After much silence, some news was reported today by the Sports Business Daily that ESPN would be housing the ACC Network headquarters as well as its primary studio in Bristol, Connecticut. Previously, it had been assumed that the ACC Network would be housed along with the SEC Network in the ESPN offices in Charlotte, North Carolina. Now we learn that this will not be the case.
ESPN told network staff today that ACC Network’s primary studio home will be on its Bristol, Conn., campus, where it built a 194,000-square foot studio three years ago at a cost of more than $100 million. Need I say more? The Bristol studio, which was intended for shows like “SportsCenter” and ESPN’s NFL studio programming, will now be used to produce shows for the ACC Network - and that’s not a bad thing at all.
ESPN added that some ACC Network senior leadership, such as Senior VP/College Networks Programming Rosalyn Durant, will remain in Charlotte. However, the Charlotte staff will continue to focus on studio programming for the SEC Network, although in certain cases ESPN will conduct some coach and player interviews for the ACC Network there.
Keep in mind, too, that each ACC school will also have its own on-campus studio - just like the SEC Network.
I have a few takeaways from this announcement:
1. The ACC Network is on track to launch in 2019.
2. ESPN had office space in Charlotte and Bristol, and since they weren't going to put the SEC Network in Connecticut (and, apparently, there wasn't enough room for both in Charlotte), the ACC Network ends up in Bristol.
3. Neither the SEC nor ACC Networks got an office specifically built for them. (The Charlotte office was built to house ESPNU and later converted for the SECN). No need to feel like second-class citizens.
4. ESPN headquarters is in Bristol, so there could be some synergy from having the ACC Network there, too.
5. If your studio has to be in Connecticut, at least let it be a $100 million studio...
6. No, I do not think this means UConn is joining the ACC!