ACC Frontloads Football Schedule To Aid Network Launch
The ACC Network launches in two weeks, and ESPN Senior VP/College Networks Rosalyn Durant said that the conference "accommodated the network by scheduling enticing league football games early in the season" to coincide with the launch, according to Michael Cunningham of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Clemson is No. 1 in the preseason coaches' poll, but no other ACC team is ranked, and football and basketball alone "can't fill the ACC Network's 24/7 programming." But as far as "making money, it comes down to audience size for football and men's basketball." More "fundamentally" for the new net though is that it "needs wider distribution." The net "doesn't have carriage agreements with Comcast/Xfinity, Charter-Spectrum or Dish Network," which collectively represent about 47 million households. But with deals in place with DirecTV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue and YoutubeTV, ACCN already has "wider distribution" than the SEC Network did when it launched five years ago. Durant said, "The media landscape now is vastly different than it was five years ago. ... How we think about success is the same, and it's having a multiplicity of providers." Meanwhile, the new ACCN studio was unveiled Thursday in Bristol, and Cunningham writes it "does look cool." Huge monitors "take up a good portion of some walls and there are touchscreens everywhere" and "robotic camera arms pop out of furniture" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/9).