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The ACC And ESPN - Interesting Times Ahead?

It would appear so.

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ESPN has been busy. First what we know.

The Bristol mouse bought a 33% stake in MLB's streaming division.

As we've discussed before, MLB, somewhat accidentally, has become a major factor in streaming. It streams hockey and WatchESPN, among other things, and of course baseball.

ESPN/Disney has an option to buy 33% more (MLB is spinning the division, known as MLBAM, off as a separate company).

That's all very interesting of course, as are reports that ESPN is considering a stand-alone streaming service which we presume would be powered by MLBAM.

It's more so because of the ACC's media situation.

We've talked a lot about how the ACC would be smart to pass on a traditional network and move instead into some form of online presence.

That may be happening though it won't be a full-on service: no NFL, no NBA.

WRAL's Joe Ovies is one of the smarter observers of sports and new media and he suggests that the ACC may be able to slide into that niche.

It's not a bad niche in a lot of ways.

It's potentially global and as nice as the East Coast is, a service like that could have subscribers in France, Lithuania, the Philippines and China.

And the ACC would not have much competition at first.

We have no idea exactly what this would look like. It's not like all ACC games are going to move online straight away and Ovies thinks it could start with non-revenue sports. But it's an intriguing bit of news and gives some indication of where Commissioner John Swofford may be heading with ESPN.

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