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Apr
14
2014

Is an ACC Network announcement on hold or is it actually on schedule?

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We heard about first rumblings about the possibility of an ACC network back in the Summer of the 2012. In November of 2012 it appeared the ACC was in the exploratory phases with ESPN according to Duke AD Kevin White.  . Then the ACC signed it’s GOR in April of last year, and it an article by the Charlotte Observer, the potential of a network was used as a selling to member ACC schools.

In November of 2013 Duke AD Kevin White, again spoke positively on a network with the Daily Press.  White serves on the ACC Television subcommitte with Clemson AD Dan Radakovich and UNC AD Bubba Cunningham.

“Should we realize the objective in 2016, should we realize the channel objective, we’re going to be in an incredibly strong position for the next 15-20 years,” he said. “In my opinion, I think it will happen, and I think it will be wildly successful.”

We also noted this on the blog back in November, and had an update in January of this year on the incremental signs that the ACC was moving towards a network.  This is all fine well and good, but where’s something more concrete or is the timeline moving right along as we should expect for a 2016 or 2017 launch date?

We can look to the SEC’s network partnered with ESPN set to launch in 2014 for a timeline. If you remember back in late 2011 early 2012, I think most of us where aware that the SEC was investigating a network with ESPN with the actual research beginning sometime in 2010 or early 2011. They were calling it “Project X”.

In the Summer of 2012 the SEC made if official Project X was real it was to now be called Project SEC, and their intention was to start a network. 

It wasn’t until May of 2013 that the SEC Network became official and an August 2014 date was named as the start date.  So where is the ACC in this timeline? If we’re using the SEC as a guide, then I would say the ACC is right on schedule for a 2016 launch, and well ahead of a 2017 date. That said we should be expecting something in the next 6 months.

The ACC’s spring meetings will be held in May. Should we not hear something by the end of the summer then we can surmise that the 2016 date has likely passed, and we should look to 2017 as a start date. There is still no reason to think things aren’t still moving forward.

What wouldn’t hurt the ACC though is if the conference gave a more official update on the process in the next few weeks.

In the meantime the ACC Digital Network continues to make in roads. I know many have wondered about content for network either through television, digitally or both. Take a look at the live ACC Championship content featured on the ACCDN over the next month.

The ACC Digital continues aggressively tap into the digital market. There was a recent announcement of  the ACC Digital Network being part of the new Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Kindle Fire.  Don’t discount the potential of this venture… For the first time in history advertisers spent more money on digital/online revenue than broadcast TV. 

It’s clear while discussing an ACC Network on Cable Television, Digital Content will be significant revenue producer. We’ve discussed this in the past, but the evidence continues to mount as to the importance of a significant online/digital presence in the future.

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