The ACC Network will be a game changer

Published 5:05 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

ACC media days got off to a much-awaited start on Thursday with the official announcement that an ACC network will be coming to ESPN in 2019. This announcement has been years in the making with ACC commissioner John Swofford dodging questions at the last few media days.

The conference features two of the preeminent teams in college football in Florida State and Clemson as well as Louisville and Miami poised to take the next step if they can ever put it all together. Notre Dame is also required to play multiple games against ACC team each year. The ACC is one of the top basketball conferences in the country with Duke, UNC, Syracuse and Louisville. It may not be the powerhouse that the SEC is or have the rabid fandom, but there is plenty to sell in the ACC.

For the conference, this is a stabilizing deal that will help fill the coffers and enable them to compete on the national stage. FSU and Clemson are going to bring in money. One or both are going to be a threat to make the College Football Playoffs every year. They recruit as well as anyone this side of Bama who is in a league of its own. The triangle area in North Carolina is full of rabid basketball fans that will tune into games. The influx of cash from this deal will be a game changer across the board though.

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The real winners here are the non-revenue sports. More money from the networks means better facilities for everybody (even though the lion’s share will go to the arms race in football). The women’s sports will be on TV more than ever before with the designated network. Tennis players, swimmers and runners will get more exposure than ever before.

There are some dominant teams in the ACC in the non-revenue sports. UNC won national titles in men and women’s lacrosse this year, FSU has one of the best women’s soccer programs in the country, and ACC baseball is the best in the country to name but a few. These teams get little if any exposure on a national scale. The money will be nice. The upgraded facilities and raises for coaches will be impactful. For the players that don’t play on the football field on Saturdays or play men’s basketball, the best part may just be getting to see themselves on national TV or better yet their parents getting to see them play.


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