Forbes: The ACC's Third Tier Rights
The ACC television rights that Raycom secured are credited with keeping the syndicator alive: “company executives acknowledged that keeping a piece of the ACC’s business was the only way the small, regional TV syndicator and production company could stay relevant.” Raycom pays $50 million annually in a sublicense agreement with ESPN; ACC schools see none of that money.
It’s rather surprising that a conference would so willingly take less TV money – the core source of revenue in collegiate athletics – just to keep a broadcast company from folding. There are, of course, plenty of conspiracy theories to explain Swofford’s irrational decision. Raycom Sports is based in North Carolina, and the ACC is often accused of favoring its four NC schools. Then there’s Swofford’s son, Chad Swofford, who is the Senior Director of New Media and Business Development at Raycom Sports (he was also employed by Boston College athletics when the school received an invite from the ACC). But regardless of what theory you choose to believe, the ultimate conclusion is that the ACC has not been the best at negotiating its TV rights contracts.
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