and digital network, it was announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper at the conference’s annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte, N.C. The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.
Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year. More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms in 2019 when the linear network launches.
Sure the cable channel won’t roll out in 2017… or 2018. But, it is coming.