|Headquarters||Charlotte, North Carolina|
Raycom Sports (until July 2019)ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference (August 2019-2032)
Raycom Media (syndicated until July 2019)ESPN (cable channel and fully syndicated beginning in August 2019)
|Ken Haines (President & CEO, Raycom Sports) and John Swofford (Commissioner of the ACC)|
December 1982 (without a branding)|
May 2010 (under the ACC Network branding)
September 2010 (ACC Network)August 2019 (ACC-ESPN)
|Dissolved||July 2019 (Raycom Sports)|
|Affiliates||list of affiliates|
The current ACC Network (unofficially known as the ACC Network by Raycom Sports) is an ad hoc television network featuring live broadcasts of college football and basketball events from the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2019 it will give way to the ACC Network linear channel announced in July 2016 by the league and media partner ESPN.
The current network is an exclusive presentation of its owner and operator, Raycom Sports, the sports syndication unit of Montgomery, Alabama-based Raycom Media. The network itself is based at Raycom Sports headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Broadcast games are shown locally on over-the-air broadcast stations, regional sports networks, as well as on online streaming service ESPN3 and the WatchESPN application on mobile devices. The syndicated network is produced in a partnership between Raycom, ESPN, and the ACC.
On July 19, 2016, Commissioner John Swofford announced that the ACC had extended its media rights deal with ESPN through 2036, and that it would launch an ACC Network cable channel in 2019. As an aspect of the expanded rights deal, it was also announced that ESPN would begin to stream additional ACC events through its digital platforms under the brand ACC Network Extra beginning in August 2016, as a prelude to the launch of the linear television channel.
ACC men's basketball had been broadcast by Raycom/JP Sports, a joint venture of Raycom Sports and Jefferson-Pilot Teleproductions, since the 1982-1983 basketball season. The roots of the current package date to 1957, when Greensboro businessman C.D. Chesley hastily assembled a five-station network to broadcast North Carolina's appearance in that year's Final Four. The Tar Heels went on to win the national championship, and Chesley expanded to a full-season package for the 1957-58 season. Chelsey retained the rights until his retirement in 1981, and then Baltimore-based Metrosports had the ACC rights just for the 1981-82 season.
Jefferson-Pilot Teleproductions was the sole producer of ACC football beginning with the 1984 football season, but the Raycom/JP Sports joint venture began to include ACC football for the 2004 season.
In 2006, JP Sports' parent company, the Jefferson Pilot Corporation, merged with Lincoln National Corporation, taking the broadcasting and sports broadcasting divisions with it. JP Sports became Lincoln Financial Sports, thereby renaming the joint venture Raycom/LF Sports. Lincoln sold its sports broadcasting division to Raycom Media in November 2007, making Raycom Sports the sole producer of all ACC projects and, since from January 2008 until March 2009, Southeastern Conference men's basketball and football.
A new branding
The ACC Network branding has been used on Raycom's ACC sports broadcasts beginning with the 2010–2011 academic year. The new branding was unveiled through a sub-license agreement with ESPN, with Raycom Sports continuing to be the long-time over-the-air syndication home of Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball and football. All of Raycom's ACC projects will be under the new branding. Raycom began syndicating the ACC Network beyond the ACC footprint sometime between 2010 and 2013.
Expanded national reach
Beginning with the 2014–2015 academic season, the ACC Network expanded distribution up to 84% of the entire United States. The close-down of ESPN Plus-oriented SEC TV, which syndicated Southeastern Conference basketball and football from 2009 until the 2014 launch of the pay TV exclusive SEC Network, was part of the reason of the ACC Network's recent expansion. Many stations that carried SEC TV (some of which also carried with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot's coverage of Southeastern Conference basketball and football) replaced it with the ACC Network in select markets. The expansion would give former SEC TV outlets another option for sports programming besides relying solely on sports programming from their affiliated network.
In some occasions in certain markets, the ACC Network currently competes with upstart syndicated American Sports Network (owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group) for viewer allegiances, but that depends on what ASN-run network the viewer lives in since ASN has rights to multiple conferences (including Conference USA, OVC, SoCon, Patriot League, CAA). However, a few stations actually carry programming from both the local ASN package and Raycom's ACC Network package since 2014, most notably including MyNetworkTV affiliate WUXP in Nashville, and a few others in the southeastern U.S.
In 2015, Raycom Sports and DTV America reached an agreement to bring the ACC Network to three of DTV America-owned stations, including stations in the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Jackson, Tennessee, and the Joplin, Missouri-Pittsburg, Kansas markets.
On July 19, 2016, ESPN and the ACC announced a new deal that would involve the launch of a cable-only version of the ACC Network by August 2019. When that happens, the current, syndicated ACC Network may cease operations, thereby suffering the same fate as ESPN Plus' SEC TV package.
The ACC Network's coverage
The ACC Network includes:
- 35 CW affiliates (including WTTO in Birmingham, WCCT in Hartford, WTOG in Tampa, WUPA in Atlanta, WNOL in New Orleans, WKBD in Detroit, KPLR in St. Louis and KMYS in San Antonio)
- 32 MyNetworkTV affiliates (including WUXP in Nashville, WDCA in Washington, WNDY in Indianapolis, WUAB in Cleveland, and WCGV in Milwaukee)
- 20 independent stations (including WLNY in New York and KTXA in Dallas)
- 12 Fox affiliates (including WOFL in Orlando and WXIX in Cincinnati)
- 11 CBS affiliates (including WFOR in Miami, WJZ in Baltimore and WBTV in Charlotte)
- 10 NBC affiliates (including WRAL in Raleigh)
- 9 ABC affiliates (including WHAS in Louisville, WPVI in Philadelphia and WTAE in Pittsburgh)
Since 2005, Boston area MyNetworkTV affiliate WSBK has been running Raycom's syndicated ACC Basketball and Football. Because of WSBK's carriage in Canada. the ACC Network (through WSBK) is available to several cable and satellite subscribers in Canada because of WSBK's status as a superstation. This includes satellite subscribers of Bell TV and Shaw Direct, as well as cable providers such as Rogers Cable, Shaw Cable, Cogeco, and Persona.
The ACC Network is also available over-the-air to Canadians living close enough to a major American city with an ACC Network affiliate. Residents in Southwestern Ontario, including Windsor and the Chatham-Kent area, can access ACC Network broadcasts over-the-air and on cable through Detroit, Michigan CW affiliate WKBD-TV. ACC Network programming is seen over the air in the Fort Erie/Niagara Falls, Ontario area through Buffalo, New York's CW affiliate WNLO. Due to WNLO's one-million watts of effective radiated power, its signal coverage can take ACC Network's coverage as far north as the Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario area. ACC Network games could also be seen in southern Essex County, Pelee Island, and the London, Ontario area via Cleveland-based MyNetworkTV affiliate WUAB.
Mexico's border region and the Bahamas
Likewise, in Mexico, The ACC Network is also available over-the-air to any Mexican viewers who live close enough to an American city along the U.S.-Mexico border and equipped with digital TV tuners. It is viewable in the northern Chihuahua, including Ciudad Juárez via CW affiliate KVIA-DT2, the Nuevo Laredo area in northwest Tamaulipas via Laredo, Texas NBC affiliate KGNS-TV, as well as in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico thanks to the signal coverage of San Diego, California area independent station KUSI-TV. ACC Network programming is also available in The Bahamas through Miami's CBS-owned station WFOR due to that station's cable carriage there.
ACC Network Extra
ACC Network Extra is an internet television service operated by ESPN, which streams ACC events not broadcast on television; it launched in August 2016 as an aspect and prelude of ESPN's upcoming ACC Network cable channel. The service is available via WatchESPN; access to this content is only available to authenticated pay television subscribers of ESPN's networks.
Programming besides live games
- ACC Football Blitz - pre-game in-studio show
- ACC Basketball Tip-off Show
- Kings of the Court
- Tim Brant - play-by-play commentator
- Dave Archer - color analyst
- Roddy Jones - sideline reporter
- Kate Whitham - host of the ACC Blitz
- Tommy Bowden - co-host/analyst on the ACC Blitz
- Tom Werme - alternate play-by-play commentator
- Renaldo Wynn - alternate color analyst
ACC Network sponsors
- Raycom Sports - operator of the ACC Network until 2019
- American Sports Network
- ESPN Plus
- Southland Conference Television Network
- ESPN - operator of the ACC Network beginning in 2019
- http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2016/07/acc-network-set-launch-2019/ Official Press Release: ACC Network (ESPN, 2016.07.21)
- ACC Properties - ACC
- Press Release (July 1, 2014). "ACC Network Has Expanded National Reach" Raycom Sports. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "ACC, ESPN partner for new conference channel". ESPN.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "ACC Network Set to Launch in 2019". Atlantic Coast Conference. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- FAQ | ACC-ESPN Announcement
- 2007 ACC Tournament Official Program, page 24.
- Haygood, Daniel (Spring 2013). "Through Part of Seven Decades, From C.D. Chesley to Raycom Sports, ACC Basketball has Gaines Exposure Through Partnerships, Distribution, Innovation" (PDF). ACC Sports Journal. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- ACCSlicks.pdf Raycom Sports. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Company History - Raycom Sports Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Smith, Michael (October 4, 2010). "History with ACC secures Future for Raycom" (PDF). Sports and Business Journal. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
- ACC Network will be syndicated in 90 million homes | CollegeFootballTalk
- Crawford, Eric (July 19, 2016). "ACC appears set to announce new ACC Network, to launch in 2019". WDRB. Louisville, KY. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- ACC Digital Network on LiveStream
- "TheACC.com | Videos". Atlantic Coast Conference. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
- "How to find ACC Network Extra (Watch league games online)". Syracuse.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- Raycom/Jefferson Pilot ACC Syndicated Package Promotional Brochures (1990-2013)
|before=Raycom/Lincoln Financial Sports||title=Syndication Rights Holder to Atlantic Coast Conference football and men's basketball||years=2008-2019
(produced by Raycom Sports; the ACC Network branding until July 2019)