ESPN Exec: Net Has No Influence On ACC Scheduling, Addition Of A Conference Game
ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions Ilan Ben-Hanan said that the net "has no influence on the ACC’s debate for a possible nine-game conference schedule," according to Ken Sugiura of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Ben-Hanan added, "Those are decisions that the conferences make for themselves. The conference and the members make that for themselves." He took issue with a blog post in which Georgia Tech AD Mike Bobinski said that ESPN "would likely want more 'inventory' if the network were to create an ACC channel, thus making a nine-game schedule a likelihood." Ben-Hanan said that he "could not answer what value ESPN would put on a nine-game format vs. an eight-game format" (AJC.com, 1/30). Univ. of Miami AD Blake James on Wednesday said that he "would be in favor of a nine-game schedule, saying it would strengthen conference rivalries." He also said that he "thinks an ESPN-run ACC network, similar to the soon-to-be-launched SEC Network, will happen" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/31).