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The ACC’s New TV Deal Isn’t Great News For Maryland Fans

So it looks like the ACC will be just fine.

When Maryland first announced its intention to leave the ACC for the Big Ten, one common thought was that the Terps move would trigger another round of conference relocation. The end result, many suggested, was the demise of the ACC.

That no longer looks like the case. News emerged that the existing schools in the ACC – minus Maryland – plus newcomers Louisville and Syracuse agreed to sign over their television rights through 2026 in an agreement called a “grant of rights.”

Here’s Pete Thamel from SI to explain:

Essentially, this announcement protects the ACC from other leagues — the Big Ten and Big 12, specifically — taking its teams. For the next few decades, no teams will be able to leave the ACC without sacrificing their media rights, hence giving those schools no value to the leagues looking to expand.

As a Maryland fan, I’m having a tough time with all of this. I know that the decision to jump to the Big Ten was made for money. The B1G will pay the Terps more, regardless of the ACC grant of rights agreement.

But for me it was a lot easier to swallow Maryland leaving the ACC with the underlying thought that the conference as I knew it would collapse. Now, knowing it won’t, knowing that other natural rivals rumored to be making the B1G move as well — schools like UVa. or Georgia Tech — won’t be coming, makes the B1G news that much worse.

I’m not naïve, this was a cash grab from the beginning, but now it seems obvious Maryland could have stayed in a solidified ACC and probably figured out their financial woes. With all of the ACC teams staying in place, the next TV deals will bring in more revenue, an ACC channel is quite realistic, and the money gap between the B1G and ACC will shrink.

Who knows. Maybe FSU or Clemson already has a team of lawyers figuring out a way to wiggle out of this agreement. But it sure doesn’t seem like it.

The Big Ten is a great league, the football is significantly better, the hoops is great, and the money will be better. But it aint the ACC I’ve grown up watching.

I will miss the Duke games, the Bojangles ads, even the dreaded Carolina refs. New rivalries will emerge in the B1G, I know that, but today I’m sad. My first reaction to the news of Maryland going to the Big Ten was a sad reluctance. It sucked but it made sense.

Now, I’m worried it just sucks. Not sure it makes sense.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Roy Derply

    April 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Athletics is athletics. Maybe I’m just not that nostalgic, but I won’t miss playing “rivals” like Pitt, Louisville, Syracuse, BC and Miami. And I especially won’t miss most of our fans only caring about two games a year (the dirty secret of Maryland-ACC basketball for the last 10 years or so).

    The ACC we all long for is simply dead, whether people realize it or not. So while we pine for home-and-homes in the olden days, we instead were going to be playing 13-7 football games in September in front of 12,000 people in the Carrier Dome. No thanks. Being wanted, making more money and competing (academically and athletically) against top universities is, in my mind, worlds better than staying in the ACC and watching putrid games against the BCs and Wakes of the world. If people can’t get behind the B1G move, that’s fine, but let’s not pretend like the ACC was anything other than lousy to us for, oh, 60 years. Other than playing UVA every year (wouldn’t it be awesome to play them every year in whatever replaces RFK?), I won’t miss that crap at all.

    And let’s remember, these are still universities. This move was heavily influenced by the academic benefits of joining the B1G’s academic arm, the CIC (http://www.cic.net/home). The ACC has no equivalent nor any history or intention of forming any similar organization of academic collaboration among its partner institutions – and why would they? What do BC, Louisville, Maryland and Duke have in common other than being in the ACC? Maybe the change to different competition will be tough for a variety of reasons, but this move will undoubtedly make Maryland a better school and athletic program tomorrow, a year from now and 100 years from now. And that’s something I can easily get behind.

    Bottom line, this doesn’t change my feelings one bit about the jump to the Big Ten. It was the right move for more than just athletic reasons and I can’t wait for home games against Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Penn State in College Park.

    PS: No chance I will ever miss the NAPA KNOW HOW, Bojangles and Food Lion commercials. NEVER.

  2. illformula

    April 22, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Agreed with Roy.

    The old ACC is long gone and the benefit$ MD will reap in the B1G will outweigh whatever the new ACC could offer.

    Two “rivalry” basketball games a year don’t equal the chance of MD possibly leveraging the B1G football status to tap the local hot bed of football talent and become a relevant football and basketball program.

  3. Terps77

    April 23, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    two middle fingers to the acc, its north carolina lovin’ colonel sanders dressin foghorn leghorn soundin execs, officials, agents and their food lion shoppin mommas.

    “grant of rights” sounds like the teams in the acc have given droit du seigneur to the league. imagine having to give that up to coach k, god save us. its absurd schools would give up individual rights for the collective good, thats about the stupidest thing i can imagine a school doing with shifting conference alignments, its also un ‘merican.

    build wallace loh his damned house and put a statue of him pissing on the state of north carolina and the acc in the garden.

  4. uncbare

    April 23, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Dear Terps77:

    Maryland has signed a grant of media rights to the Big Ten, giving up individual rights for the collective good.

  5. H2P

    April 23, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Yes, the ACC has no equivalent to the CIC.

    Oh, wait – http://acciac.org/

  6. Terps77

    April 23, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Dear uncbare:
    the big ten network gives an incentive to contribute to the collective good for individual benefit. enjoy your checks and high end production values from raycomm and jefferson pilot.

  7. Roy Derply

    April 23, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    The CIC is lightyears ahead of that, H2P. Throwing that out there is like saying Duke and Louisville are both on the same level, since, you know, they’re both universities. So similar!

  8. Academic

    April 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    @Derply….uh, no, the CIC it isn’t “lightyears” ahead. Outside of the CIC’s limited supply purchasing consortium, there are virtually no differences. But then, you might be more aware of that if you actually had an understanding of how academia functions in the real world and what these academic consortiums actually provide instead of just reading know-nothing bloggers and impressive sounding hype-filled press releases.

  9. Roy Derply

    April 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    This isn’t a pissing match. Concerns (and snooty objections) are valid, but it doesn’t change a thing for most of us, for Maryland, or for the ACC.

    Bring on the B1G.

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