It's the final week of Raycom Sports

This week's ACC Tournament marks the final countdown on the existence of Raycom Sports, who began broadcasting ACC basketball and football events through a joint operation with Jefferson Pilot Communications back in 1982. Of course, with ESPN debuting the ACC Network this fall, there is nothing left for them to actually broadcast, so its not like they're going out on their own accord. Nah, we kicked their asses to the curb. Too bad so sad. At least we don't have to deal with the weekly Wes Durham Raycom Nooner badge of honor anymore.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without John Swofford selling our broadcast rights to Raycom on the cheap about a decade ago when there were much larger offers on the table which would have made all his member schools much more money over the long term. Its a good thing there wasn't any nepotistic reasons behind that decision making. That would have been awkward. Is it any surprise to you to find out he can't even throw a baseball 60 feet 6 inches without skipping it?

So, from us to you... Good riddance, Raycom. We'll not miss you at all.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


"Hokie religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Han Solo

Let's Go


On the flip side, those of us cord cutters had a shot at an over the air broadcast with Raycom.

On the flip-flip side, many of us cord-cutters were shut out of seeing games because of Raycom or other over-the-air broadcasts. I don't have an antenna, so I'm limited to only what I can stream. A lot of games that were broadcast on WatchESPN were blacked out for me because of the Raycom broadcasts.

Good riddance, as far as I'm concerned.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)


Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Lets turn this post yellooooooooooo!!!

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

So we are getting new Powers in the Booth?

The Dude Abides

Edit: VTBlackout's response is criminally underlegged.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

15 Straight

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Unfortunately according to this article, Raycom will still be doing the production of the games just under ESPN's direction.


This seems like my first job when I was an equipment engineer. The rigging companies would get fired about once a year but the guys actually moving equipment never changed. They new company would just hire all of the old company's guys and nothing would really change. ESPN contracting out Raycom sounds like the same thing.

Yeah, but you also won't have the "what the fuck channel is our game on" and "why the fuck is this blacked out when I don't even get the channel its on" issues that we currently have with Raycom. And each ACC school is going to have its own in house production setup, which should also go a long way into improving the game to game standards within the league. And having ESPN backing the whole thing will only lead to an improved quality as well.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I agree. I was just hoping us and ESPN were going to go to Raycom like "Here is the door. All of you can see your way out." I was hoping they weren't going to be involved at all.

Eh, Raycom's production was pretty much on par with ESPNU or ESPN3 (and the upcoming ACC Network), if not slightly better. It really depends on who's working any given game.

"All media is transitioning right now and it's important that our league be front and center with those transitions," Swofford said. "Now, I think we have another partner at ESPN, who is certainly not new to us, who will help us be right where we need to be at this given point in time and for the future. Our league has always been progressive in its thinking from a television standpoint and I think this another instance of that."

Man, fuck that guy.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson

This happens in most corporate mergers for folks that bill to customers and/or affect revenue. Those guys stay with the new company. The redundant back office staffs leave.

What's the story behind the deal Swofford made? He had a relative at Raycom at the time?


Chad Swofford happened to be the Director of New Media and Business Development at Raycom Sports when the deal was negotiated. After the deal was signed, he got promoted to VP and General Manager of ACC Digital Media at Raycom.

Chad Swofford is John Swofford's son.

Fun fact. Chad Swofford was employed at Boston College when they got their ACC invite.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

Well his pops was kim jong " ill nana ".... (excuse my corny dad joke referencing foxy brown rapper's nickname) 🤣

Let's Go



"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Were there other offers on the table for more money at the time? I hadn't heard this before. If true, how could all the college presidents sign off on such a deal? It bottles the mind.

Put it this way, I don't think the ACC even floated the offer to anyone else. I have heard at least FOX was prepared to open the checkbook, but we didn't even get past Raycom on the list before signing an agreement. And all you need to know on why that happened was who was negotiating between the ACC and Raycom, knowing Raycom would fold if they didn't keep the contract.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson The answer to the question is "no, there weren't other offers at the time.*"

*The lack of any concrete offers could very well have been that Swofford didn't pursue them, but the truth of the matter is that there wasn't a bidding war going on for one reason or another. Alum07 makes it sounds like there were more legitimate offers and Swofford intentionally ignored them, which is spinning a little bit to make the narrative better.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Forbes: The ACC's Third Tier Rights And Why They're Killing The Conference

What's more, this isn't the first time that ACC Commissioner John Swofford has left media rights money on the table. When the ACC signed its previous ESPN contract a few years ago, Swofford insisted on maintaining a partnership with syndicator Raycom Sports, possibly giving away increased media rights revenue in the process:

Swofford let the strongest bidders, ESPN and Fox, know that he wanted to include Raycom, which went into the talks as a partner to both networks, rather than trying to bid against their deeper pockets.

The ACC television rights that Raycom secured are credited with keeping the syndicator alive: "company executives acknowledged that keeping a piece of the ACC's business was the only way the small, regional TV syndicator and production company could stay relevant." Raycom pays $50 million annually in a sublicense agreement with ESPN; ACC schools see none of that money.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I love this reply.

“The Cup is Going Nowhere Mikey!!!!!”

The caption to this pic says it all:

Raycom CEO Ken Haines (left) and ACC Commissioner John Swofford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In spite of the fact that I always believed the ACC to be run by a bunch of provincial golf course dealing navel gazers in love with the smell of their own butter fat fueled farts, I once held the notion that Swofford got the best deal he could at the time... I've since been disabused of this notion.

While that's one way to look at it, it is the incorrect way.

Swofford cost VT (and all other ACC schools) a good deal of money.

Is it any surprise to you to find out he can't even throw a baseball 60 feet 6 inches without skipping it?

Swofford wasn't even throwing from the mound...

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Looks like I will be in the minority here - but I am kind of going to miss the Raycom Crew on ACC Saturday's.

Yep came here to say this. Grew up on that shit. Oh well.

"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

In spite of the politics of the deal...I'm with you. I've always appreciated the coverage of Raycom and associated Raycom with college sports.


What's Tommy Bowden going to do now?

Run the football every time he's in the red zone?

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Of course, as one last jab, I have to suffer through Raycom shifting regular programming around to broadcast a tournament that's already on ESPN.

But I'm really looking forward to not maintaining the weekly post of ACC Network affiliates. Four or five years of those posts, and some folks out there still never figured it out.

What got me, as we had with I believe the BC football and one basketball game this year, was when the games were assigned, there were affiliates supposed to be carrying the game, and instead, some just decided to put something else on. In those cases, if you're affected, you're screwed. Streaming on ESPN would be blacked out because it was supposed to be on Raycom, and because your affiliate decided to air something else, you're hosed.

And it wasn't just an inconvenience. Here in Raleigh, for at least the BC game, we had a couple dozen people show up to our bar for the game, and only after it started did we slowly realize we wouldn't be able to watch. And people got pissed at the event organizers and bar staff/management for not being able to get it working despite the fact it was out of our control.

I'll definitely be glad to have that BS behind us.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

What bar?

So there's a Hokie bar in Raleigh? I must stop there next time I'm in the area. I have to visit Morrisville frequently for work.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

The past couple years the ACC tournament has not been blacked out on ESPN. Has that changed this season?

No, and that's my issue. I already get the games over on ESPN, I don't need them pushing around the schedule on my local station.

And really, it's a minor issue for me. I would just rather not deal with the games running long and screwing with my DVR.

I think FIOS blacked out the Raycom broadcast.

Hopefully Disney can sign better advertisers than Bojangles, Food Lion, and a bunch of local Fox affiliate spots. Small-time advertising with Raycom led to small-time payouts.

I don't disagree that its a bit sad to see it go. I remember growing up here in Raleigh and during the week of the ACC Tournament, all the teachers in school would wheel in the TVs to the classroom so we could watch the games, especially when UNC, NCSU, Wake, or Duke was playing, and they were able to do it because they were being aired over the air through WRAL on Raycom.

But... The ACC outgrew mom and pop shops when we expanded in 2003 to the point where it was significantly hurting us financially to stay with Raycom the last 5+ years. To me, Raycom was the last reminder of those people who wanted the ACC to remain a small 8 league team with round robin play that resents everyone that has joined the last 30 years. For that, I'm glad to see it go.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

You're saying that a media company that at one point had rights to broadcast ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac 10 games was mom and pop? That ship sailed years ago when Rick and Dee sold it decades ago.

I sure am going to miss those guys.


Raycom was that girl you stayed with out of habit or sentimentality, long after it made any sense to do so.

Wouldn't the member school president's have to sign off on TV rights? Swofford couldn't just unilaterally sign a deal with raycom, could he?

who began broadcasting ACC basketball and football events through a joint operation with Jefferson Pilot Communications back in 1982.

I look forward to seeing their next venture with Jefferson Space Ranger next year.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

I remember growing up near Richmond in the early 00s, I had my choice of the noon Jefferson-Pilot UNC-Wake Forest game on CBS and the noon ESPN-Plus (the real ESPN-Plus) Rutgers-West Virginia game on ABC. I have no idea why I feel nostalgia for this time period. What I'm trying to say is, y'all are some haters and I hope the ghost of Mike Hogewood haunts you in your sleep.

You're drinking too much nostalgia kool Aid

I feed off of nightmares

I can hate the bullshit Raycom deal Swofford gifted his son and the tens of millions he lost VT due to his nepotism and ineptitude to sign a real network deal, and the baffling amount of rights he gave away freely in the deal we have along with moronic hostage deal he signed with Notre Dame WITHOUT hating the people that busted their ass working for Raycom every day.

I think that likely is true for most so-called "haters" so chillax and understand the difference.

Na, there were a couple of camera men with life goals to finacially screw over ACC sports because one day they might have a rich father that will give them millions if dollars too.

I didn't think anyone was going to take my comment seriously. I was just being silly. I wasn't accusing anyone of hating the people to work for Raycom.

ah.... my fault then . missed the /s