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Jan
28
2014

ACC Network moves another step closer?

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As we’ve maintained for quite some time on this blog, it’s not a matter of if for an ACC Network it’s a matter of when. Today we got another clue on the current status, and we should be hearing more in the next few days and weeks. Here’s why, in a story from AJC.com on a proposal for the ACC to have a 9 game schedule, and umm… haven’t we been through this before? 9 game schedule for the ACC, oh Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and maybe Louisville won’t like this because they play SEC Rivals at the end of year.

The schedule really is to inflexible for the ACC.

There’s a twist this time with the network discussion though. ESPN may make it a negotiating point in starting a network.  From the AJC article, Georgia Tech AD Mike Bobinski had this to say.

At the conference’s meetings this week, the conference and ESPN are expected to have an update on where things stand in regards to a possible ACC channel. Should it go forward, Bobinski said, ESPN will likely want more “inventory” to put on the channel, meaning an additional conference game.

Now it’s interesting that Georgia Tech, possibly one of the programs to be against a 9 game conference schedule has now seemed to have  come around on the subject. I don’t think Louisville will really care either, as they are just thrilled to be in the ACC and their schedule is already way upgraded over anything they’ve had in the past.

“It wouldn’t be the worst thing to have an additional ACC game as opposed to hunting around the country” for a non-conference game, Bobinski said. 

If ESPN wants an 9th ACC Conference in order to start a network, you can bet it’s going happen. With Georgia Tech seemingly in the fold, only Florida State and Clemson may put up any resistance. I doubt with the potential revenue of a network at stake Clemson and FSU would fight for very long if at all. Clemson and FSU can maintain their 7 game home schedule, but it would severely limit their OOC options. Something has to give in this case, either a lose home game from time to time or the schedule goes to 13 games.

Notre Dame is still part of the scheduling picture too. It will take some creativity here, but I have a feeling all Power 5 conferences are going to end up at 9 conference games.

The bottom line is this… from the same AJC article.

But, TV money may trump. The GTAA projects it will receive $22.2 million from the ACC in the 2015 fiscal year. (That’s $5.5 million more than was previously projected. The increase is due in part to the league signing its grant of rights, which was worth about $1.1 million per school from ESPN.) That is largely ESPN cash. That number would increase in the future if plans for an ACC network are realized.

I expect there will be a little bit more information following this week’s ACC winter meetings, but it seems bit by bit things continue to move forward on a network… Oh you wanted some dates? David Teel is one of the more tied in journalists that cover the ACC.

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