In a surprising twist, the 50 Raycom-produced ACC basketball and football games dropped by Diamond Sports have landed with The CW.
Per a release on Thursday, The CW’s deal for the games runs through the 2026-27 season and includes 13 football games, 28 men’s basketball games, and nine women’s basketball games.
During Diamond’s bankruptcy filing in March, Raycom indicated it wanted to move on from airing the games on the Bally Sports RSNs. Diamond was open to that and officially rejected the contract in June. It seemed like the games would be a decent fit with the rest of the ACC’s live rights on ESPN, but The CW stepped in.
Raycom will still produce all of the games.
Here are a handful of quotes from executives at The CW, the ACC, and Raycom.
“We are committed to making The CW a destination for live, appointment-viewing sporting events,” said Dennis Miller, President, The CW Network. “The ACC is home to some of the most decorated college football and basketball teams in the country and we look forward to welcoming these avid sports fans to the network as we continue to broaden our audience.”
“We are thrilled to be adding The CW to our weekly television lineup for ACC football and basketball games,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “The CW’s national distribution will directly benefit our student-athletes, teams, alumni and fans. We appreciate ESPN and Raycom working together and look forward to the partnership with The CW.”
“The CW is going to be a terrific partner for the legendary ACC,” said Hunter Nickell, CEO of Raycom Sports. “The longest-running television relationship in college sports belongs to the ACC and Raycom Sports. Now The CW brings national broadcast network coverage to the great fans of these 15 famous schools.”
The football schedule begins with Pitt hosting Cincinnati on September 9 and continues each Saturday this fall. The basketball games will take place in December, January, and February, with men’s basketball doubleheaders airing each Saturday afternoon and women’s basketball airing on Sunday afternoons.
Back in May, Nexstar (The CW’s parent company) CEO Perry Sook said that the company had talked to Power 5 college conferences about live sports rights. At the time, we assumed Sook was talking about the Pac-12 because we had no idea that Diamond and Raycom were in the process of splitting up. In hindsight, the move for a smaller package of games from the ACC is far more sensible.