Aug. 3, 2000
FOX Sports Net (FSN) and Raycom/Jefferson Pilot have struck a 10-year agreement for an exclusive Sunday evening package to telecast ACC basketball beginning with the 2001-2002 season. The new “ACC Sunday Night” Game of the Week franchise will run from December through March. FSN has also acquired the exclusive regional cable rights for an extensive package of ACC sports programming. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Net’s President Tracy Dolgin.
The FSN rights deal makes the ACC the only major conference with two national cable partners. The schedule of games for each cable partner will be based on a pre-determined process overseen by the ACC and Raycom/Jefferson Pilot.
FSN’s national rights agreement allows for 19 games to be telecast each season. A total of 14 conference games will run on Sunday nights from December to March, and will showcase ACC basketball by bringing national attention to the conference on a night where college basketball has traditionally never aired. Up to 5 non-conference contests will be scheduled in November and December on days yet to be determined. Also part of the national package is a commitment to telecast an extensive schedule of ACC women’s regular season and tournament basketball contests, including the conference championship game.
Through a dedicated promotion and marketing effort, the weekly package will be branded under the conference banner to build the Sunday night franchise and its national prime time TV presence. The ACC Game of the Week will complement FSN’s already strong 7-10 PM weekly schedule (M-F), which has a 1.7* household rating placing it 3rd among all cable networks. An early evening time slot for the ACC game of the week will be announced in the near future.
“The national focus on the ACC Sunday Night Game of the Week will be immense,” said Dolgin. ” By giving the conference a consistent night and time period for many of its premiere games, we are all committed to making ACC basketball the dominant sports property on Sunday evenings throughout the winter.”
“We are happy to welcome Fox Sports Net to the ACC basketball television family,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Their long term commitment to televise a national ACC Game of the Week on Sunday evening elevates our television package to a new level. This will allow more fans to view ACC basketball than ever before.”
In addition to the Sunday night game of the week, FSN has also acquired as part of the package the exclusive regional cable rights for other ACC sports programming. Included in the regional portion are men’s and women’s basketball games, a weekly “ACC Live” magazine show and other major sports regular season and/or championship coverage, including men’s baseball, soccer and lacrosse and women’s soccer, softball, field hockey, lacrosse and volleyball.
“The ACC is a powerful franchise for our regional programming schedule,” said Hunter Nickell, Corporate Vice President/General Manager FSN South, the nation’s largest regional sports network. “The ability to offer many of the ACC’s top sporting events, both men’s and women’s, in the footprint of the conference will enable us to continue to grow our viewing audience.”
FOX Sports Net, based in Los Angeles, is America’s first truly national, regional and local supplier of sports programming, and reaches more than 70 million homes through its network of 21 regional sports channels. For the latest national and regional telecast schedules, as well as up-to-the-minute sports news and provocative opinions from FOX Sports and FOX Sports Net personalities, log-on to www.foxsports.com.
Raycom Sports and Jefferson Pilot Sports have held the television rights to ACC Men’s Basketball since 1982. They recently signed a new contract with the Atlantic Coast Conference that runs through the 2010-2011 season. In addition, Raycom/Jefferson Pilot handles all marketing and licensing of the conference through a joint venture, ACC Properties. The ACC member schools are Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia and Wake Forest.
*Source: Nielsen Media Research