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With ACC Network On Schedule For '19, Conference Gearing Up For Launch

With ACC Network On Schedule For '19, Conference Gearing Up For Launch

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Swofford on Thursday said there is a lot of activity underway related to the network
The ACC Network is "still on pace for its scheduled launch" in '19, and Commissioner John Swofford "asserted that the league office, its 15 member schools and its partners at ESPN are industriously utilizing the meantime to fortify the network infrastructure," according to Manie Robinson of the GREENVILLE NEWS. ACC Network Extra launched one year ago, and Swofford, speaking at the start of the conference's football media days, said that the ACC "produced and distributed 1,450 live events" through the digital platform during the '16-17 academic year. Swofford: "That far exceeded our goal of 600 events, so a tremendous first year." He "estimated that the linear network will produce and distribute more than 1,500 events each season" (GREENVILLE NEWS, 7/14). Swofford on Thursday said there is a "lot of activity currently underway" related to the network. Swofford: "That activity is on our 15 campuses. It's at our offices in Greensboro. It's at ESPN campuses in Bristol, as well as here in Charlotte, as we prepare for the launch in just 24 months." In Pittsburgh, Brian Batko writes "given another eye-opening round of layoffs at ESPN in the spring," it is "fair to wonder" if the ACC Network will end up being as profitable as Big Ten Network and SEC Network. Swofford said, "We're at a stage in our timetable and process with ESPN where it's simply not going to be prudent for us to discuss, until we reach the launch, the specific business aspects that are a work in progress" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/14). In Virginia, David Teel notes the SEC's TV revenue increased 48% from $210.4M to $311.8M in '14-15, the first year of the SEC Network. That "fueled a bump in per-school distributions" from $21M to $32.7M. Teel: "Could the ACC Network generate a similar windfall?" Swofford: "We’ll just have to wait and see. ... There’s no guarantee. It’s not a rights fee. It’s based on distribution. ... Hopefully ours will be just as good, or at least in the ballpark" (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 7/14).

EVERYBODY FOCUS: Swofford also "expressed worry about the future of college athletics in the age of Twitter, Facebook and millennials who seem more interested in burying their noses in cell phones than in passing through turnstiles." In Norfolk, Harry Minium notes college football attendance, especially student attendance, has "fallen for six consecutive years." Swofford: "It’s something that we need to constantly address, and it’s just not college athletics. ... The world today moves a lot more quickly. ... What does that mean to college athletics? What does that mean to putting people in the stadiums and arenas?" He added, "We need the analytics there. We need to understand it in order to develop the right approach and a positive approach and successful approach" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 7/14).

NOT A GOOD LOOK
: Swofford also addressed the recent scandals that have involved ACC schools, including Syracuse, Miami, Wake Forest, Louisville and North Carolina. Swofford: "We haven’t had many in this league, relatively and historically speaking. But we’ve had some from the very beginning because intercollegiate athletics is a passionate world. It’s a world that plays out very publicly" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 7/14). In Roanoke, Mark Berman writes the ACC's reputation has "suffered some hits in the past year for sagas ranging from the 'WakeyLeaks' football scandal to the escorts that were hired for Louisville men’s basketball recruits to the ongoing investigation into academic fraud at North Carolina." Swofford said the ACC is not “going backwards” in its commitment to ethical behavior (ROANOKE TIMES, 7/14).

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