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ACC Announces Grant Of Rights Agreement

The ACC has apparently reached a media deal similar to the one that ended talk of Big 12 realignment, ensuring the league's stability at least for the next while.


According to ACC Sports Journal's David Glenn, the ACC is set to announce a 15-school Grant of Rights agreement that would help ensure greater conference stability.

Glenn's initial report was later confirmed by CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler, with league presidents clearing this with each's legal departments as a next step. The ACC's Grant of Rights will extend through the conclusion of ESPN TV Deal (the 2026-2027 season).

What is a "grant of rights" you may ask? Essentially, a grant of rights is a contract between member schools and the conference pledging the school's media rights to conference for a number of year should a school leave the conference. The Big Ten, Big 12 and PAC-12 all have similar agreements in place. The grant of rights agreement makes it more difficult for existing members to leave the conference without giving up their media rights.

Just like any other contract, however, a grant of rights can be broken and challenged in court.

While a grant of rights contract can ultimately be broken, this is yet another mechanism, along with exit fees, that promotes conference stability and makes it more difficult for teams to leave the conference. At the very least, GOR agreements promote the perception of conference stability, which may be as important as actual stability in the high-stakes game of major program musical chairs.

Also important to note that the Big Ten, the conference currently seen to be the biggest threat to ACC stability, also has a grant of rights agreement in place. Should the conference be successful in luring schools like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State into the fold, they would have to successfully argue against the ACC's grant of rights while upholding their own. I'm no lawyer but this sounds ... difficult.

This is yet another step in the right direction in terms of stabilizing the conference and protecting from raids by the Big Ten, Big 12 and/or SEC. With Notre Dame extending its TV deal with NBC through 2025, thus making full ACC membership for the Irish unlikely, it would appear that conference realignment may just be slowing down to the point where we reach a temporary equilibrium for the major conferences. Never say never, but things seem to be slowly stabilizing.

What will West Virginia bloggers do all summer now?

UPDATE: Officially official. NinjaSwofford does it again.

More from SB on the ACC's Grant of Rights here.