Here's the full press release for the news we all knew was coming today:
ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the ACC Network - a comprehensive linear and digital network, it was announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper at the conference's annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte, N.C. The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference's existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC's exclusive worldwide rights holder.
Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra', immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year. More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms in 2019 when the linear network launches.
Linear Network Programming
The linear network will feature 450 exclusive live events including 40 regular-season football games, more than 150 men's and women's basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference's 27-sponsored sports, plus a complement of news and information shows and original programming. ESPN has been televising ACC content since 1979 and has exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football and men's basketball game, plus women's basketball and conference sports matchups, as well as all ACC championship events.
"We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams, and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings," said John Skipper, ESPN President.
"On behalf of the ACC Council of Presidents, Faculty Athletics Representatives and our ACC Television Committee, we are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC. ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans, while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches and institutions."
Additional details about the network will be announced in the coming months.
About ESPN, Inc.
ESPN is the only network to have rights agreements with 29 NCAA Division I conferences including long-term rights deals with each of the Power 5 conferences, the NCAA and the College Football Playoff. ESPN, Inc., is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company comprises eight U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network and SEC Network). Other businesses include ESPN Events, ESPN International (24 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital), digital services (ESPN.com plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites; multi-screen WatchESPN and ESPN3; plus mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging), ESPN The Magazine and consumer products. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
About the ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 64th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports - 14 for women and 13 for men - with member institutions located in 10 states. For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (facebook.com/theACC).