On Thursday, we had some questions around the ACC Network amidst all the ESPN layoffs going on. The optimistic view was that ESPN would shift the resources formerly allocated to ESPNU over to the ACC Network. Pessimistically? This was going to make it very difficult to hit the revenue estimates that were supposed to be a huge boon for the Syracuse Orange (and the other teams too, but... yeah, us)
Thankfully, we have a former ESPN executive as our athletic director, so he has more insights on these things than most. John Wildhack spoke with Brent Axe on Thursday, and Chris Carlson grabbed the big quotes.
The biggest takeaway? We’re probably going to be okay...
"It won't impact our deal with the ACC. Our deal runs through 2036. The ACC Network will launch as scheduled in 2019. I think ESPN will put all their muscle and support toward making sure the launch is a success because they are a partner and they have a vested interest in making sure the ACC Network is a financial success."
So yeah, obviously he’s still a bit of a company man. And few athletic directors are going to express any real panic in public, especially when they’re trying to sell people on an optimistic future for the athletic program.
But yeah, this seems like the only sure sign we’re going to get, for the time being, that ESPN’s got a shot to make these revenue estimates work.
We’ll have to take that, and the optimism it demands, at its word. Syracuse’s future hinges on ESPN staying afloat (which they will, if you listen to SBJ’s John Ourand, who Carlson cites in the piece as well).
Believe Wildhack? Think he’s toeing the company line in a time of need for his former employer? Share your own thoughts below.