ACC Commissioner John Swofford was in Louisville for his “Conversations with Champions” event held at PJCS’ Brown and Williamson Club. He spoke to the assembled media on a variety of topics, including UofL and the potential ACC Network. The C-J’s Jonathan Lintner caught up with Swoff and published an update.
What are the prospects of an all-ACC network?
My answer to that really won’t change for a while. We are taking a look at that with ESPN, who would be our partner in it. ESPN will be our partner through 2026-2027 regardless of how it’s structured. We have the ability to do some things because of the quality of partner we have in ESPN. If we feel like that’s the best route to go in the long term, we’ll do that. And it’s a join decision we’ll make with ESPN.
What would make that the best route?
I think the keys are where you put your inventory, what the distribution would be, which ties directly to what the revenue would entail. How does that compare to the potential increase in rights fees we currently have? Our television package right now has great exposure and outstanding dollars. The question for us is, where’s the growth potential? Is it better with an ACC channel that’s 24/7 or with the model we have? It’s a very important decision going forward with our league, and the good thing is, I don’t think there’s a wrong decision to be made. It’s a question of, what’s the better route to go?
What has U of L added to the ACC so far?
I think right off the bat is it’s developing more and new rivalries. It really has hit me this year, and having Louisville in has impacted it dramatically, is the number of outstanding games every week. You just look at the schedule and the games that are coming up and you’re like, “Wow. Wow. That’s going to be a great game.” And then even some of the games you don’t expect to be so great maybe turn out to be a lot of times.