News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Thursday, May 20, 2004
by Will Stewart,

ACC Signs New Syndication Deals

The ACC finalized their new TV contracts as a 12-team league by inking new football and basketball syndication deals with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot, the league announced Wednesday. With the new contracts, the ACC's TV coverage and revenue are now set through the 2010-2011 academic year.

Football contract: For the first time, Raycom Sports will partner with Jefferson Pilot Sports in producing ACC football games for syndication (previously, only JP was involved in the football syndication package). The league will offer 10 weeks of syndicated games in 2004 and 11 weeks in 2005, up from just eight weeks in prior years. The league will also be able to offer split broadcasts of different games in different locales.

Raycom/JP will be able to choose games to televise after ABC and ESPN have selected games.

Though the value of the football package has not been reported by the conference, it is estimated by the USA Today to be about $4 million per year, up from $1 million per year.

In reporting on the new contracts, the USA Today stated that Ken Haines, president and chief executive officer of Raycom Sports, said the addition of Virginia Tech will increase the intensity of rivalries within the league's existing geographic borders. He also said the additions of Miami and Boston College gives the league access to new markets, creating a "dynamite syndicated football package."

Basketball contract: The ACC will receive $225 million over the next seven years from Raycom/JP, an increase from the previous contract's value of $210 million over the same time period. Raycom and Jefferson Pilot have been producing ACC basketball games since 1982.

Unlike with football, Raycom and JP have first dibs on what games to broadcast, and they sell the rights to games they don't select to ESPN and ABC.

A strong, lucrative partnership: Now that Raycom and Jefferson Pilot both have rights to football and basketball games, it will allow them to market both sports together. ACC commissioner John Swofford praised Raycom/JP in statements at the press conference announcing the deals, saying, "I don't know how any conference could've had over the past 22 years a better relationship with a television partner than our conference has had with Raycom and Jefferson Pilot."

When the two syndication contracts are combined with the $258 million, 7-year deal signed last week with ESPN/ABC for football, the league will now earn $511 million from TV rights fees over the next seven years. That equates to $73 million per year, up from a previous total of approximately $53 million per year ($30 million for basketball, $23 million for football). On a per-team basis, the income is $6.1 million per year, up from $5.9 million as a nine-team league.


TSL News and Notes Archives

TSL Home