Lots of questions. Very few answers.
ACC officials have been fairly tight lipped about the availability of the conferences new 24/7 network. Outside of the few streaming services to sign on, only two traditional television providers have been confirmed to carry the network. Those are DirectTV and Xfinity Fios (Verizon).
The closer we get to Clemson and Georgia Tech launching the new channel on Aug 29, the more upset some have become with their television providers. One has to wonder however, is that where the unhappiness should be directed. Is it really their fault? Maybe, maybe not.
The way this whole thing has played out, it’s very possible ESPN just isn’t making much of an effort to sell it. All but one of these networks are losing money. Why would ESPN be beating the streets to sell something they know isn’t likely to be very profitable, if at all. It’s probably not very likely ESPN is even starting this up if they weren’t contractually obligated to do so.
Direct recently renewed their deal with ABC/Disney for the rights to ESPN. By most accounts, the ACC Network was basically just thrown into the new deal as a way to justify increasing the fee they charge Direct for the rights to broadcast the ESPN channels.
The way things are looking, if you’re a customer of DISH, Spectrum, Charter, Comcast, Cox, etc, you might not want to hold your breath waiting on them to be added. We’re less than 75 days from launch. Maybe you should start thinking backup plans just in case.
There are other options to access that first game. Hulu Live and Playstation Vue are both streaming services that will have the network. And both offer free trials to new customers. All you need is speedy wifi.
Both services have apps that can be downloaded onto any streaming device such as Apple TV, the Amazon Fire Stick, and Roku. If you’re not familiar with those streaming devices, they can be purchased almost anywhere that sells electronics for as low as $35. Download the app, get the free trial, watch the game, then cancel.
Maybe if we are lucky, some miracle takes place and most providers end up carrying it in time. It never hurts to have a backup plan though, especially when it’s John Swofford and the ACC you’re depending on.