New TV Deal Will Help Keep the ACC Intact

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Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal announced today that the ACC is on
the verge of signing a new deal with ESPN that will bring the league 155 million
dollars per year for its football and basketball TV rights. This is a
significant increase over the ACC’s current combined revenue of about 67 million
per year, and though it doesn’t put the league on the same level as the Big Ten
or the SEC, the ACC is now within shouting distance. The ever-shifting landscape
of conference realignment just changed again.

The deal is not formally announced or signed yet, and the SBJ referenced
unnamed sources, but it’s worth pointing out that the SBJ is a respected
publication, not a Bleacher Report blog. Details were quickly released in the
Triangle Business Journal (click
), and here are the basics:

  • $1.86 billion over 12 years from ESPN for football and men’s basketball.
  • Deal starts in the 2011-2012 academic year and runs through 2022-23.
  • Average revenue of $155 million per year.
  • An increase of almost $90 million per year over the league’s current $67
    million deals with ABC/ESPN, Raycom, and FOX.
  • Per-team revenue will jump from $5.6 million per year to $12.9 million per
    year, a $7.3 million per year increase.
  • Raycom will no longer have a separate deal with the ACC but will instead
    license games from ESPN.
  • FOX probably will not have a new deal to continue showing Sunday night
  • ESPN will still produce games for broadcast on ABC.

The new deal with ESPN brings the league’s football and basketball rights
under one umbrella for the first time in many years, and means that ACC TV
rights will now be held by a single entity. In terms of tracking the dollars and
responsible parties, it’s a much cleaner, neater deal.

The ACC’s new deal is much better than I thought it would be. The benchmark
is the SEC’s $2.25 billion, 15-year contract ($150 million per year) with ESPN,
which was signed