CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The ACC Network has been on-air for nearly two years now, but it is still not available through Comcast, one of the nation’s largest cable providers.
Moreover, Comcast is the main cable provider in Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, much of Virginia, and other large media markets across the country where the ACC would like to have its games shown. Fans living in those markets can still access the ACC Network via streaming services – like Hulu – but they can’t simply click a few buttons on the remote for their cable box to see Pitt open its season against UMass on Sept. 4.
When first-year ACC commissioner Jim Phillips visited the conference’s 15 schools this summer, an often-asked question was about Comcast and getting the league’s television distribution wider.
At the ACC Kickoff at the Westin in Charlotte on Wednesday morning, Phillips said that “tremendous progress” is being made with Comcast and seemed optimistic about getting a deal done with the Philadelphia-based cable company.
“It’s one of the top priorities I have,” Phillips said of a potential Comcast deal. He added that he’s been to Bristol, Connecticut to speak with ESPN executives Jimmy Pitaro and Burke Magnus about the matter.
Currently, the ACC Network – which is entering its third season of broadcasting college football – is available on the following cable, satellite and streaming services: AT&T, Cox, DIRECTV, Dish, fuboTV, Hulu, Optimum, Sling TV, Spectrum, Suddenlink, TVision, Verizon Fios, Vidgo and YouTube TV.
“Distribution is critical for us,” Phillips said. “I think we have a great plan coming up… Those frustrations are real and we’ll never be the conference that we need to be unless we get some of those (distribution) issues taken care of. I think we have a great strategy.”
The ACC had previously announced 14 football games to be broadcast by its network this season. Phillips announced Wednesday that two more additions had been added to the exclusive ACCN slate: Boston College at Clemson (Oct. 2) and Notre Dame at Virginia Tech (Oct. 9).
“The addition of these games reinforces the ACC Network’s ongoing commitment to scheduling high-profile ACC events and surrounding them with comprehensive studio and on-campus programming, as well as in-depth storytelling,” Phillips said.
Phillips, who was hired away from Northwestern in December to succeed John Swofford as the ACC’s commissioner, said that ACCN is currently available in 70 million households.