The ACC agreed to a shared Grant of Rights until to 2027. Many are saying this keeps the conference secure for years to come. I still have my doubts. Let me explain:
The grant means all of the ACC's content is now pooled. BC's local radio deal, online rights for Wake Forest Field Hockey, or a Duke-North Carolina game all have the same owner and manager -- the conference. No more local, or team only deals. It also protects new media/internet rights. Obviously not all team's rights are equal. Florida State's radio network is worth much more than say the rights to BC softball. So it is a good sign that every team was willing to sacrifice control and that potential revenue in order for it to be shared by the group. (Perhaps there is some allocation method so a valuable property -- like a BC hockey or Syracuse Lacrosse -- might get a reward for performance. We will know more in the coming days.) The deal also creates another trigger with ESPN, so I predict we will hear about the new financial terms of the ACC-ESPN agreement shortly. It also puts us in the same financial and content standing as the Big 12, which neutralizes one conference as a predator.
Finally, it moves the ACC one step closer to an ACC Network.
Financially this doesn't level the playing field with the Big Ten, Pac 12 or SEC. The ACC remains in a catch up position. It also doesn't include Notre Dame. Without the Irish and in a secondary money position, any of the big 3, but most likely the SEC of Big Ten could poach an ACC team.
While a new conference partner wouldn't get the new (former ACC) school's home games or radio content, the Big Ten or SEC would still get to market to those cable homes in the new markets and would still get all of their conference away games.
One only needs to look towards Maryland to realize what the big conferences are willing to do and pay for. Maryland's content is not worth the $50 million the Big Ten is paying upfront. But the long-term potential is when you factor in Maryland cable homes. And think of how much more valuable other programs are when compared to Maryland.
I think this will cool things off for a few months. The next domino is the SEC's new network and if the ACC is finally willing to get our network on cable. I am glad BC is secure, but I know enough about this process to know it won't end soon.