The ACC has been talking about a potential TV network for some time. Now, though, it appears like the wheels are actually moving on it:
ACC Network will launch by August 2019 & ACC extends conference grant of rights thru 2036, sources told @ESPN— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 19, 2016
Assuming this goes down, this will obviously be a huge deal for Pitt as well as the rest of the schools in the conference. Pitt is already doing quite nicely from a financial standpoint just through their membership in the ACC but a network would turn things up a notch in terms of revenue.
So how much are we talking here? Obviously that's still up in the air. Last year, this SB Nation article stated that Big Ten teams were each slated to receive about $7.6 million from their network. I can't vouch for that accuracy since I've seen other reported figures, but the bottom line is that we're talking millions of dollars here. How much Pitt gets will depend on what kind of deal the conference makes. But in any event, you can expect Pitt to see a nice chunk of change from this little venture.
From a logistical viewing standpoint, it also means that you can probably look forward to seeing the Panthers a bit more on TV instead of things like ESPN3 online. That also should mean more television coverage of the non-revenue sports. Well, assuming your package carries the network.
2019? Yeah, that's sort of a ways off. Why so long is unclear to me. The Big Ten, for example, launched only about a year after their announcement (well, at least Wikipedia says so). But it is what it is and it's still exciting that it should eventually result in a sizable revenue bump for the school.
McMurphy's tweet also references the Grant of Rights deal being extended. I wrote a brief article a few years of back about what that is and why it's important to stop the ACC from further losing teams to expansion. Without going into too many details, the longer that thing goes, the better it is for Pitt and the ACC.
Good news all around here, folks