As the ACC Digital Network continues to grow, is revenue generation around the corner?


If you’ve been following the blog this year, you know every few months we’ve given updates on the ACC Digital Network’s growth, revenue potential, and where we think it’s headed. Our most recent post on the subject of the ACC Digital Network was back in September. With the year coming to close, I think it’s a good time to check in the ACCDN, especially after football season. You would think the SEC would have significantly closed the gap in views this past fall on the strength of the football product. That wasn’t the case, and speaks to the ACCDN’s growing popularity.

ACC Digital Network – 13,593,818 views 14,446 Subscribers

SEC Digital Network – 8,323,381 views 13,829 Subscribers

Big 10 Network – 5,441,290 views  Subscribers ( Not shown on YouTube Channel Page )

Big 12 Digital Network – 892,375 views 1,281 Subscribers

Pac 12 Network – ( Not shown on YouTube Channel Page ) ~528,000 in September views 2,261 Subscribers

When we discussed the ACCDN in September, we speculated there was revenue potential in this venture. Now based on some new developments, I think the revenue generation we surmised was possible seems to be right around the corner.

Most of us are computer savvy to understand views = money, hence clearly you want increased distribution.

In November the ACCDN reached a deal with NDN (an online content provider) to tremendously increase their distribution.  Here is an excerpt from that article…

“The ACC Digital Network (ACCDN) significantly increased its reach today in a distribution partnership with NDN, the 4th largest video property in the U.S.* ACCDN’s coverage of Atlantic Coast Conference sports and highlights will now be syndicated by NDN and made available to its 50.5 million unique viewers, who consume more than 600 million videos every month online across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.”

Why is this significant? From that same article…

“The ACC’s 15 member schools currently make up the largest geographic footprint of any major sports conference. Experts estimate that by 2030, more than 50% of the U.S. population will be in the ACC footprint.”

Well that sounds awfully familiar. John Swofford and several ACC AD’s have throughout the year repeatedly mentioned the ACC’s footprint in terms of an ACC Channel. It’s no coincidence that these same terms are used in the distribution of online content. The ACC is emphasizing this point of a “footprint” across their business and distribution models for television and online content, as they should. With schools covering the East Coast it would make sense to do so. The popularity of the ACCDN, as we’ve said in previous posts proves there is a significant ACC audience.

What about the money you ask… I want to know about the money!

NDN is in the business of video distribution and…

 Its technology delivers publishers a fully monetized solution and brand-safe content to drive engagement and generate significant revenue at no cost to partners.

From the NDN Site

NDN helps drive audience engagement while introducing a new revenue stream.

If you are still remained unconvinced, revenue generation from the ACCDN is just around the corner here’s an interview with AAC’s director of digital content. By the way it wouldn’t hurt the ACC if they made the direction of the ACCDN more transparent with a similar interview. Maybe one exists, but I haven’t seen it. Anyways while the AAC appears to be at least 2-3 years behind the ACCDN in development, their director’s comment are noteworthy.

SportTechie: What are the ways The American is considering monetizing digital and how difficult is it these days to create viable e-commerce elements?

Mark Hodgkin: What we are working on is creating a digital network that is a valuable asset….

….As far as the digital network, we’re in an interesting position because so many of our games in football and basketball are on national television. This provides great exposure for our membership but limits what we can offer digitally. That’s why we’re working on securing the best possible non-live rights possible and other outside-the-box ways of creating a valuable digital asset. 

In the past year I think we’ve established the ACCDN as a successful avenue for viewing for ACC content, and now the next step, revenue generation seems very close at hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first hard dollar figures start being released in the next several months.

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