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Projections Make ACC Network More Profitable Than Pac 12

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The Athletic Coast Conference is scheduled to launch its linear cable network next year with the help of ESPN. A lack of a conference network has been blamed by some for the ACC ranking fifth amongst the Power Five college athletics conferences when it comes to per school payouts. Those rankings, including the amount awarded to each conference member, were as follows for 2017.

  1. Big Ten ($50 million +)
  2. SEC ($40.9 million)
  3. Big 12 ($36.5 million)
  4. Pac 12 ($31.5 million)
  5. ACC ($26.6 million)

Those payouts go a long way towards subsidizing athletic department budgets and hiring top name coaches and retaining elite assistants. It should be noted that the above numbers do not include the $1 million the ACC gives to each school to reimburse travel expenses to championship events. It also does not include tertiary source payments (such as the Longhorn Network) that the Big 12’s member schools receive.

Luke DeCock from the Raleigh News & Observer sites sources that say the ACC’s leagues office in Greensboro, NC is expecting the new Network’s profits to be high enough to move the conference into the top three.

It’s going to be almost impossible for the ACC to close the gap on the SEC and Big Ten, both of which had a considerable head start on their own (profitable) networks, but the ACC is counting on network revenue – which even in its least optimistic projections should be at least $10 million per school per year, once the network is up and running – to move it past the Pac-12 and even with the Big 12.

DeCock goes on to say that the highest estimations have profits high enough to send as much as $15 million to each of the ACC’s 14 full members and a slightly smaller amount to Notre Dame, who does not participate in ACC football.

There are still a lot of moving parts here. First, the ACC Network is still not even officially launched. Next, there are carriage deals to work out, although with the power of ESPN behind it, the ACC Network should be in a good position.

Still, if these projections are even close to accurate, it would put the ACC Network on stronger financial footing than the Pac 12 Network, even though it will have launched seven years later. Andrew Buchoiltz of Awful Announcing says there is value in the members of the Pac 12 owning their own network outright, but it may not have been the smartest play.

So, the Pac-12 Networks hadn’t yet reached $5 million per school by 2017, five years after launch. And the ACC Network’s forecasting at least double that by the time it gets “up and running.” Maybe that’s an overoptimistic projection, but if it isn’t, that would put the ACC in a nice place relative to the Pac-12, at least on the network side. Of course, it should be noted that the Pac-12 schools still own their network too, so there’s equity value there, but the ACC’s strategy of teaming up with ESPN for a network instead of starting their own sure is looking pretty good right about now.

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Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”

Jordan Bondurant

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In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.

This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.

Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.

Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”

Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.

“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”

In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”

McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.

“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Considers Launching Streaming Service

“It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.”

Jordan Bondurant

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All Elite Wrestling is looking into launching its own streaming service.

According to reporting from Bloomberg, a source “familiar with management’s thinking” said AEW is looking to strike a deal with broadcast partner Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since launching in 2019, AEW now puts on two weekly shows on Warner channels TBS and TNT and airs two shows on YouTube.

Last year AEW acquired Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of that deal, AEW took ownership of RoH’s extensive content library Honor Club. So much like WWE did with WWE Network when it launched in 2014, AEW could launch its streaming service and have all of Ring of Honor’s content in a one-stop shop.

It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.

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NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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