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Volume 24 No. 176
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Media Changes Like Launch Of ACC Net, Rise Of Streaming Services Provide More Options

Athletic directors from two ACC members spoke at length about the '19 launch of the ACC Network linear channel during a panel on new media at the ’17 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. Pitt’s Heather Lyke said the Panthers are spending $14M on equipment, studios and personnel. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech is investing up to $12M to ramp up, said the school's Todd Stansbury. Lyke also cited the ancillary benefits of having the network, such as the practical experience students earn by working on content production. “There’s an opportunity for students to be involved in live productions,” Lyke said. “And we don’t have a film and TV major, so it could be something that starts unique, new majors.”

CHANGES COMING FOR MEDIA RIGHTS: Utah State AD John Hartwell looked ahead to the Mountain West Conference’s upcoming media rights negotiations. The league’s ADs met last weekend with three primary issues to discuss: exposure, revenue and kickoff start times. How the schools prioritize these items will go a long way toward determining their media strategy. “Exposure is available almost anywhere,” Hartwell said. “And we’re all concerned about revenue. You can see how many components there are to this.” Learfield’s Marc Jenkins looked into his crystal ball and predicted that media rights will be sold in tiers over the next decade or two. Conferences will sell a premium package of games, a subset and then perhaps an Olympic sports grouping. “Future negotiations are going to look very different,” Jenkins said. “You’re going to see more content go to over-the-top providers. I think YouTube, Facebook, Amazon will all be there, but they won’t be bidding on the same package of games” as the networks.