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ACC Inks Media Deal With The CW Network For Football, Basketball

  • The CW will broadcast 50 football and basketball games annually until 2026-27.
  • The partnership comes at an opportune time for the ACC.
Oct 8, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; ACC teams the Clemson Tigers and the Boston College Eagles line up for the snap at the line of scrimmage during the second quarter at Alumni Stadium.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The CW Network has secured a stake in Power 5 sports media rights.

On Thursday, the network announced it had struck a deal with the ACC to broadcast 50 football and basketball games yearly until 2026-27. Next season, the CW will air 13 football games, 28 men’s basketball games, and nine women’s basketball games.

The games will likely be those that wouldn’t have made it to ESPN’s national networks, and instead were featured on local networks including Bally Sports and Fox Sports. Raycom Sports sublicenses games like these to local broadcasters — which allowed the CW to step into the partnership. Raycom Sports will produce the games for the CW.

The partnership signals that the conference is pivoting away from local broadcasting companies as turmoil in the local TV industry continues.

It was important for the ACC not to risk any lost media rights revenue, as its locked into a media rights contract with ESPN until 2036. While the contract provides stability, there has been concern that it would fall woefully behind other Power 5 conferences — which will renegotiate their media packages multiple times before the ACC can. The league currently sends checks in the mid-$30 million range to each school in conference distributions, according to tax filings — most of which comes from media rights revenue.

It’s a happy marriage for The CW as well. The company has inked deals with LIV Golf, “Inside the NFL” and has been rumored to be in the mix for sports media rights, including the Pac-12.

“We are committed to making The CW a destination for live, appointment-viewing sporting events,” Dennis Miller, President of The CW Network, said in a statement. 

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