This week, Raycom Media will cover it’s final ACC Tournament, wrapping up a 37 year partnership with perhaps college basketball’s most storied conference. In August, ESPN is set to launch the ACC Network, and Raycom will become nothing but a source of fond memories for college sports fans all over the South.
“For a lot of long-time ACC fans, that connection between Raycom and the ACC is almost ingrained,” declared ACC Comissioner John Swofford.
Prior to the 1982 basketball season, Alabama-based Raycom Media secured a 3 year $18 million deal to broadcast Atlantic Coast Conference basketball games. At the time, $18M was an enormous number in the sports television industry; but Raycom made sure the investment paid off.
The broadcasts, as you might expect, dominated Saturdays in living rooms and bars across the Atlantic Coast region during the winter – but what set them apart was their commitment to promoting high profile mid-week games. Wednesday night hoops had always been a staple of the ACC, and Raycom upheld that tradition for nearly four decades. Tim Brando and Dan Bonner became household names as Raycom and ACC basketball flourished through the 80s and 90s.
Raycom, which was previously known as Jefferson Pilot Sports, eventually expanded its broadcast package to include ACC Football. It also regionally syndicated SEC football and basketball games across the Deep South.
For decades, Raycom held their own with the ACC as network giants like ESPN, FOX and CBS grew larger and richer. The company will continue to be held in high regard in the industry and ACC sports fans for decades to come.