ACC, ESPN extend deal to 2036 that includes new ACC Network

Commissioner John Swofford, center, announces an ACC/ESPN Network during a news conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/AP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford says the league has extended its media deal with ESPN through the 2035-36 season, which includes the eventual launch of an ACC TV channel.

Speaking at his annual forum during the ACC Kickoff media days, Swofford said Thursday the ACC Network is scheduled to launch in August 2019. There will also be the creation of a digital channel that will be online next month.

Swofford says the league will move to a 20-game league schedule in men's basketball by 2019, part of an effort to air more than 1,300 events annually through those outlets.

The deal also includes a grant-of-rights provision allowing the ACC to retain control of media rights for any school that leaves the conference through the length of the TV deal.