The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “espn”

Conference Expansion News, June 2, 2016

The Big XII is expanding, a rumor states.  The Big XII is NOT expanding, a rumor states.  The Big XII is getting a network, a rumor states.  The Big XII is NOT getting a network, a rumor states.  The Big XII is going to share a network with the ACC, a rumor states.  No it is not.  And so on.  Also, “rumor” also seems to include targeted media leaks by various Big XII schools with unique agendas, so it is not all Twitter-based fodder.  In the end, nobody has any idea what the Big XII will do.

In calmer seas, fans of ACC schools could simply grab a bag of popcorn and watch this inter-conference schizophrenia unfold.  But the landscape of conference realignment remains concerning, as the ACC has its own vulnerabilities and financial gap.  Also, several ACC schools could be in trouble if conference realignment picks up steam.  And even the no-brainer elite schools want to control their future, not be “stuck” in any conference.

Admittedly, the idea of a joint network with the Big XII and ACC has some appeal.  With very little geographic overlap, the two conferences could supply an ESPN channel with plenty of content.  This might also set the table well for various basketball and football “challenges” between the conference, as well as scheduling benefits.  What the ACC provides in population access, the Big XII adds with the State of Texas and slightly more football credibility.  So perhaps such a venture has some potential to be a win-win-win for both conferences and ESPN (who could also direct some content to the SEC network, if necessary).  Moreover, any strengthening of these two conferences would be a stick in the eye to the Big 10, which may still have some value to ESPN folks.

Of course, how to make money is quickly subsumed by how to divide it.  First, Texas still has the Longhorn Network deal.  Second, Notre Dame has its own TV deal.  Third, Notre Dame has its quasi-membership in the ACC.  Fourth, BYU remains looking as a school to do the same.  Fifth, does the Big XII slide up to 12 or 14 or 15 schools to even the conferences up?  And Sixth, how would money get divided anyway–1/3 to Big XII, 1/3 to ACC, 1/3 to ESPN?  Who knows?  But there are far too many proverbial “alpha dogs” in this mix to think it can all get worked out.

In any event, the Big XII may or may not be doing any number of things.  The ACC schools stay quiet, which is some sort of minor testament to the conference’s stability.  Hopefully.  But this realignment issue never seems to die.  So pay attention.

What do you think?  What is the future for the Big XII, ACC, and networks?

Big 10: What Goes Around…

If Florida State, Ohio State, and Auburn all win, there will be a lot of debate as to which two teams should play in the National Championship game.  If you read the Big 10 fans’ comments, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding the “system”–especially ESPN–being anti-Big 10 and pro-SEC.  All one can say is… what goes around, comes around.

Read more…

ESPN to Broadcast Edward Snowden Selection – UPDATED

It is being reported that ESPN News is going to broadcast the amnesty selection of highly-recruited leaker/traitor, Edward Snowden, the former government contractor that leaked confidential information from the NSA. Read more…

Louisville 2014 Football Recruiting Update

With the Louisville Cardinals historical 2012-13 year coming to an end with a disappointing CWS performance its time to start looking ahead. Before we focus in on the 2013 football season lets jump ahead a bit. It’s still early in the 2014 recruiting process but the Cardinals are putting together one of their best classes ever. Louisville first ACC class brought in 15 commitments already, a number that is highly unusual for them. ESPN, Scout and Rivals are still evaluating the 2014 class and as the athletes compete in their senior season there will be many changes in the rankings. Even though its still early, lets take a look at some of the Cards top commits. Read more…

Unlimited ESPN on your Smartphone/Tablet?

Several months ago, there was a discussion in the comments of the Confidential regarding the profitability of broadcasting sports over the internet. Specifically that conferences who rely solely on airing sports content on TV via cable subscriptions, cough**B1G**cough, may be selling themselves short as more-and-more viewers are ditching the big screen for their handheld devices.

It seems that ESPN may be exploring the same topic. ESPN has been at the forefront for developing the infrastructure for watching content over the internet, with the creation of ESPN3 (nee ESPN360) as well as the development of the ESPN App which allows you to watch live games on your handheld device.

But, this becomes problematic as more-and-more carriers are no longer allowing unlimited data packages on your phone. Read more…


OK, that was a stretch.  But it was an attempt to demonstrate how much exposure the ACC is getting on these days.  It seems like ESPN is going out of its way to lead with articles touching on ACC teams.  Or SEC teams.  In any event, ESPN is certainly promoting its partners.

Just look at the top half of the college football articles on at 7:52 pm EST:

  • Notre Dame eyes additions to football stadium
  • NCAA suspends rule change on unlimited texts
  • SEC Network set for ’14; ESPN extends deal
  • Pinstripe, Gator likely for ACC, source says
  • FBS schools spending more than they make
  • Kelly: Notre Dame in Texas attracts recruits

That is ACC, general, SEC, ACC, general, and ACC.  And Louisville, soon to be an ACC team, is featured in the main article on the page.

How about college hoops?

  • Parker signs letter of intent to play at Duke
  • Rodriguez transfers from K-State to Miami
  • Iowa to play in Bahamas instead of Alaska
  • Rutgers lands first recruit since Rice’s firing
  • Chol leaving Arizona after sophomore season
  • SEC Network set for ’14; ESPN extends deal

That is ACC, ACC, B1G, B1G, Pac-12, and SEC.  A lot of ACC and SEC.

It will be interesting to see if this becomes an increasing trend.  ESPN may not be making the ACC filthy rich, but the exposure is really unparalleled.  One way to create demand for an ACC Network is to make sure that people are continuously interested in the ACC.  Off to a good start.


Conference Realignment–ACC Needs to be Wary of History Repeating Itself

Frank the Tank has a new entry for your perusal.  In this latest blog entry, the opinion is that Fox, rather than ESPN, is responsible for the demise of the Big East.  The Confidential disagrees.  Moreover, the Confidential cannot help but think that the ACC needs to be very wary of the destruction of the Big East to prevent, to the extent possible, the demise of our great conference.

As a preliminary matter, there is no doubt that Fox’s entry into the sports networking landscape has been a contributing factor.  If nothing else, the partnership with the Big 10 has dramatically altered the college sports landscape.   Fox’s role in conference realignment is obvious.

But the demise of the Big East began long before the loss of Rutgers, Maryland/Louisville, Notre Dame, and the Catholic-7.  Rather, the demise began with the loss of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.  And, really, the loss of Pittsburgh and Syracuse began with the inability of ESPN and the Big East to negotiate a restructured deal.  While ESPN was willing to ride the Longhorn Network into town to save the Big XII, ESPN did not bother to do anything to save the Big East from demise.  Rather, it allowed (directed?) it’s partner, the ACC, to take two of the Big East’s most valuable properties–Syracuse and Pittsburgh.  Even if Fox was behind every other move that decimated the Big East (see West Virginia, TCU, Maryland, and Rutgers), the reality is that ESPN never stepped up to the plate to save the Big East.

As ESPN continues to lose the rights to major college programs, one wonders if ESPN is going to go the route of MTV.  Once, MTV showed videos… with an occasional non-video show sprinkled in.  At some point, MTV stopped showing videos.  And it’s been decades since this author has cared about MTV.  Every pass through revealed less about “music” and more about reality TV.  Presumably, MTV is still profitable and pleasing to its owners.  Is ESPN going to follow suit and devote more resources to news & shows where reporters yell at each other?   It certainly runs contrary to the prevailing logic that live sports are among the best television products out there because people cannot fast forward through the commercials.

In any event, the question that begs is whether ESPN will step up to the plate to “save the ACC.”   ESPN helped save the Big XII.  But, with every program that moves from the ACC to the Big XII or Big 10, ESPN will lose the exclusive rights to that school.  And one wonders whether Fox will be content to allow ESPN to share in the Big XII and Big 10.  If this is a business battle between Fox and ESPN, Fox seems to be winning.  The Big East was “collateral damage” in that battle.  The ACC needs to ensure that ESPN does not view the ACC as collateral damage.  It is unclear exactly what the ACC can do… but at least being wary of ESPN and history repeating itself is a very small step one.

What do YOU think?  Is ESPN working for or against the ACC these days?

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