Hundreds of football, basketball games will be televised on future ACC Network
ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the ACC Network – a comprehensive linear and digital network, beginning this summer, with expanded television offerings coming online in August 2019, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper told reporters Thursday at the conference’s annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte.
The 20-year partnership extends the ACC’s relationship with ESPN through the 2035-36 academic year.
In its totality, the deal will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.
Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year. More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms in 2019 when the linear network launches.
“It was also very important to both ESPN and our league that we try to create a model in which each of the ACC’s 27 sponsored sports would be televised in some manner,” Swofford said. “I don’t know if we’ll get them all as some are extremely difficult to produce for television, but by 2019, we’re going to be very close.”
The television network will feature 450 exclusive live events including 40 regular-season football games, more than 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference’s 27-sponsored sports, plus a complement of news and information shows and original programming. ESPN has been televising ACC content since 1979 and has exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football and men’s basketball game, plus women’s basketball and conference sports matchups, as well as all ACC championship events.
“We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams, and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings,” said John Skipper, ESPN President.
“On behalf of the ACC Council of Presidents, Faculty Athletics Representatives and our ACC Television Committee, we are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC. ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans, while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches and institutions.”
Additional details about the network will be announced in the coming months.