The ACC got tired of being picked on and decided to do something about it…
It was announced today that the 15 members of the ACC have reached an agreement that will deter other conferences from trying to expand, for the sake of television market shares, into the great southeast. There had been rumors of Virginia, Georgia Tech and perhaps even North Carolina entertaining the idea of leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference but now with this agreement, it looks like the ACC has found solid footing and if the time comes to establish the power conferences, they will be major players.
The Grant of Rights is a protection agreement that causes any team leaving the conference before their ESPN contract is up in 2026-27 to give up their media rights. This essentially means that even if a team like Georgia Tech was to leave for the Big 10, their new conference would not benefit financially from the Atlanta television market share, and at this stage in their expansion that would be the primary reason as to why the Big Ten would be interested in venturing into the “dirty south.”
Ironically enough the two conferences they were the most worried about, the Big Ten and the Big 12 ( the PAC 12 also) have the same provision already set in place.
“This announcement further highlights the continued solidarity and commitment by our member institutions,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford. “The Council of Presidents has shown tremendous leadership in insuring the ACC is extremely well positioned with unlimited potential.”
Where does this leave the power conferences who were ready to impose its will and influence on certain ACC schools to join their conference?
Does this put a major halt to major conference expansion and if so for how long?