So, remember all those times when the ACC was pretty much dead? Well, so much for that…
As reported by ACC Sports Journal’s David Glenn and The Daily Press’s David Teel, it looks like the ACC is set to announce a grant of media rights agreement through 2027. Such a deal would lock in media revenues from broadcast rights through 2027 for all teams except Notre Dame‘s football program. So, if a school wanted to leave for what used to be perceived as a “better” deal with the Big Ten or Big 12, that benefit’s now moot, since that school would surrender 14 years of revenues.
Obviously, fans of the league have been calling for this type of move for some time, as it basically builds a fence around the current membership (similar to what the Big 12 did a couple years back). With such a long deal, too, the ACC suddenly drops to the bottom of any potential expansion list, since no school can afford to give up a decade-and-a-half of revenues. Effectively, with the two most “vulnerable” leagues (ACC and Big 12) locked up for the foreseeable future, the conference realignment circus looks to be dead, at least in terms of the five major conferences.
We’ll be able to provide more information once the announcement is official and we see the agreement’s details in their entirety. It’s a great day for the ACC and all of its members, and in my own opinion, the perfect segue for an ACC Network to get up and running. With media rights locked in for such an extended period of time, there’s less risk and more value than ever before in undertaking such an endeavor.
UPDATED: CBS notes that payouts per-school will now be at $20 million annually. This is huge, and with the ACC Network still in the wings, suddenly, the conference is looking much more competitive from a revenue standpoint. The grant of rights agreement also removes the previous exit fee (three times the operating budget).