While the launch of the new channel is exciting for ACC fans, it can initially be a bit confusing trying to figure out where to watch the game. Spectrum cable subscribers will have to check your local listings to find the channel in your area. On Aug. Spectrum customers with the right channel package automatically received the ACC Network.
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Its launch comes against a backdrop of changing viewership and big money to air college sports. Image Mark Richt, E. A minute teaser was produced, but when the scheduled time to stream it came and went, it became clear the hype-building exercise was a dud.
ESPN hopes the actual debut Thursday night goes more to plan. The channel will be both influential for college sports and anachronistic to many viewers. The Atlantic Coast Conference is the fourth Power Five league with its own dedicated television channel.
Among the top conferences in college sports, only the Big 12 remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the upside of a league-focused network. Of the Power Five, the A.
The ACC Network should change that, accelerating the arms race in college sports of coaching salaries and ever more opulent facilities even as each school takes on millions in debt from building on-campus studios.
The Big Ten conference started the first dedicated conference channel 12 years ago, and the Pac and the Southeastern Conference soon followed suit.
John Swofford, the A. The A.
In the past six years the A. Whether that growth has made the conference better at football is up for debate. Only one other A. While the A. The ACC Network will show about live events in its first year, largely the non-marquee football and basketball matchups, along with less prominent sports like soccer, baseball and track and field.
Hundreds more events will be available for streaming digitally. Swofford said the A. Barring any last-minute agreements — and in carriage negotiations, there are often last-minute agreements — the ACC Network will be carried at launch by DirecTV, Verizon, Charter and Optimum, as well as a host of smaller companies and digital upstarts.
The first football game shown on the ACC Network will be the season opener for Clemson, the reigning national champion and preseason No.
ESPN and the A. Swofford believes the ACC Network will follow a similar growth trajectory to the Big Ten Network, which took a few years to reach widespread distribution. That channel is currently available in 57 million homes, according to the media research group Kagan.
By way of comparison, ESPN is in around 85 million homes. Rather than team with a major media company when starting its channel, the Pac opted to stay independent and wholly own and operate its channel.
Seven years later, the Pac Network is in 18 million homes — less than a third of the reach of the Big Ten Network and SEC Network — and contributes paltry sums to its member schools.
They do not inherently have leverage to drive carriage.
But as major college sports nears the end of a decade of conference-switching and turbulence, and as ESPN is in the midst of a radical transformation in viewing habits and media distribution, both hope the ACC Network will offer them a boost. Kevin Draper is a sports business reporter, covering the leagues, owners, unions, stadiums and media companies behind the games.
Prior to joining The Times, he was an editor at Deadspin. Enters Cable Fray.