Breaking: ACC Set to Announce Grant of Rights Deal Through 2027 (Updated)

The ACC's Grant of Rights Will Lock in All Teams Through 2027... Goodbye, Realignment Talk!

The ACC’s Grant of Rights Will Lock in All Teams Through 2027… Goodbye, Realignment Talk!

So, remember all those times when the ACC was pretty much dead? Well, so much for that…

As reported by ACC Sports Journal’s David Glenn and The Daily Press’s David Teel, it looks like the ACC is set to announce a grant of media rights agreement through 2027. Such a deal would lock in media revenues from broadcast rights through 2027 for all teams except Notre Dame‘s football program. So, if a school wanted to leave for what used to be perceived as a “better” deal with the Big Ten or Big 12, that benefit’s now moot, since that school would surrender 14 years of revenues.

Obviously, fans of the league have been calling for this type of move for some time, as it basically builds a fence around the current membership (similar to what the Big 12 did a couple years back). With such a long deal, too, the ACC suddenly drops to the bottom of any potential expansion list, since no school can afford to give up a decade-and-a-half of revenues. Effectively, with the two most “vulnerable” leagues (ACC and Big 12) locked up for the foreseeable future, the conference realignment circus looks to be dead, at least in terms of the five major conferences.

We’ll be able to provide more information once the announcement is official and we see the agreement’s details in their entirety. It’s a great day for the ACC and all of its members, and in my own opinion, the perfect segue for an ACC Network to get up and running. With media rights locked in for such an extended period of time, there’s less risk and more value than ever before in undertaking such an endeavor.

Thoughts? These are just some of my initial reactions, and would love to discuss it all further with folks in the comments. We’ll also leave you with this image, courtesy of @TheKeyPlay.

UPDATED: CBS notes that payouts per-school will now be at $20 million annually. This is huge, and with the ACC Network still in the wings, suddenly, the conference is looking much more competitive from a revenue standpoint. The grant of rights agreement also removes the previous exit fee (three times the operating budget).

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21 thoughts on “Breaking: ACC Set to Announce Grant of Rights Deal Through 2027 (Updated)

    • I would certainly think it’s the biggest piece, too. FSU, Clemson, UVA and UNC are all essential to the success/viability of an ACC Network, so this locks them all up for quite awhile. I’d certainly expect to hear about an official ACC Network timeline by the fall.

      And yeah, this makes covering the ACC a much more relaxing exercise. No more fear of off-the-field issues, now just need to focus on improving on-field product.

  1. I am so ecstatic. This is great news for the conference and for all the fans who were worried about either being left out of realignment or getting into the Big 12/Ten and finding out all the disadvantages to being in a league you have no connection with halfway across the country. Now we can finally stop talking about realignment and start enjoying some football.

    With FSU and Clemson finally approaching their potential, Miami and UNC on the rise, adding a Louisville program with the best-run athletic department in the country, and better financial indications now that we’re getting real numbers instead of rumor-mongering, I think the ACC is in a great position for the future. This was really a no-brainer–so why am I so surprised that Swofford and the presidents were able to pull it off?

    Regardless, this is a great day for the conference and all its members. Here’s to at least 14 more years with our old friends and enemies, and three and half great new additions, in this outstanding league!

    • Agree completely. The future’s bright around here, and for those of us who’d like the league to stay intact, the GoR could not be better news.

      In the SB Nation thread, folks are curious what FSU (and maybe Clemson) got in return for all this. I’m assuming a geographic alignment, but maybe I’m wrong? What do you guys think?

      • From Clemson’s perspective, associating with the Dukes and UNCs of the world helps in our neverending quest to become a top-20 public university. And these are schools we’ve been associated with for decades–the Textile Bowl is a big deal for a lot of people, I’ve certainly enjoyed our budding rivalry with FSU, and even among the new guys, VT is a natural rivalry (engineering school with military background in the Appalachian foothills), Miami has given us three incredible OT games since they joined, and the BC trophy game (although a little contrived) has given us a few good games. And the ACC looks to be the best basketball conference and one of the best baseball conferences going forward. It’s a great place for Clemson academically and athletically. The ONLY bad thing about the ACC is the money.

        I would jump on the SEC in a second because I think Clemson fits a little better there culturally, and there’s a lot of history there too–Carolina of course, but we’ve also played Georgia more than 50% of our seasons and Auburn very frequently as well. But that invitation is never going to come. The Big 12 is completely ridiculous and I would have hated a move there in every way.

        For this to have happened, I would guess that there must have been some pretty impressive initial projections about the value of an ACC Network. A geographic alignment that let FSU play GT every year might help from their perspective, but I don’t think that’s a huge concern for Clemson. The divisions are nonsensical of course, but we play everyone we really care about. Practically speaking the only change that would make me happy is getting VT on the schedule every year. The Hokies would probably be in a North Division, but they could become our permanent crossover game.

        • Tomahawk Nation is speculating that the conference might allow bowl teams to keep their revenue instead of splitting it among all teams. That’s about the only unequal revenue sharing I would be in favor of, and I wonder if it was a factor here.

        • Saw that as a potential bargaining chip. That and maybe the divisional alignment could be enough to have FSU completely on board. I do think the easier road to the playoff is something of value for both FSU and Clemson, as well as Virginia Tech.

          CBS has also updated its story (http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/jeremy-fowler/22116192/acc-eyeing-grant-of-rights-deal), saying payouts are now at $20M per team, effective this July. And that’s before the ACC Network. As I’ve mentioned on SB Nation, the ACC will never be at the top of the revenue pile, but it’ll be awful close.

  2. Best news I’ve heard concerning realignment in a while now. Can finally and legitimately tell the Big-12 & B1G trolls to go jump off a bridge! This really is the best conference for VT and I am so excited to play all the new schools!

    One question though, is the GoR for all TV money or just the money from the home games, because that part of the ESPN story has me confused. Thanks to all who answer my question! The best basketball conference ever assembled has just become untouchable. YES!

    • It’s the money for the home games, but that’s where the revenue comes from for football teams. In some odd way, if FSU left for the Big 12, the league could schedule all of their marquee games on the road. But then FSU still doesn’t make money except from revenue sharing, and the new league would lose out tremendously on the deal.

  3. It seems that the most recent positive moves from Swofford and the conference HQ seem to take everyone by surprise (i.e., they are not leaked to the media a week or more before they actually happen). There seemed to be a lot of panic recently because the conference office didn’t appear to be doing anything to shore up the stability of the conference. Can we agree that silence from the conference office does not necessarily mean nothing is going on? Given recent history, it appears to indicate quite the opposite. The ACC apparently prefers to conduct their internal business in private and then let the rest of the world know about it when its done.

    • From the ACC in particular, I’ve always maintained that silence is the best thing we can hear. I appreciate our league conducting business in private, rather than airing out dirty laundry at the expense of its well-being. For most, this announcement should put a stop to worrying and rumor-mongering within the conference, though I’m unsure about those outside of it.

      • You gotta admit John, if I may address you by your first name, that this is a much better SOP than what you’re used to from the Big East via Meatball, Aresco & the Catholic schools. 😉

        • Zero complaints here. I’ve been on-board with everything the ACC’s done since the beginning. The grant of rights builds a wall around the league and effectively kills off realignment talk. As long as my school’s safe, and the conference remains intact, that’s what I’m most concerned with.

  4. So there is a lot of chatter as to why FSU agreed to the GoR now when they rejected the $50 million exit fee. What everyone seems to forget is why FSU rejected the increase in exit fee. FSU voted against the increase in exit fee because they the ACC did not deliver an ACC cable channel. So it seems reasonable to believe that the ACC and ESPN have reached an agreement on an ACC cable channel. Just my humble opinion folks, but it seems reasonable.

    • The cable network is absolutely a part of this. Heard there wasn’t much thought put to the “yes” vote beyond a financial increase, but I’d find that very hard to believe. Still, the increase in annual payouts to $20M/school is a big deal and for the moment, it puts FSU much closer to its rival schools down south.

  5. heck yeah!……stability!…..now I won’t have to put those dang Big 10/Big 12 rumor mongers in their place!, sorry, I meant the West Virginia fans who pose as others to start crap because their still ticked that the ACC chose better schools than theirs for our conference!……get over it Mountaineers, your goose has been cooked!……as for Maryland, I admit I’m going to miss my Deacons playing them, but I’m looking forward to playing the new teams Pitt and Syracuse and soon Louisville!……hopefully, the Deacs can get some kind of regular rivalry game going with one of our great new additions!……this news makes my day look brighter (I’ve got a dental visit coming up….blech)…..as always, thanks for the updates and this site John…….go Deacs and the ACC…….

    • Happy to provide updates, and to you and everyone else, thank you for stopping by.

      As far as Wake rivalries, I do think it’ll be key for the athletic department’s turnaround for the Deacs to generate some new rivalries. This could happen two ways:

      1. Realign the divisions in a North/South setup. Unfortunately though, it may result in Wake getting pushed north. Best way to alleviate the issue would be pushing Miami north instead, keeping the North Carolina schools together. Unsure how willing FSU would be to be in that situation, though.

      2. Syracuse, to me, presents the Deacons’ best opportunity for a new rival. Both are private schools, they’ve had some interesting football games of late, and since they’re currently in the same division, they get to face off annually. For now, that’s the best bet for generating more interest in Wake Forest football matchups (to me, anyway).

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