Here's a more thorough look at the potential for an ACC Network and the problems such an endeavor would face.
The same article points out that the ACC's YouTube channel leads the pack, which kind of gets back to our argument about platforms: cable is crowded, and ultimately, one of two things, or both, will happen: people who don't pay for sports will get tired of doing so, and a glut of programming will make it very difficult to distinguish yourself. That's not to say it shouldn't be done, but you're heading into a glut of programming and serious problems as people flee expensive cable and satellite packages - expenses driven largely by ever-higher costs for sports. Hmmm...higher costs driving customers away...how long will the fat checks be coming in?
Better to spread your bets: be an app, and to be available not just on the East Coast but across the country and around the world.
Given the reach of today's technology, there's no particular reason why the conference couldn't sell subscriptions in China, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, Spain and Lithuania, in addition to stateside.
That's not even getting into Brazil or other Latin American countries where basketball has become a significant attraction, nor does it take into account what might happen when an international star becomes a significant player. In the ACC, that could have meant Luol Deng, Greivis Vasquez, Kenny Kadji andÂ (currently) Olivier Hanlan, among others. Each of those players might have generated significant followings back home, and the ACC, or anyone in a similar position, could certainly market that.
There have been several massive, disruptive shifts in the last 100 years - radio, television, cable television, computers, computer networks, and now television over computer networks. Lots of people are busy trying to figure out just how to make it work, not least of all Apple.
Whoever figures it out first - Apple or whoever - is going to be in a highly lucrative situation. Being in that environment, or better yet having exclusivity in that environment for a certain time (think AT&T with the iPhone) - would be an amazing opportunity.
For that matter, as Netflix continues to evolve, they may well look to get into live sports.
It's something that the ACC and its partners (like ESPN) should think long and hard about.