The ACC owes Fox a Christmas card this year.

A little competitive bidding pays off for the ACC at TV contract renewal time.

ESPN won the TV rights to ACC football and basketball in a bidding competition with Fox Sports that was surprisingly close, industry sources say, and as a result made the conference several million more dollars.

The back-and-forth bidding, which reached its final stages last week at the league’s spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., drove up ESPN’s rights fee from initial projections of about $120 million a year to $155 million, sources said, providing the ACC with more than double the revenue it was receiving from its previous football and basketball contracts.

Nice, even if that isn’t up to SEC standards.

… That annual figure of $155 million dwarfs the average of $67 million the league was getting from its previous media deals, which expire at the end of the 2010-11 season, but falls well short of the $205 million a year that the SEC gets from its new 15-year deals with CBS and ESPN.

Maybe Georgia Tech can afford to buy out Paul Hewitt’s contract now.

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12 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, It's Just Bidness

12 responses to “The ACC owes Fox a Christmas card this year.

  1. ugalaw

    It is comparing apples and oranges to compare the ACC and SEC tv deals. The SEC negotiated and signed their contract before the economic downturn while the ACC deal was obviously well after.

    That said, the ACC deal did much for the conference, thanks in large part to basketball. It is only for 12 years which might allow them to make up some of the difference (roughly 4-5million/yr per school) than the current SEC deal (since it runs for three extra years).

    But SEC is still king when it comes to ESPN. My only question is whether ACC teams and defenses will get “ESPN” speed now in the color commentary reserved for SEC teams this past year.

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    • Reptillicide

      I don’t think the SEC deal happened before the economic downturn, unless they signed the deal 3 years ago and nobody knew about it.

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  2. Russell

    Great. Can’t wait to be immersed in the Juggernaut that is ACC football.

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  3. 81Dog

    I can’t wait to see Corso and Herbstreit flogging the all important matchup between Duke and Maryland in seasons to come.

    I predict there won’t be many blimp shots of half to 2/3 empty ACC stadiums on game day, but maybe someone will at least watch them on TV. If the Sham Wow guy is working his magic on another station, though, forget it.

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    • ugalaw

      Ya’ll are funny. I bet Duke Maryland will get about as much national exposure at Kentucky Vandy.

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  4. Macallanlover

    The part of the deal I questioned was putting the ACC Championship on against the Big 12 Championship at night. Why not take a 1:00 uncontested spot, or even play it on Friday night? If FSU makes their expected comeback to glory this fall that will help overcome the GT/Wake/Clemson ratings flop, but I think Texas/Nebraska will still swamp a game that has 30K+ empty seats.

    But then this is the network that splits it’s Saturday night audience with two good SEC night contests every single week. Not to mention having their sister network ABC put their blockbuster game on at 8:00 Eastern to further split the audience…..and promoting it on ESPN heavier than ESPN does it’s own lineup.

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  5. Barring the BC-Miami match up in the ACC title game I doubt we’ll have 30,000 empty seats. The game in Florida was a mistake by the league, who anticipated that FSU and Miami would be regular visitors.

    The game’s in Charlotte this year so if any combination of UNC, GT, Clemson, VT, FSU get into the game there should be a packed house. As for the ratings, I agree on the early timeslot. I’m an ACC fan but the fact that I’ll be missing the end of the SEC title game as I enter the stadium and all of the Big XII game is frustrating.

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    • Macallanlover

      I agree the empty seats will diminish IF they get the sexy matchups, but Miami is a notoriously weak fanbase, GT cannot even sell out their own stadium without help from the visiting team, and BC is unlikely to bring many fans. Add to that, Wake, Maryland, Duke (I know), and the ACC’s lack of tradition in this event and there has to still be some concern. No doubt, participation from schools like FSU, Clemson, and Va. Tech will solve their problem. Weather could be an issue in an open stadium in North Carolina, another reason for an early PM start.

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  6. AthensHomerDawg

    The Force is with the producers of “Lost.”

    At Thursday’s (May 13) “Lost Live: The Final Celebration,” ABC Studios executive Barry Jossen read a letter from George Lucas to executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. No, he wasn’t demanding royalties for all the “Star Wars” references that have littered “Lost” over the past six seasons. He was merely congratulating the show on its run and offering some words of support.

    Here’s the text of the letter:

    Congratulations on pulling off an amazing show. Don’t tell anyone … but when ‘Star Wars’ first came out, I didn’t know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories — let’s call them homages — and you’ve got a series.

    In six seasons, you’ve managed to span both time and space, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I never saw what was around the corner. Now that it’s all coming to an end, it’s impressive to see how much was planned out in advance and how neatly you’ve wrapped up everything. You’ve created something really special. I’m sad that the series is ending, but I look forward to seeing what you two are going to do next.

    Afterward Lindelof said, “I just want to apologize to Mr. George Lucas for everything I said about the prequels …” — drawing one of many big laughs from the hugely appreciative crowd at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

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  7. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The best thing that could now happen for Tech would be for the Hawks to hire Hewitt. That WOULD get them off the hook.

    Like