By Vince Thompson, Pres/CEO, MELT (www.meltatl.com)
The addition of Notre Dame today to the ACC, even on a limited football basis, is the latest salvo in the continuing chess match between the ACC's John Swofford, the SEC's Mike Slive, the Pac-12's Larry Scott, the Big 10's Jim Delaney and the Big 12's Bob Bowlsby (even though they only technically have 10 teams).
Today's move insures not only the survival of the ACC but puts them in a very strong position long-term as the jockeying and valuation of a unified college football playoff and championship begins in earnest in 2014-2015. As ESPN and the other tv networks begin the bidding process, look for the total number to easily be north of 5 billion, over a period of 10 years, to be laid down on the table for the rights once the dust clears. Maybe even more.
Geographically, the ACC is in a strong position now and in the future once you consider Notre Dame and the inclusion of other major media markets along the East Coast, including NYC, which coincidentally, Syracuse alum dot the ESPN landscape and culture. And should both Notre Dame and the ACC teams start performing at national championship caliber in football as they do in basketball, the ACC will be in an even stronger and unique position long-term as they could be dominant in the two most popular sports in collegiate athletics.