With both the SEC and B1G on the verge of huge new television deals due in part to recent expansion, the ACC finds itself in a bit of a bind.
The conference is locked into a television deal through 2036, that currently calls for ACC schools to make substantially less than what the SEC and B1G schools will be bringing in after their new deals are signed.
The only way the ACC can negotiate a new deal with ESPN prior to 2036 is by adding teams. Obviously, the league was hoping Notre Dame would jump on board at some point, and by all appearances, that’s not happening.
That really does limit what the ACC can do. Expansion tends to be about expanding a conferences television footprint, and according to ESPN Insider Pete Thamel, the league just might have to look into attempting to poach some current Big 12 and Pac 12 teams.
“Well, I think it would have to be a bit of a marketplace for the ACC Network,” said Thamel. “The guidepost, there would be bigger population markets. So it wouldn’t be West Virginia, which is a great program. It’s certainly no knock on West Virginia. It’s just not a very populated state. If you look at what the ACC would do if it was to make a play for like a Western Front, basically, it would be maybe Cincinnati, a couple of Texas schools, and then some of those higher-end West Coast schools.”
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