In a move that should surprise exactly nobody, the Atlantic Coast Conference may be considering an ACC network. The Big 10 has one that mints money. The Pac-12 is working on a network. The SEC is in the planning stages of having a network. The ACC really has to consider this as a means of survival. Or at least “keeping up with the Joneses.”
While nobody should expect an ACC network to generate the type of revenue that the Big 10 network does, the ACC can still make additional money with a network. The Big 10 has been successful with third-tier games. An expanded ACC has some pretty compelling third-tier games to offer. And the ACC basketball side of things will lead to substantial inventory. This is what the Big East always missed–basketball is inventory. Hopefully, the ACC will learn from the Big East’s mistake. You’ve got to market what you have to market.
To be sure, ESPN has the ACC’s rights locked up for the next 15 years. But if ESPN wants to have an ACC, it is going to have to bend. If the ACC is splintered and split up by the other conferences, Fox could very well end up with some of the most attractive names. ESPN may have sole rights over the SEC, but the SEC only has room for 2 more teams. The Big 10 and Big 12 can take 8-10 teams between them.
In any event, it is good to see the ACC exploring all of its options. A network is part of the future revenue puzzle.