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Launching The ACC Network is Getting Expensive

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The ACC’s member institutions are having to pony up between $110 and $120 million to launch the ACC Network. It will cost nearly four times what SEC schools spent to launch the SEC Network.

Why so much? Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing explained that on campus facilities need to be built or simply improved in order to create content on location.

Well, many of those costs are about higher requirements at launch. Schools are expected to be capable of producing multiple linear-quality broadcasts at once, in addition to digital broadcasts and videoboard content. Each school will have four to five control rooms, with at least two with linear capabilities, and there are plenty of further costs out there, ranging from $100,000 for a camera platform to $1 million to run fiber-optic cable from the venues to the control rooms. Oh, and at some schools like North Carolina, there are major construction or renovation costs (around $4 million in the Tar Heels’ case) just to get suitable space for these control rooms.

And that’s to say nothing of the workforce needed. For example, Virginia Tech has already hired operations manager Eric Frey and chief engineer Sam Jones from Arkansas given their experience with the SEC Network. And schools are all putting together staffs of students who can handle production duties, with some of those staffs including up to 60 people. So that all adds up. It’s not the same cost for every school, as some already had more advanced production facilities and some are choosing to invest more than others, but it’s a hefty cost; Smith notes that Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Notre Dame (which competes in the ACC in most sports, but not football and hockey) and Virginia Tech are all expected to spend around $10 million, and in Virginia Tech’s case, that’s a 40 to 100 percent jump over the $5-7 million they’d initially planned on.

Michael Smith of Sports Business Daily says the investment is about being proactive. Some SEC schools have only just reached the standards ESPN has set, and the network expects those standards to evolve in the future. It makes sense that ACC schools want to get in front of any expected evolution that they can.

Last month Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer reported that the ACC is estimating a pay out of $10 to 15 million per school. The network will face the same carriage issues many other conference-owned networks have, but the association with ESPN and the chance that ESPN could bundle the new ACC Network with the SEC Network may give it an advantage in that arena.

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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