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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.

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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