Pitt will start the 2019 football season in prime time, as the ACC announced that the Panthers’ home opener will be played under the lights and Heinz Field.
On Aug. 31, Pitt and Virginia will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and be televised on ACC Network, as part of the big weekend unveiling of the new network, which is a joint venture between the conference and ESPN.
The game was moved from later in the season to the first week in order for the conference to capitalize on higher-profile matchups for the kickoff of the channel.
The first game will be on Thursday, Aug. 29, when Georgia Tech visits Clemson. Wake Forest will host Utah State on Friday, Aug. 30, and Pitt will close a Saturday triple-header by following East Carolina at NC State at noon and Virginia Tech at Boston College at 4 p.m.
The last time Pitt opened its season with a night game was also the last time they opened the season with a conference opponent — when Pitt hosted Florida State in 2013.
Pitt’s second game will also be featured on ACC Network, as the Panthers will play Ohio at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7. That Saturday will feature four games, with South Florida and Georgia Tech play at 2 p.m., Louisiana-Monroe playing Florida State at 5 p.m. and Miami visiting North Carolina at 8 p.m.
The conference and ESPN have already negotiated carriage agreements with the following networks: Altice, DirecTV, Google Fiber, Hulu Live TV, Optimum, PlayStation Vue, Suddenlink, TVision and Verizon Fios.
Negotiations with other carriers, including big regional cable providers Armstrong and Comcast, are continuing. All ACC Networks games will be available through the ESPN app.