ESPN has announced a new 12 year multimedia rights deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference for football, basketball and Olympic sports. It gives ESPN control of all interconference games. In addition, ESPN will sell a package of games to Raycom Sports which will continue to syndicate games to over the air stations. It also ensures both North Carolina-Duke basketball games on ESPN, taking one away from CBS every other year. ESPN will remain the home of the ACC football and basketball championships. Here’s the press release.
ESPN and ACC Reach Exclusive 12-Year AgreementIncludes Football, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and Olympic Sports; Conference Championships; Syndication and Corporate Marketing Deal with Raycom Sports; Cable and Broadcast TV Plus Comprehensive Multimedia RightsESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) have reached a 12-year agreement for exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football and men’s basketball game, plus women’s basketball and Olympic sports matchups, and conference championships. The agreement, which begins in 2011-12 and continues through 2022-23, was announced by George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, and John Swofford, ACC Commissioner. It will result in approximately 4,800 ACC events over the 12 years on ESPN’s television outlets, digital and mobile platforms, syndication and more.Among the entities included are: ESPN, ESPN on ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3.com, the new ESPN 3D network, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN International, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Classic and ESPN.com. Numerous events will be produced in high definition across ESPN HD, ABC HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNU HD.Additionally, through a new sublicense arrangement with ESPN, Raycom Sports will continue its long-standing position as the syndication home of ACC content for over-the-air and regional cable network distribution in the ACC market and beyond. Raycom Sports will also continue to manage the ACC’s official corporate partner program and the exploitation of its digital assets, including www.theACC.com, the official conference web site.ESPN has been televising ACC content since the first year of the network in 1979-80. Highlights of the new agreement include:
- Football on national TV: Regular-season action on Saturday afternoon and nights, primetime Thursdays, Labor Day Monday and the ACC Football Championship Game;
- Men’s basketball on national TV: The most games ever across the ESPN networks, highlighted by both regular-season matchups of the storied Duke-North Carolina rivalry each year; for the first time, full national telecasts on all games televised on an ESPN platform (had been local market blackouts on handful of telecasts); a new weekly Sunday franchise on ESPNU; every regular-season intra-conference game and the entire conference tournament produced and distributed via ESPN and Raycom Sports;
- Women’s basketball: A record number of women’s regular-season basketball games and the addition of the entire conference tournament;
- Olympic sports: An expanded commitment to the league’s 22-sponsored Olympic sports with regular-season and championship telecasts, highlighted by baseball, softball, lacrosse, and men’s and women’s soccer;
- Syndication: Syndication rights for ACC football, basketball and Olympic sports action for over-the-air and regional cable network distribution in ACC markets and beyond via an agreement with Raycom Sports and through potential sublicense agreements with other national outlets;
- Digital media: Exclusive ACC football, men’s and women’s basketball, and Olympic sports games as well as simulcasts on ESPN3.com. Live ACC games, including football and basketball, on ESPN Mobile TV;
- ESPN 3D: Live ACC action on ESPN 3D, ESPN’s newest network and the first 3D network to launch in the industry;
- Additional outlets: ACC action on ESPN International, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN Classic and ESPN Deportes; and extensive content rights for ESPN.com.“Some of ESPN’s most memorable moments have featured the ACC and we’re proud to extend our long-term relationship with this great conference and Raycom,” Bodenheimer said.ACC Commissioner John Swofford said, “We are excited to be continuing our partnership with ESPN and Raycom Sports. This agreement allows our schools to reach significantly new financial heights while also showcasing more ACC content and coverage than ever before across traditional and new media platforms.”“We are very excited to continue our 30 year partnership with the ACC and ESPN,” said Ken Haines, President and CEO of Raycom Sports. “Throughout the ever-changing landscape of sports television, we have always prided ourselves on the long term relationships we have with both the ACC and ESPN.”Following are the key details of the new agreement:FootballWith exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football game, ESPN will serve as the national cable and broadcast TV home for the conference and distributor of syndication telecasts via an agreement with Raycom Sports. With the agreement granting rights to every matchup, there is flexibility where games can be distributed on a weekly basis throughout the season. Outlets will include:ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC: The networks will televise ACC games each week, including Thursday, Saturday and a Labor Day Monday telecast each season. The ACC Football Championship Game will continue to be televised each year on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.ESPNU: The 24-hour college sports network, currently distributed in more than 70 million households, will continue to televise ACC football.Syndication: ESPN will sublicense games to Raycom Sports and potentially to additional national outlets. As part of the agreement, Raycom Sports will produce and distribute a package of games for over-the-air syndication and for the first time, an additional package of games through regional cable syndication in the ACC markets and beyond.ESPN3.com: Exclusive ACC game presentations as well as simulcasts will be offered on the broadband network.ESPN 3D: ACC matchups will be part of the live schedule of games offered on the new service.ESPN Mobile TV: Extensive ACC content, including highlights and live game simulcasts will be presented on mobile phones.ESPN International and ESPN Deportes: The deal includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations across ESPN’s International platforms and domestic Spanish-language rights for ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour, U.S.-based network.ESPN GamePlan: The out-of-market college football service will continue to offer an extensive weekly schedule of ACC games.ESPN Classic: The network may televise live ACC games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations.ESPN.com: Extensive ACC content, including highlights, will be presented online.Men’s BasketballAs the exclusive rightsholder to all conference-controlled men’s basketball games, ESPN will offer more ACC men’s basketball than ever before, including every intra-conference matchup and an extensive schedule of inter-conference action on one of its platforms or through sublicense agreements with Raycom Sports or other national outlets. The deal also includes the continuation of the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge event. Similar to football, as a result of the acquisition of exclusive men’s basketball rights, there is flexibility where games can be distributed. Outlets will include:ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU: The networks will combine to offer numerous intra-conference games, highlighted by top showdowns, including both Duke-North Carolina contests, plus several conference controlled inter-conference matchups with no blackouts (the previous agreement included select blackouts in the ACC market). Highlighting the schedule will be a new weekly ESPNU Sunday telecast and the continuation of ACC action on ESPN’s Super Tuesday, Wednesday Night Hoops, Thursday Night Showcase and Saturdays. ESPN will also retain the rights to all ACC Tournament games for distribution across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU (with no blackouts).Syndication: Similar to football, ESPN will sublicense games to Raycom Sports and potentially to additional national outlets. As part of the agreement, Raycom Sports will produce and distribute a significant package of intra-conference games through over-the-air syndication and a series of matchups through regional cable networks.ESPN3.com: Exclusive ACC game presentations as well as simulcasts will be offered on the broadband network.ESPN 3D: ACC matchups will be part of the live schedule of games offered on the new service.ESPN Mobile TV: Extensive ACC content, including highlights and live game simulcasts will be presented on mobile phones.ESPN International and ESPN Deportes: The deal includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations across ESPN’s International platforms and domestic Spanish-language rights for ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour, U.S.-based network.ESPN FULL COURT: The out-of-market college basketball service will offer extensive weekly coverage of the ACC.ESPN Classic: The network may telecast live ACC games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations.ESPN.com: Extensive ACC content, including highlights, will be presented online.Women’s BasketballESPN will expand its coverage of regular-season women’s basketball across its platforms and televise the conference semifinals and championship for the first time on an ESPN network. In addition, ESPN will sublicense games to Raycom Sports.ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU: ACC teams will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. In addition, ESPN will acquire the rights to the women’s conference championship game for coverage on ESPN or ESPN2, while the semifinals will be aired on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.ESPN3.com: Exclusive ACC game presentations as well as simulcasts will be offered on the broadband network.Syndication: Through an agreement with ESPN, Raycom Sports will produce and distribute a series of regular-season games and all early rounds of the conference tournament to regional cable networks.Olympic SportsESPN will televise more of the 22 ACC-sponsored Olympic sports than ever before, increasing its coverage to include regular-season and conference championship events.ESPN and ESPN2: The networks will have first selection of regular-season events each year (events are to be determined).ESPNU: A package of regular-season events will be televised annually, highlighted by lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer and others.ESPN3.com: Numerous, exclusive regular-season events plus simulcasts will be offered annually, including lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, and others.Championships: ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU will televise the conference championship games in softball and baseball while ESPNU will offer the men’s lacrosse semifinals and championship, and men’s and women’s soccer championship matchups. Other championships may be selected for ESPN platforms or distributed by Raycom Sports to regional cable networks.
That’s it. No financial details were announced but Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand has the particulars in a report he wrote two months ago.