OPINION: ACC Weaknesses – Funding Shortfalls, Poor Leadership and Missed Opportunities


As ESPN has lost roughly 12 million subscribers over the past five years due to a decline in cable network television viewership, skeptics argue whether the ACC Network will make much of a difference at all in gaining extra revenue for the universities. Despite the announcement from both ESPN and John Swofford, project details have stayed private, with any information outside of programming basics currently unavailable. When bureaucrats lack transparency, they are never hiding positive news.

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To be fair to the conference, all hope is not lost. The three-year gap before the network goes live in 2019 leaves ESPN with time to tamper with the paid television model as more and more viewers continue to leave cable television behind.

As the ACC’s main point of reliance seems to be on college basketball, their attempts to gain the 29 million subscribers from the nine states from which their teams hail is going to come down to whether the viewership demand is there. The biggest challenge that the ACC Network faces is their lack of football fan dedication when compared to the SEC or Big Ten. Adding teams from the northeast whose fans do not attend home games, not to mention travel is an abject failure of the Swofford era, and he needs to be held accountable.