In Friday's Daily Links, I quoted the latest post on the future of the long-rumored ACC Network. While there are many hurdles to clear before the network becomes a reality, it's clear that the ACC wants this, and sees it as the next step in firming up the ACC's spot at the big kids table in college athletics.
What would it mean for BC? Here are some burning questions I have about a potential ACC network -- and my attempts at answering them.
Would I even be able to get this channel?
The biggest issue the ACC will have to deal with to get their network off the ground is getting the network set up for maximum distribution, while also squeezing out a good amount of money to carry the station. BC fans are already familiar with this situation, as many began scrambling to find out where they can watch the PAC-12 network when we found out they would be televising the BC-USC game. That quest has gotten even more difficult now that DirecTV has dropped the PAC-12 network, at least temporarily.
With the changing face of digital media, there are going to be growing pains for cable networks and carriers in coming negotiations. Even FOX Sports 1, the heavily publicized new "competitor" (we'll see) to the Worldwide Leader, is not set for distribution yet on all of the major carriers. While I can easily see cable providers in the Carolinas salivating over carrying the ACC Network, it's probably going to be the opposite situation to get the station distributed in Boston, where the ACC will likely be doing all they can to try to get the station picked up.
Would this truly stabilize the ACC?
The theory is that an ACC Network would improve revenue enough to truly solidify the ACC from any potential future defections. Ultimately, I don't really think that's the case. If the SEC wants Florida State or Clemson, or if the B1G wants, well... anyone... odds are pretty good they'd be happy to take the offer.
The only things I can see solidifying the ACC for the long-term future are: 1) Notre Dame joining in ALL sports, or 2) a football playoff setup that permanently puts the ACC champion into the playoffs, either through dissolution of one of the other conferences or expansion of the playoffs.
Would we get some more hockey on TV?
Well, of course I had to reference hockey. Even before the Big Ten Hockey Conference became a reality, the Big Ten Network has enjoyed filling airtime with some high quality hockey matchups involving B1G schools, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Would the ACC Network see value in picking up some BC non-conference games?
I'd say probably. 24 hours a day is a lot of programming to fill, and you can only re-air the women's gymnastics meets so many times. Most BC hockey games are on Friday nights, which isn't traditionally a big night for shootyhoop, if I recall correctly. I think it's likely that an ACC Network could bring some more BC hockey games to the masses.
Obligatory lacrosse reference?
With a dedicated ACC network that could air all of the league's lacrosse bro-downs, would the increased revenue potential of men's lacrosse make it more likely to reappear at BC?
What do you guys think? How far away is an ACC Network? Would it be a huge benefit to BC? What kinds of programming would you be excited to see?