Monday, January 14, 2013

A few thoughts on the ACC considering its own TV network

* Wasserman Media Group is known in college sports circles.  They represented conferences for the TV contract in the four team CFB playoff.  Per the article, they were also brought in when the ACC renegotiated its deal after the additions of Pittsburgh & Syracuse.

* As noted in the SBJ article, Raycom pays ESPN for a set of ACC content.  Some of it airs on over-the-air  stations and the rest is placed on regional sports networks, many who are owned by FOX.  This content is around 27 football games, 70 men's basketball games, 20 women's basketball games plus content from other sports.  The count does not include the men's basketball tournament games that coexist with ESPN.  I would expect the coexists to end if a separate channel gets off the ground.

This does not include any content that ESPN3 airs exclusively, which was around 60 men's basketball games and 18 more football games.  So the content is available that they desire.

* The re-air rights is interesting.  Either some schools have those rights in hand, the ACC does as a conference or it is negotiable with ESPN.  Nearly half of the existing ACC schools (Florida St., Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Miami) have their football games replayed during the season on RSNs, most of those RSNs have the name "Comcast" in their full name.

Anyways, both the SEC and Big Ten now control their games by owning the copyright to the telecast (pay attention to the very end of a telecast, it may not say ESPN anymore).  I know that ESPN has the copyright when I've see the final credits roll on their RSN telecasts.  That should be easy for the ACC to negotiate, if they haven't already.

* Sports networks are now being targeted.  Or to term it better, customers are now being targeted with the increasing number of sports networks.  DirecTV is now asking new customers in areas with more than one RSN to pay a $3 sports surcharge.  Most of the ACC footprint is covered by multiple RSNs.  Add another RSN, who pays for it?  I believe the SEC channel would be treated as an RSN and I think that's what DirecTV wants for the Pac-12.  I can't see the ACC escaping that either.  I also don't see DirecTV being the only one charging for sports content.  They've opened the door.  Others will walk through.

* In my opinion, the ACC is really late with this.  They needed to get this off the ground before the SEC thought of it.  With the addition of Louisville, there are now four states with both ACC & SEC schools (Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia).  In at least three of these states (SC might be the exception), the SEC fan base seems to outnumber the ACC fan base.  There's already one state where the Big Ten Network would coexist with an ACC one if this ever came up (Pennsylvania) and New York City would also be targeted by the ACC.

If the content in the end belongs to ESPN and the article says ESPN is not enthused about this, it could have trouble getting off the ground.

1 comment:

Morgan Wick said...

As I tweeted, the ACC really dropped the ball on this from top to bottom. The fact they didn't look to start a network when they re-upped after the Pitt and Syracuse additions was unfathomable at the time and looks completely idiotic now. Do they even have much of a reason to reopen the contract again?