If your carrier doesn’t have the ACC Network yet, these are probably going to be a stressful few months.
After years of hype and anticipation, we’re now just three months out from the ACC Network launch. That’ll mean big things for the league (like more money), but we’ll have to wait and see if it actually means more games on TV for the Syracuse Orange.
Currently, the network will be carried by DirecTV, Fios, Optimum, Altice, Hulu and PlayStation Vue, with contract negotiations ongoing for numerous others. The group already in place gets the ACC Network in a lot of homes (and potentially all homes if everyone went the Hulu/PS Vue streaming route). But notable absences include Comcast, Spectrum and Dish Network.
Florida State blog Warchant covers what’s next, with one ESPN executive saying negotiations will go down to the “bitter end,” as is usually the case with these things. Recent shifts in consumer viewing habits make ESPN — already with the highest carriage fee around — a tougher pill to swallow for cable and satellite providers as it is. Adding another network to the equation is bound to be a difficult sell, despite the quality of conference programming en route.
One additional note around the ACC Network also comes from Matt Sarzyniak, who regularly covers college sports TV schedules, and was surprised to see the RSNs still on board for 2019. The RSNs (soon to be owned by Sinclair instead of Fox) control 17 football games this season. Sarzyniak writes that if the ACC Network gets 45 games next year, (a reasonable number) that means just 29 left for ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU/ABC — down 11 from last year’s mark.
There’s a chance there aren’t three games per week on ACCN, but I’d be willing to bet they do that for the first couple seasons at least, to encourage fans to reach out to their cable/satellite company and ask for pick-up. This is ESPN’s typical tactic dating back to the introduction of ESPN2 when they put a UNC/Duke basketball game there to force carriers to sign on. We could see the same thing here, before eventually shifting some games back to the primary ESPN networks.
Personally, would rather just see the RSN games split between the main ESPN networks and ACCN... but that’s the not reality we live in right now.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
Swofford encouraged fans of ACC schools to reach out to their cable or satellite company and “demand” that it be carried. ”We want our fans to communicate with their provider, if their provider doesn’t have it at this point in time,” Swofford said. “In my totally unbiased opinion (smiling), I think it’s must-see television. And the distributors need to hear that.”