Over the last few years, it has become a running trend for the top conferences in college sports to start their own network to broadcast their sporting events for fans to enjoy. On Monday, the ACC became the latest Power Five conference to throw its name in the hat for broadcast networks.
It was reported Monday evening that the conference had agreed to an extension on their contract that would give ESPN television rights for the next 20 years through the 2035-36 academic year. This new extension does a multitude of things, like extending Notre Dame’s presence as a member in all sports but football for the next 20 years as well as making it financially untenable for any other the current member schools prior to the 2035-36 school year.
The most important thing it does for the conference, however, is give them the opportunity to start the ACC Network. It was reported that it will be started, through ESPN, by the 2019 season.
The linear network is set to launch by then, but the digital channel will start this fall, in time for the 2016 football season.
“When the ACC Network revenues are included, the ACC will be very competitive with the upper tier [Big Ten and SEC] of the Power 5 leagues,” a source said.
This is a big deal for the conference and it should make them competitive in all aspects of college sports going well into the future.