GREENSBORO, N.C. — An ACC television channel might not be considered imminent at this point, but the writing on the wall says that one will form sooner than later, providing hopes of a major payday for ACC universities.
During an address to the media on Sunday at the ACC Kickoff, ACC commissioner John Swofford said the conference and ESPN continue to be in talks about the development of an ACC channel. He noted that there wasn’t much to update on the progress of those meetings, but he’s pleased with the direction they are heading.
An ACC-exclusive channel isn’t a novel concept in college athletics. The Big Ten was the first major conference to establish its own channel in 2007, and the SEC recently partnered with ESPN to create the SEC Network, which will launch in less than one month.
Such a network for the ACC would be an incredible boon for the conference. Some projections estimate that the SEC Network will generate as much as $500 million annually, a large portion of which will be redistributed back to the member schools. Big Ten schools are expected to make $45 million this year, thanks in large part to the proceeds of the conference’s network.
Swofford’s desire is for ACC content to be easily accessible for fans at any time and from any place, he said on Sunday. He believes the conference’s footprint — which includes more households than any other conference’s region — will help the ACC secure its own network in the future.
Given the reach the ACC has secured through conference realignment, an all-ACC television channel would likely eclipse the profits of the Big Ten Network and the SEC Network. Swofford didn’t offer any promises that the channel will be launching soon, but considering the potential revenue stream and the commissioner’s willingness to push this project through, odds are high that an ACC Network will appear on televisions in the coming years.