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Apr
19
2015

Verizon reaches Internet TV deal with the ACC Digital Network among others, and what it could mean.

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It’s been a while since we last checked in on the ACC Digital Network. Some news this week has made it an appropriate time to talk about what they have been up to. A few days ago Verizon reached an Internet TV Deal with the ACC Digital Network and several other media entities such as ESPN and CBS Sports. From Philly.com

Verizon Communications, gearing up to launch a wireless Internet TV service later in 2015, announced a series of deals for college-sports programming with ESPN, CBS Sports and others — indicating, perhaps, that the telco considered full sports networks too pricey for the millennial-targeted offering.

The deals, which Verizon also reached with ACC Digital Network, Campus Insiders and Time Inc.-backed 120 Sports, will bring a range of live and on-demand content, including select college football and basketball games.

This is interesting stuff, but what does it really mean for the ACC and the ACC Digital Network?

We told you at the end of 2013 on this blog, that revenue generation for the @theACCDN wasn’t that far off. It seems that time is about to arrive.

Verizon expects to roll out the “mobile-first” pay-TV service in the second half of 2015, likely with between 20 and 30 channels, aimed at younger consumers who aren’t interested in full-blown cable TV, CEO Lowell McAdam said at a conference in January.

The ACCDN is part of this pay-TV service for Verizon. Now, I don’t expect the ACC to be pulling in “gazillions” of dollars from this deal, but there is some down the road earning potential. Verizon is not the first pay-TV multi-channel service either. The movement is called “Skinny TV” and it is only going to grow.

Skinny TV has hit the mainstream. Following on the heels of Dish Network’s introduction of Sling TV, Verizon has revealed that it will start offering new slimmed-down pay-TV bundles later this week. The skinny-TV packages will start with a basic channel line-up and give subscribers the option to bundle in additional channel packs according to personal taste. 

I fully expect there to be an increase in these kind of services in the future, and the ACCDN is already part of it. It’s good to see the ACC on the ground floor of this emerging technology.

The next question I’m sure people are wondering is does it mean anything for actual ACC Cable Television Channel?

In the entire scope of an ACC Channel, I would say no. Negotiations are still on going, and this news does not affect it. Where it could matter is in the fine print details. It was generally assumed any ACC Channel would be a near copy of the SEC Network. Certainly there will some similarities, because both will be ESPN channels, but now more than ever I believe Raycom will be part of this partnership. Raycom operates the ACCDN, and in my opinion that would continue even with an ACC Channel.

In addition, I’m beginning to think that the Raycom syndication of ACC Games is going to continue in some form or fashion. 97 Million homes receive this syndication package. 

As @Hokiesmash and I discussed with Fox Sports Announcer @WesDurham on a recent podcast, there exists some possibility the ACC Channel could be hybrid of the SEC Network with the syndication package continuing to exist in some way.

How often in past years did ACC have to split coverage for two basketball games on it’s syndicated package?

It’s a simple solution going forward.

The ACC Channel gets one game, and Raycom gets the other. No more split coverage. There may be enough content to support both. At one time, I thought Raycom would lose it’s syndication package with a new ACC Channel, but now I’m not so sure.

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