Monday, May 17, 2010

More on the ACC TV deal

So the smoke has cleared a bit and now we can analyze the ACC's new TV deal with ESPN.

1. It was better than anyone thought.
ESPN passed on their exclusive window earlier this spring and lowballed the ACC until the end. Thankfully FOX came in with a full court press and forced ESPN's hand. ESPN also needed the ACC now more than they did last spring. With Turner entering the college hoops world, ESPN needed to secure the flagship college hoops conference for content. ESPN also rebranded ESPN 360 into ESPN3. As part of that they need a major conference willing to put their games online. The SEC was not willing. The ACC was.

2. Some of you will still have a hard time seeing all of BC's games.
Because we are now in bed with them, this means more games on ESPN U, more games on and continued regional partnering with Raycom. Sorry folks. If your cable company doesn't step up, consider a dish or fios.

3. ESPN will sell some of their games to Raycom. Instead of Raycom bidding seperately they have agreed to buy ACC games from ESPN. That means there will still be regional, syndicated broadcast coverage of ACC sports. It is to be determined if this will carry ESPN branding, ACC branding or Raycom branding, but it will be a Raycom production and probably have the same affiliate network Raycom now has.

4. The ACC is betting on the future.
The ACC's deal is smaller than the SEC's. It is also shorter. So next time the ACC will negotiate before the SEC. The thought process with this is that the economy will be better, there is an advantage for setting the market and the power football teams (Miami and FSU) will be stronger.

5. This helps protect the conference but doesn't guarantee anything.
The deal is strong and makes it much less likely that anyone will bolt but it is still short of the Big Ten and the SEC's deals. As long as there is money on the table, teams will listen.


Benjamin said...

Bill, I don't know how you do it, but I thank you for the work you put into maintaining the best Boston College blog/legitimate information source on our beloved Eagles out there.
This is a daily read, along with all of the commentors (mod34b I'm looking at you), but you've made it easy to stay connected to BC. I sometimes feel like we lose sight of what BC means for us, but you keep right at it. Cheers.
On that note, it's refreshing to see the ACC taking some initiative and securing a decent TV package. BC fans, while they may not travel, watch the games. Boston market, here we come...

ObserverCollege said...

"there is an advantage for setting the market and the power football teams (Miami and FSU) will be stronger."

Yes there is, but note the caveat: Miami and FSU have to be stronger. That means, John Swofford, it's time to step up and control your referees.

No more Wake Forests in the BCS. No more allowing Boston College to upset teams like FSU and Clemson. You can't allow these glorified FCS programs to steal a spot in the ACCCG that should rightfully go to a favored entity like a Bowden. When you have a family that is routinely hailed on the WWL, and has formed relationships with those who control the airwaves (thanks to Terry's good work in the studio), you have to treat their teams right. Your officials were so preoccupied with calling games "fairly" that they vaporized an entire decade that could have been used to build the ACC brand.

Well, thanks to Fox bidding up the contract we get a do-over. So officials, use the tools that you've been given. Now if you're stuck, you can do something obvious like call the new excessive celebration penalty when a BC or Wake scores an apparent game-winning TD against a FSU or a Miami. Yes, it takes away the TD, but it's so obvious that you might end up in the annals of "Lakers v. Sacramento, 2002". Get someone to chirp like Donaghy and you really have problems.

Better to establish the flow of the game from the beginning. Call a bunch of holding penalties on BC early if they're playing a FSU. The O-Line is the foundation of their team. Get them paranoid, so that they play tentatively, and you can let FSU's recruiting advantage exert itself.

In basketball, call two offensive fouls on a Reggie Jackson in the first five minutes when they're playing a foundation program in the conference. That's how it's done, uh, "elsewhere". You know, where things like "reputation" and "profit" actually matter. Anyway, do that when a Jackson plays UNC or Duke, and he'll be so gunshy that he becomes just another guy.

Or, you know, continue on the same boring path. Continue being Lawrence O'Brien. See how well that works.

Mr. Swofford, the choice is yours.

Lenny Sienko said...

Any word on whether the new ACC/ESPN deal will have effect on the current absurd "blackout"provisions?

Will those of us in the Northeast still be prevented from watching BC games if we don't live in MASS?

Galvin said...

Side note - Bleachers is saying it's likely that Kevin Noreen will not be allowed to play for any other ACC schools. Considering that he's received nearly 40 offers (I believe including interest from UNC), that's good news. If he doesn't end up at BC, I would hate for him to sign within the conference. Let's hope Donahue can pull some strings with him now with this new leverage. You want to be an ACC basketball player 'Sota?

mod10aeagle said...

Any chance ESPN will insist on a minimum IQ clause for announcers in the contract with Raycom?

mod34b said...

Benjamin, glad you liked my posts .. . now if i could just get that prince of darkness and doom Bravesbill to come around . . . . hmmmmm . . .

mod10 -- don't you like the sassy remarks by Raycom's Doc Walker? I think the guy is great. There are, though, more than a few knuckleheads on raycom.

Was it ESPN that had that very, very bad "lady" play-by-play person? She was just awful.

mod10aeagle said...

Raycom invariably hires some former player with obvious brain damage to do color commentary. Nevermind pronouncing player's names correctly (I remember one guy called Brace "Brice" for three quarters), I get that no one does homework for BC games, but can they at least speak intelligently about the game, even generically?

CT said...

Doc Walker is awful.

Someone actually likes Mod's posts? Benjamin must be a relative.

Or else the Seventh Seal has been broken.

Really above-expectation TV deal. For the ACC? I'd be interested in ACC football ratings in recent yrs...they are dwarfed by others. I guess this is primarily a bball move. Obviously ESPN isn't bidding to lose money, but aren't we now getting only $4 mil less per school than the SEC? Um, okay. Must be all the Wake alums tuning in. All 14 of them. ESPN has money to burn after not getting the NCAA tourney, I get that. But this is also ESPN going out on a limb wrt possible expansion/defections. If bball is the motivator, they must feel good that any possible additions will prove even more profitable. In football, I don't see it.

I agree it may lessen some schools' predilection for leaving once the Big 10 makes its move, but still think a couple of schools are ripe. The SEC doesn't need Atlanta, though, it already owns it. That's why FSU and Clemson departures would sink the conference in a football sense. It'd be better if GTech went instead. But the SEC would probably lose money w/ FSU and Clemson since the annual payout is locked in. The SEC would do well to start up their own network.

To get w/in $50 mil of the SEC and Big 10 in annual fees is a coup for the conference.

mod34b said...

CT the snarky SEC wannabe!

Why do you even bother with the ACC (or BC) when the SEC is so so superior! Is it to allow you to point out the folly of our ways??

I am going to have to call on Harry Collins to beat you to smithereens again should we get more SEC/Atlanta blather! (I know you hate when Harry thumps you)

ps, you don't know football if you don't love Doc -- kinda like an ACC version of that other tough-guy-tight-end-turned-sports-announcer Shannon Sharpe.

matthew2 said...

Walker is awful.... very tough to listen to.

You like shannon sharpe too? damn

bobble said...


I really don't think you know football if you like walker. He can't even get players names right.

mod34b said...

bobble -- sure he gets names wrong -- everyone at Raycom does -- but Doc knows his football and really is into smash-mouthed football. guy has great enthusiasm for the game and really gets into how the players are playing.

first few times i heard Doc, i did not like him, but then i realized the guy really knows his stuff. but i can understand Doc (or shannon sharpe) is not for the faint of heart -- you know, the guys who think Joe Buck is just swell

Ry said...

reading this makes me wish we had an engineering program

CT said...

Yeah, let's all wait for Al to retire when he wants to. Great plan. That dude makes me laugh.

Walker had a radio show in D.C. when I lived up there. Remarkably bad. Says dumb things.

Your admiration for him kinda makes sense now, actually.

mod34b said...

CT -- i know you like to be cryptic (adds to the pseudo cool vibe), but who is the "dude [that] makes me laugh"

I get you don't get Doc Walker. He's not for everyone. Stick with Brent Musberger and Craig James....I hear they all regularly praise the almighty SEC.

Mod33B said...

Walker may be bit rough around the edges but I like him.