The new ACC Network is set to launch on August 22, and just one week later will air its first live broadcast of a college football game. The conference announced months ago that it had tabbed the defending national champion Clemson Tigers season opener against Georgia Tech on the 29th as the game that would kick off the networks football coverage.
On the surface, that’s great for Clemson. College Gameday is set to return to town, meaning the nation’s focus will be squarely on the Clemson Football program as the season gets underway. The importance these kinds of things play on the recruiting trail can’t be overstated.
Not to mention Georgia Tech, who just hired Geoff Collins to lead their transition from an outdated, option offense, to a more traditional offense. Looking at a complete rebuild of that roster, Collins can use any advantage he can get from a recruiting standpoint.
There’s just one problem….. There are going to be to many fans that want to watch, but can’t. Most of the major cable and satellite providers are still without deals in place to carry the new channel. They may still add one or two in time, but they won’t add them all.
An even bigger problem is that conference leadership seems to be pleased with where they stand currently. ACC Commissioner John Swofford recently stated that they were even a little ahead of schedule as far as getting providers signed up, and that they were on a “three year plan” when it comes to getting them all on board. That’s not good.
One day, maybe the ACC will start being proactive when it comes to their ability to market their own conference, instead of just falling in line with what everyone else is doing. It’s 2019, a network should’ve been done long ago. That ship has sailed.
The future of television is in streaming. Maybe a stand alone streaming service was a better way to go. Or maybe some combination of the two. However, one things certain, you can’t televise your conferences marquee team on a network that so many won’t have access too.
The closer we get to that season opener on August 29th, the more it’s looking like there’s going to be a lot of unhappy college football fans. They’ll have a right to be unhappy. It will be interesting to see how ACC officials handle it all in an effort to avoid the public relations black eye that is surely coming.
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