FanPost

Big Ten Network makes a profit of $79 million

There was an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the Big Ten Network's moneymaking ability in 2011. Apparently, they set a record for revenue ($242 million), and it resulted in a profit of $79.2 million. Since Nebraska isn't getting a share yet, each school will apparently receive about $7.2 million from the BTN for 2011.

I know that the Big Ten Network cost an enormous amount of money to start up. I'm sure that it would cost a lot for the ACC to do the same thing, but seeing how well the BTN is doing right now, I think it almost has to be worth it. I know that ESPN produces a decent bit of "third tier" stuff that they put online (as ESPN3) but I don't see why some of these games couldn't also be shown on an ACC network. The "ACC Digital Network" is already producing news blurbs (several minute videos) every day, so I have to assume that some of the infrastructure for a TV network is already in place.

The ACC has more people in states that it has members than the Big Ten (roughly 96 million vs. 70 million). Granted, that includes eastern Pennsylvania and NYC, but even if those areas are disregarded, it's probably still more people overall. It also doesn't include New Jersey, which could be added if Rutgers and Notre Dame were added to the conference (and doesn't include nearby states of DE, RI, southern NH, etc. that might also carry the channel).

The Big Ten network makes $0.37 per subscriber from carriage fees. Even if the ACC Network didn't make quite that much, it could still make a lot, and that doesn't consider advertising possibilities for a network that could be all the way up and down the east coast.

Why hasn't the ACC pursued this? Is the large start-up cost really that much of a deterrent to something that long-term could provide outstanding benefits for the conference?

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