CHARLOTTE — ACC commissioner John Swofford explains the changes to the ACC basketball schedule related to the start of the new ACC network.
Q. You talked about television and the 20-game schedule kind of separately but we hear they’re interconnected. How did you weigh the value of playing conference games in November and just how much did television impact that?
COMMISSIONER SWOFFORD: “It had an impact. I think there are a lot of reasons to do a 20-game schedule even without television. Television adds another reason to do so. Probably makes it a little tougher on the coaches. But I suspect most of you welcome that. I think fans welcome that.
“So I think it will be popular. Having our own channel is a factor in that, because we need quality inventory and there’s nothing of any higher quality, generally speaking, than two ACC basketball teams playing each other.
“And the early season, you know, we’ve talked a lot about how do you tip off the basketball season in a way that you kick off the football season? And that’s really hard to do, because of obvious circumstances. And our discussions have been more national about that.
This is a way we can sort of address it just as a conference in terms of tipping off the year. And if you go back — gosh, you can go back in the ’60s, there were ACC conference games in December in the ’60s. A lot of people forget that. I think it will be fun. I think it will be a terrific thing.”
Q. Would this basically be everyone plays one conference game at the start of the season and then it’s all non-conference until end of December or it will be coupled conference games for everybody in November? How will that be working out?
COMMISSIONER SWOFFORD: “There will be a couple before Christmas and then it will get back into the more normal flow.”
Q. Will they all be on the new channel or will these November games be spread out among different — ESPN, that kind of thing?
COMMISSIONER SWOFFORD: “They’ll be spread out but some of them will definitely be on the ACC channel.”
Q. Whose idea was this and are the coaches being kind of dragged, kicking and screaming, along with this idea, or what was kind of their reaction there?
COMMISSIONER SWOFFORD: “No, they bought into the idea pretty readily, actually. Kind of coming out of the discussions about how do you give some bang, so to speak, to the start of the season.”