Wait til we see the contract details first, but the initial amounts talked about in our new ESPN TV deal are quite encouraging. I was hoping that we'd get the 120 million and anything less should've resulted in Swofford's firing, but it appears the moron has done something right and can keep his job....for now.
ESPN won the TV rights to ACC football and basketball in a bidding competition with Fox Sports that was surprisingly close, industry sources say, and as a result made the conference several million more dollars.
The ESPN-SEC deal is 15 years at ~$2.25 Billion, which is $150 million per year. If $1.86 billion over 12 is true, we make $155 million per year. CBS is now the big difference between the money coming in to the SEC and ourselves. I don't know whether our deal expiring first is a good thing or bad thing, it could go both ways.
This deal precludes Raycom from having exclusive rights, as it will Fox Sports. So they will have to buy the game from ESPN to show it.
What this entails for ACC baseball coverage is unclear without seeing the actual contract, but I expect that we will get equal time with SEC baseball due to the amount they are paying, quite simply.
I would be greatly surprised if anyone would leave the ACC right now, with this deal in place. Had Swoffy gotten less than $10 mil, I would not feel that way.
I have concerns on being slaved to ESPN however.
Most of us realize that they are an SEC-favoring network overall, but now with them paying out so much to us, they'll have a vested interest in how the ACC performs. They will only be hurting themselves when they knock down the ACC football programs on Gameday. ESPN gives us the best avenue and outlet worldwide immediately, since every cable provider has to buy it due to demand.
However, would it not be better if we had gone to Fox, and broken the hold that ABC/ESPN-Disney holds on the world of sports? It could be that this is the better move for the future. Sure, Fox coverage of all BCS games royally BLEW, but the expense would force them to make a great product and hire better announcers. In the long run it could be that Fox ends up making Pac-10/Big XII football into a really high-value product, judging by their NFL success, and since theres almost no way ESPN can pay to take on those two conferences.
Unfortunately this deal will keep some games on Raycrap, and from the limited information we have so far, gives the digital rights to ESPN as well. I would've preferred they kept some of the online content and began work on an ACC-online video network with it.
For now though, I'm pleased with the deal we got.