ACC Network…. “If” or “When”

John Swofford
September06/ 2015

“Is there a way to do it without those obnoxious Wolfpack people?”

Apparently THAT might be one of the hold-ups to Little Johnny Swofford unleashing The ACC Network on a planet eagerly anticipating highlights of Pitt’s field hockey games…. and what Bobby Patrino ever did with that motorcycle.

The Swoff would not come right out and confirm re: “….. those obnoxious Wolfpack people?”; but it was certainly sort of implied in the sub-text of this recent interview about a possible ACC Network thru ESPN…. whose CEO is, of course, John Skipper (UNC’75).  Skippy’s concern is “Our extensive research shows no one outside Wake / Lee / Johnston Counties gives a hoot ’bout Cow College.”  OUCH!

NOTE:  THAT is known in the blog biz as shameless “click bait”.   🙂

Paul FinebaumMuch of the success of the SEC Network is the iconic Paul Finebaum.  The One & Only Original Finebaum hosts his simulcast TV / radio call-in show daily for what seems like 23 hours; but in reality is only 15 or 16 hours.   The other 7-8 hours are reruns of “The Best of Paul Finebaum”…. and previews of tomorrow’s Paul Finebaum Show.

Could “My Buddy” Art Chansky be The ACC’s Finebaum or is that David Glenn’s gig if he wants it?  Certainly MY CHOICE would be The World According To Kennel with Bre’r interviewing himself re: “I was 2nd mate on The Santa Maria in 1492… or was it the Nina?”…. and “I gave Neil Armstrong an NC State car flag to plant on the lunar surface”.   Maybe NCSU68 could come on from midnight ’til 6 AM and read The Brothers Karamazov in pig latin? …. the mind reels at the possibilities.

Jan Boxill selling Thighmasters? ….. Chancellor Chihuahua’s “Little Lady / Big Office” offering advice on selecting the perfect lapel ribbon for any occasion. …..  Coach K’s “Seven Words Only I Can Yell on TV”? …. mind still reeling.

…. meanwhile The Swoff wrestles with “his wuffie problem”.  Frau Yow considering offering “our Humongous Hindenburg Hangar” as a filming studio.  Since it is larger than Pinewood Studios where the James Bond films are shot. 

Q: # 84 ??

A: How many total points have Vic Koenning coordinated defenses given up to NC State in their last eight quarters.




Despite the success that the Big Ten Network and SEC Network have both yielded for their respective conferences, the ACC is still John Swoffordexploring whether or not creating its own television network is in its best interests.

According to the Associated Press, the conference and ESPN are in ongoing talks to figure out what makes the most financial sense for both sides. Is it more profitable for the ACC to create its own network, likely tied to ESPN, or would maintaining the status quo work out best? The conference’s current rights deal with ESPN runs through the 2026-27 season, with each school receiving $20 million annually. But compare that to the $455 million the SEC split among its 14 members after creating its own network with ESPN.

ACC commissioner John Swofford insists there’s no timetable for making a decision on starting up its own network, though the topic has been an increasingly pertinent one for the past few years and speculation is that the earliest a network could launch is 2017. Coaches and athletic directors have been vocal about the exposure and revenue that a cable channel could provide to the conference.

“I think every league’s going to have it,” North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora told the AP. “The ones that don’t right now, they’re going to have it eventually. So you might as well get in there and get going.”

But as you might expect, athletic directors who have to keep an eye on their schools’ financial bottom lines are in favor of a more cautious approach and endorse Swofford’s philosophy.

Recent expansion by the ACC appears to work toward a broader base of subscribers that could help a fledgling network. The addition of Pitt brings in the western Pennsylvania market, while Syracuse covers New York and Louisville attracts the Kentucky market. Notre Dame is also a national brand that helps the conference’s profile and recognition throughout a broader segment of the country.

The difficulties that the Pac-12 Network has had in finding distribution and teaming up with a partner such as the Big Ten has with Fox and the SEC with ESPN is surely giving the ACC some pause as it tries to determine which direction to pursue. Additionally, the prospects of creating any network carry some uncertainty as an increasing number of consumers cut the cord with cable and satellite providers in favor of viewing content through streaming and mobile outlets.

[Associated Press]



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