ESPN and ACC Extend Exclusive, Multi-Platform Agreement through 2026-27

The full release from the ACC is here.

Here are the highlights.

  • "ESPN has the right to televise three Friday ACC football contests annually which will include a standing commitment from Boston College and Syracuse to each host one game as well as an afternoon or evening game on Thanksgiving Friday."
  • The Labor Day spectacular remains, and so do the Thursday night games.
  • 15 years is a long time to be partnered with anyone for anything.
  • The ACC has gone all-in with ESPN (won't be able to sell third-tier media rights).

It's evident the ACC has backed off its stance of not playing football on Fridays, I found Swofford's explanation extremely amusing.

"We do everything we can to protect high school football," Swofford said of the Friday games. "We could have done a lot more but didn't want to. ... The northeast corridor doesn't have the same sensitivity (to Friday high school football) as the southeast."

The financial terms weren't revealed, but the deal is reported to be worth $3.6 billion ($17 million/school).

The ACC was able to renegotiate its existing 12-year contract ($1.86 billion, $12.9 million/school) signed in 2010 because it expanded to 14 teams (thanks 'Cuse and Pitt). The original 12-team ACC deal was worth $3.08M per school, now, not even ten years later each ACC school is banking more than five times more.

$17 million a year is a lot of money, especially for a conference that's failed to consistently show up on the biggest stage and has a lot of small/disinterested fanbases. However, the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC will all receive more TV dollars.

Conference Annual School $ Through
Big Ten 22M 2031
Pac-12 20.8M 2023
Big 12 20M 2025
SEC 16.7M 2023
ACC 16M 2026
Big East 3.5M 2013
Mountain West 1.17M 2013
Conference USA 1.14M>/td> 2015

The only way ACC schools will see north of $20M a year is if the conference can land Notre Dame.

What do you guys think about the deal? Does it make sense for the ACC to be monogamous with ESPN? Is 15 years too long? Are you happy with the rivalries, closeness (spatially), and moderate level of competition in the league? Or would you bolt for more money, longer rides, and elite competition in, say, the SEC?



Can we get the hell out the ACC please? Or at least dump Swofford in the Atlantic Ocean.


No, the ACC is where we need to be

VT should not leave the ACC even if an offer was to come from the SEC. The ACC is the best overall conference for VT to be in for all sports. With the addition of Cuse & Pitt the Men's BBall conference will be the most talented and I believe the only power basketball conference. The Big East & SEC will still have good bball teams but will not have the number of powers that the ACC will have.

Also academic wise every other conference would be a step down. I believe out of the expanded 14 schools in the ACC only 2 are not ranked in the top 100 of best schools. The 2 left out are FSU & NC State which were ranked just outside at 101 in 2011.

VT would spend more money traveling in every sport. Plus the political mess that was VT joining the ACC, I think this would hurt us with our local politicians which would be a bad thing. The best place for VT now is to stay put, eventually the SEC's dominance will subside and I think this year is the year they do not win the football MNC. Once a play off system is started as well I don't see them doing as well either.

I do agree to get rid of Swofford though. I know everyone was nervous with him at the helm during the NCAA investigations against UNC since he was the AD during the infractions.

Stay, regrettably


15 years is too long, but this is a good contract other than that. As I mention in the above post, however, we should go to the SEC for sports, but it's looking more and more like the money and politics will keep us with the ACC (what about if FSU/Clemson do leave?). We probably will stay anyways because we like to be naive and think that we have good sports other than football and that our conference reflects our academics (conference might influence state funding, in our particular case).


15 years is too long ...

15 years is too long, but otherwise this is as good as a deal as the ACC is going to get. Let's face it, ACC football post-expansion has been not-so-good, so I'm pretty satisfied with $~17mil per year.

Random sidenote ... per this blog post, ACC is the single largest content provider to all of the ESPN networks, whether college or pro.

That blows my mind (assuming that's correct).

Swofford hasnt been their AD since 97

but yeah the ACC is our home and assuming it doesnt implode a la our last home I say we stay put and try to build something great with our sister institutions. The academic thing is more important to university presidents than the average ball watchin fan realizes and we are in a great academic conference.

As far as Swofford being replaced; my question would be why? He let us in (and lets face it in 03 we all felt like we had reached the promised land after wandering the desert) How much has the revenue multiplied since he took over? I understand thats mainly because of the exploding popularity of college sports but he has worked to expand the ACC's brand, something that was essential in the Darwinian dog eat dog climate of the last few years. We're nipping at the mighty $EC's heels as far as TV revenue goes and we have the 2nd highest TV ratings behind the B1G for bball and 3rd behind those two for fball ratings. Pretty damn solid if you ask me.

Like Frank said when Pitt and Cuse joined last year, its better to be the conference people want to join and not the conference people wanna leave.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Pardon my ignorance

How does this affect our deal with Raycom (if at all)?

What bothers me

Is the continuation of football on Thursdays, and now Fridays. Football is for SATURDAYs and it speaks loads about how ESPN views the ACC if they aren't willing to slot us into the Saturday Night primetime spots instead of sticking us on Thursdays and the occasional Friday. That's what bothers me more than anything about this deal. Given, the conference hasn't really done too much to deserve any sort of national attention, but its still bothersome.

Logan 3:16

thursday night is the BEST time for college football! friday...well that should just be left for boise...

February..'96...the steak: ribeye, the whiskey:Lagavulin 16, the lady next to me: a bit**.....

College Gameday

Only makes an appearance on Saturdays. Just saying. And that is the holy grail of college football in my opinion.

Logan 3:16

As long as BC and Cuse are stuck with the Friday night games

They can have all those they want.

weekday games

are about a captive audience more than about respect. The TV guys know that a football game on a weekday is going to have more viewers, especially with no other football on TV at the same time, than anything else they could put in that timeslot. They'll take as many of those as they can get, and the better teams they can get the more they'll like it. Schools get a mixed bag... mostly negative, because there are usually less fannies in the seats on a weekday, but can also be positive if they're getting exposure they wouldn't otherwise be getting.

Way too long

More money but more events. The $ per event is more important. With all this conference realignment are there clauses to readjust the terms if teams leave or are added? ESPN's TV revenue will increase very year and the costs of fielding teams will go up every year, yet we are locked into a fixed annual amount for the next 14 years. Our costs will probably double in that amount of time and ESPN's profits will more than double. I do not get how this deal is good for the long run.


The ACC can renegotiate every 5 years

So should they add ND, or should Miami and FSU decide to start being good again, the games would be more valuable.