What is the difference between the new and the old ACC Network?
If you watch ACC sports on television, you already see three words during most cable broadcasts. “ACC.” “Network.” “ESPN.” Every time I see and hear something like, “This is the ACC Network on ESPN,” I wonder what is the difference between that and what is supposedly launching in August of 2019. No one has really explained that.
And how much money will it mean? That seems to be the big question looming, from potential added revenue to the millions each school is spending on building a new ACC Network facility on its campus.
Granted, most ACC athletic events will now be on ESPN – no more on Raycom or Fox Sports South – although we still don’t know if that’s on TV or Internet. For old-timers who prefer TV, this must be worrisome.
Do we have to pay extra on our cable TV bill to get the new ACC Network? I don’t think so, and that begs the question: How much more money will each of the 15 schools get from this new ACC Network?
We already know of two conference networks that exist. The Big Ten Network, which is more than 10 years old, is definitely a cable entity because subscribers pay for it on a basic sports package on Spectrum, U-verse or Direct TV. And the SEC Network is carried on separate ESPN channels higher than ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN News.
Those two conferences distribute roughly twice the money to each of their schools annually than does the ACC, something like $50 million compared to $25 million. The Big Ten gets the extra money to dispense from what it makes on cable subscriptions. The SEC gets it from additional rights fees ESPN paid to keep that league from starting its own pay-per-view channel, like the Big Ten did.
Is ESPN raising its ACC rights fees $300 million to equal what the Big Ten and SEC hand down, because that is where the rubber meets the road in providing ACC schools more net revenue for coaching salaries, recruiting budgets, facilities and the like?
If so, where is it coming from? Even more timeouts for advertising?