By Anson Whaley
The ACC meetings are underway and commissioner John Swofford has had his hands full over the year. But according to him at the meetings, he's going to be pretty busy trying to set up an ACC Network. And judging my his comments, that time seems like it will be sooner rather than later:
"We don't want to let any grass grow, and I don't think ESPN does either," said Swofford, who updated conference athletic directors Monday on the viability of the proposed ACC Network.
Swofford also says the conference has some kind of reach:
Swofford said the 15 schools will give the ACC footprint a population of about 107 million, the largest of any collegiate conference in the U.S.
"By 2030," he said, "over 50 percent of the population of the U.S. will be in the ACC footprint."
I've long said that more networks would happen ever since the Big Ten Network hit the airwaves. Heck, if the conference was still together, I even thought there would be a Big East Network
at some point. The fact that this is happening should surprise no one. At this point, it would be a huge surprise if it didn't
It seems like it's been on the table for quite some time, but the Grant of Rights deal was the first order of business. Swofford has been (rightfully) a bit preoccupied with strengthening the conference. That took priority and it's understandable the network thing has been placed on the back burner.
A big problem is always that cable companies don't want to pass on the additional cost that it will cost them to their customers. But it would still be a shock if it didn't get done. That hurdle's been successfully cleared by the B1G and there's no reason that other conferences can't navigate those waters as well. There's the a la carte hurdle, but we could still be a while from that happening.
For now, all signs point to an ACC Network.
ACC Network: Sooner rather than later