What did John Wildhack know and when did he know it?
You have to wonder what role, if any, the new Syracuse Orange AD might have played in the news that The ACC Network is officially happening and will launch by 2019.
ACC Network will launch by August 2019 & ACC extends conference grant of rights thru 2036, sources told @ESPN— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 19, 2016
Perhaps this was The Network To Be Named Later in the trade for Wildhack.
UPDATE: John Ourand reports that a digital-only version will actually launch later this year.
Source: ESPN to launch a digital-only, "ACC Network Plus" in Aug 2016 and a linear "ACC Network" in Aug 2019. Full story in SBD tomorrow.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 19, 2016
Luke DeCock at The News & Observer basically said this was coming earlier in the day so it's not a huge shock. You have to figure a full announcement is coming
The ACC’s current deal with ESPN runs through 2026-27 but has since been substantially eclipsed by the Big Ten and SEC. In May, Swofford said launching an ACC cable channel would likely be necessary to close that financial gap. "That’s why ESPN is in the discussions with us," Swofford said. "They like to make money, too. And we like to make money, as well."
The Grant of Rights extension also ensures that no one else pulls a Maryland and high-tails it out of here. What it does is guarantee that if a school leaves for another league, that school’s media rights and revenue for all home games would remain with the ACC and not go with it.
ACCs new grant of rights means if Notre Dame joins football conference before 2036, it has to be ACC— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 19, 2016
(Wait, will the ACC Network do well in an environment where people are increasingly cutting cable out of their lives?)
Start thinking about what kind of Syracuse-themed TV shows you want to see and they'll be more to come on this for sure.