Could ESPNews become the future ACC Network?

Could ESPNews become the future ACC network? According to one of the best Media Following Sites out there Awful Announcing, this is not only a possibility, but makes a lot of sense for ESPN to do. 

From that article…

With the growing influence of ESPN.com and the ESPN app, fans don’t need to watch SportsCenter for hours a day to access the latest sports highlights and news. That puts ESPNEWS in a precarious situation, because it can’t continue to exist in its current form.

it might make sense to turn it into the ACC Network. Contractual obligations require ESPN to launch that network on linear TV in 2019, and from a carriage standpoint, it would seem so much easier to turn an already-carried channel into ACCN;

ESPNews still has over 60 Million subscribers, and if ESPN could switch that right over to the ACC Network – there’s already a built in subscriber base.

We told over a year ago that there was a chance ESPNews could turn into the ACC Network when we speculated what that network could look like. 

Scenarios like turning ESPNNews or ESPNU into an ACC Network are possible and could save some startup costs

On another related note, ESPN is digging deeper than in their acquisition of sports properties. From AwfulAnnouncing again…

On Tuesday, CNBC’s David Faber reported that the sides are “closing in on a deal” and that Fox’s regional sports networks would, in fact, be included.

Fox owns and operates about 20 RSNs across the country, including numerous Fox-branded channels and the New York-based YES Network. These networks claim rights to dozens of MLB, NHL, and NBA teams, as well as local college sports and assorted other properties. 

This is big for the ACC Network. We’ve been wondering how ESPN would reacquire ACC content on the FOX regional stations. ESPN appears to be preparing to just buy the whole darn thing. That’s one way to get to get that content back. That’s certainly not the sole reason for ESPN to do this, but it doesn’t hurt. Boosting ESPN’s value by 50% might be the real reason this is happening. 

Subscriber losses are real, but it seems ESPN is focused on remaining the worldwide leader in sports media.

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1 comment

  1. Hokie Mark says:

    1. When Altice signed up for the ACCN we were told they would “drop a little-watched ESPN spinoff channel” as part of the contract. Add ACCN and lose ESPNews? PLAUSIBLE!

    2. Buying up sports rights boosts ESPN’s value in another way: if you want to watch college football on TV, your cord-cutting options are dwindling.

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