Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Swofford 'insulted' by initial offer of $1 billion for TV rights

ACC commissioner John Swofford shared an amusing moment from the negotiations for the ACC's television deal in his speech to the Raleigh Sports Club on Wednesday. The league hired Barney Frank to help with the negotiations, and Swofford said he and Frank were at the first round of meetings with ESPN and Raycom in Charlotte.

"They went through this whole presentation ... and they finally got to the money part. They said, 'For all this, we're going to pay you $1 billion.'"

Swofford, as he had been coached, showed no emotion, and Frank asked him to step out of the room. What was your reaction? Frank asked him. "I said, 'I was insulted about it.' And I was. He said, 'That's what you need to say.'"

Swofford couldn't help but tell the crowd that, having grown up in North Wilkesboro, he felt a bit odd telling someone who offered him $1 billion he was insulted.

The final deal - a rich $2 billion over 12 years.

The deal has significant changes. For example, ACC football games will start at 12:30 p.m., and not at noon. "You'll probably have a few more students awake and out of bed," Swofford joked.

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