ACC Commissioner John Swofford
Mark my words, folks. We're fixin' to get swindled. And not in that Every Day Should Be Saturday kinda way. Beginning on March 1st the ACC entered an exclusive negotiating period with ESPN on a new television contract. Well, we certainly need a new deal as our current one, A) has expired, & B) pays us $73 million per year, a paltry sum when compared with the SEC ESPN deal of $205 million per annum (the SEC also gets another $205 million from CBS, FWIW). How'd the SEC get so much money, you ask?
Well, SEC football is king. That's a fact. More people, more money. But the "X factor" is SEC commissioner Mike Slive. A former lawyer, Slive is smart, aggressive, & a very astute businessman. He drove a hard bargain and every SEC school is better for it. How the hell does this relate to our TV contract? Well, the SEC had Mike Slive negotiating for them when they got their deal from ESPN. Who do we have? You guessed it.....John Swofford. The sound you just heard was indeed a painful groan. John Swofford is heading the charge on our behalf. The same guy that ran the BCS (you may now punch yourself in the groin). This is something akin to the settlers (ESPN) negotiating with the Indians (the ACC) upon their arrival in the New World:
ESPN: we want your somewhat valuable sports commodity but we simply won't pay you anything near market value for it.
Swofford: those beads look pretty. And some whiskey. Love me some whiskey.
ESPN: so we'll take all your land, countless natural resources, and anything else we want, whenever we want to take it. All for $19.95, beads, whiskey, and a pack of smokes?
Swofford: Don't need the smokes. I'm from Tobacco Road. But I do like Moon Pies. Will you throw in some Moon Pies?
ESPN: we'd love to. And a Carolina Blue sweater vest. We'll even give you small pockets of TV time that no one gives a shit about. Sort of like the pale face gave the Indians reservations?
Swofford: well, if Carolina hoops is covered prime time, I'm in. Could give a rat's ass about anything else. But let me check my options...
Swofford: I'm back. Checked with the folks at NFL Network. They seemed alright and since NOBODY gets their channel it would certainly be an option for us. Also called Versus, but they're Canadian so that's a no go. Something called FitTV offered me a stake in their network. Lotsa' folks running around in tights. And Raycom is always an option. Love that retro-equipment they use. It's like you're back watching TV in 1973.
ESPN: well John, we're gonna let you sweat then low-ball the shit out of you since you think you can get a better deal elsewhere. We know you want $120 million but we're not even in that ballpark.
Swofford: that's ok. I'm just gonna hang out here & play some tiddlywinks. Fun game that tiddlywinks. Should try it sometime. Just remember the Moon Pies....
That's our next ACC television deal in a nutshell.....Enjoy....