Stop and think about it for a minute. The ACC has issues for sure, but excitement isn't one of them. Just think about the games we've been privileged to watch this year: Duke-Syracuse, Duke-Virginia, Duke-UNC, Duke-Syracuse II, State-Syracuse, BC-Syracuse, State-UNC and Syracuse-Pitt I & II, we get a two-day breather before play resumes Saturday as the conference race heads to the finish line.
Wow! Even that misses a lot, like the Clemson and Notre Dame wins over Duke and Wake's win over State.
Greensboro crooks a finger and beckons.
In the background of all of this ESPN made an interesting announcement: a number of conferences are going to get sort-of networks on Apple TV and Roku.
This includes the ACC. So what does it mean? Honestly, we're not sure.
The Big Ten, PAC12 and SEC all moved into conference networks and the ACC is studying it. There's a chance that what ESPN is doing could evolve into something else pretty quickly.
Our take on this has always been pretty simple. The three conferences (and Texas) which have independent deals kind of take up space at the table. But over the Internet, it's very different and there's a lot of expansion potential.
ESPN will offer the service as an adjunct to the bundling policy which drives everyone nuts, but consider what would happen if they instead offered each game for a modest fee.
Football dominates - in the US. But abroad it's a very different story. People watch it in other countries, but they don't live it.
So hypothetically, let's imagine that next year's first Duke-UNC game was so epic that it was discussed world-wide. Now imagine that in China, the ACC appoints a roving ambassador, just for argument's sake, say a retired Shane Battier. Imagine that he whips up a frenzy for the ACC.
Now imagine working other markets like the Philippines, the Balkans, Spain, Russia, France and Lithuania. At what point does the match catch up? If you sell $1,000,000 worth of tickets/passes - and that's not big considering the reach of television today - that goes a long way towards negating Big Ten and SEC advantages.
The ACC is going to play somewhere shy of 500 games before the post-season is done. If global sales reached half a million a game, which seems likely, you'd be getting close to SEC or Big Ten revenues, and with an easier distribution model. And then when you have the crazy good games, who knows?
Another wild card worth considering. In recent days, Google Fiber has identified several cities where it's considering expanding. Most of the Triangle is on that list.
It's having the delightful side effect of shaking up the monopolists who dominate cable and television. Before too very long, we're going to see massive increases in speed. Time-Warner just announced that Austin would get a bump too 300 MB - and that's before Google is up and running.
Sooooo....what happens to all that delicious bandwidth?
Things we can't even conceive of. Know the new cameras in Cameron? Not that anyone would want to do this, but with a gig of bandwidth, you could pump analytics around in real time. You can imagine Jay Bilas using the Bilastrator to show that so and so loses offensive effectiveness when he shoots from six more inches away or that blah blah goes left predictably when he's tired.
You could certainly have multiple language feeds. You could theoretically do say a small scale holographic court in your living room and watch as Marshall Plumlee rebounds and slams it back home (that's a pipe dream but with that level of bandwidth, it'd be hard to find anything you can't do.
Imagine what an Oculus Rift headset could do with that sort of bandwidth. It's a firehose. It's good to see the ACC moving, on the court and off.