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ESPN and ACC team up for new network

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While the linear network will launch by 2019, the ACC Network's digital channel will start this fall.

The long-awaited ACC Network will launch by August 2019, with the Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN agreeing to a 20-year deal and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year in an announcement made Thursday.

The ACC also extended its conference grant of rights deal nine years through 2035-36, a source told ESPN.

The conference's grant of rights makes it untenable financially for a school to leave, guaranteeing in the 20 years of the deal that a school's media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with the ACC regardless of the school's affiliation.

The ACC's new grant of rights also automatically extends Notre Dame's contract with the conference as a member in all sports but football through 2035-36, a source said. If the Irish forgo football independence in the next 20 years, they are contracted to join the ACC.

While the linear network will launch by 2019, the ACC Network's digital channel will start this fall.

The addition of the ACC Network will increase the league's overall value, putting it in line with the top Power 5 conferences.

"When the ACC Network revenues are included, the ACC will be very competitive with the upper tier [Big Ten and SEC] of the Power 5 leagues," a source said.
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