ACC takes major step in stopping realignment talk with grant of rights

This July 22, 2012 file photo shows Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford speaking to the media during the conference's college football kickoff news conference in Greensboro, N.C. Notre Dame is leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports but football.The ACC said Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, the school will play five football games annually against the league's programs, but will be a full member in all other sports. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

This July 22, 2012 file photo shows Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford speaking to the media during the conference's college football kickoff news conference in Greensboro, N.C. Notre Dame is leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports but football.The ACC said Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, the school will play five football games annually against the league's programs, but will be a full member in all other sports. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Ready for a quieter summer on the conference realignment front? Well, the ACC has helped you out.

The conference announced today unanimous support for a move to a grant of media rights agreement – much like the Big 12 went to in September of last year.

Why is it important?

Control of the ever-increasing TV revenue is handed over to the ACC for the length of the deal – in this case, until 2026-2027 (15 years). If a team decides to leave, that money stays in the ACC.

Daily Press ACC reporter David Teel says the deal was set in motion three-to-four weeks ago, and a school could leave up to $300 million on the table by bolting for another conference.

CBS reports it’s a step in the formation of an ACC Network 24-hour channel, affiliated with ESPN.

It's a different direction from the $50 million buyout announced last year with a new TV deal – which is currently being taken to trial by Maryland – towards what would be a more united front.

By the $3.6 billion dollar agreement penned with ESPN, ACC schools were due for up to $17.4 million per year, but with the addition of Louisville and Notre Dame, that could jump in a renegotiation to over 20 with a $3.5 million bump per year.

In addition to the Big 12, the PAC-12 and Big 10 also have the same arrangement. The SEC is the only Big Five conference without one now.

This, of course, can stem – even more – the conference realignment talk that had quieted with the increased buyout, but still was very much the elephant in the room, especially if Maryland’s buyout doesn’t hold up in court.

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