U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 16 mins

ACC, ESPN agree to extension through 2026-27

Aaron Beard, AP Sports Writer

The Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN have extended their television deal through the 2026-27 season.

The ACC and the network announced the extension Wednesday.

A person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press that it's worth $3.6 billion over the 15 years. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because financial terms weren't released when the two sides announced the deal.

The deal gives ESPN title sponsorship rights beyond football to the ACC's other championships, including men's and women's basketball. Those sponsorship deals are subject to the ACC's approval.

The extension comes eight months after the ACC announced it was adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse, though it remains unclear exactly when those schools will leave the Big East and begin play in the ACC. It also comes as the league moves to an 18-game schedule in men's and women's basketball next season.

With more teams and more games, the extension offers a significant increase in TV money for each ACC school from the previous deal announced in July 2010. That 12-year deal was worth $1.86 billion with an average of more than $12.9 million per school annually.

The extension ups that amount to an average of about $17.1 million per school annually.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said the deal was "another step forward" for the league and "certainly bodes well in terms of our future."

"One of the things you try to do at the league level is help give the schools as many resources, tangible and intangible, as is possible to help them reach their competitive goals," Swofford said in a phone interview, "and certainly this is a major step in doing that."


ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Co.


AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Durham, N.C., contributed to this report.