TV News & Reviews

A week before its official launch, the ACC Network makes a deal with Spectrum

Commissioner John Swofford on the launch of the ACC Network

ACC Commissioner John Swofford discusses the ACC Network which will launch in August during ACC football kickoff on July 17, 2019.
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ACC Commissioner John Swofford discusses the ACC Network which will launch in August during ACC football kickoff on July 17, 2019.

The new ACC Network will launch in just over a week, and as it currently stands, many Triangle viewers won’t have access to the channel.

The network — a partnership between the ACC and ESPN — has contracts with DirecTV, Google Fiber TV and Charter’s Spectrum (of the providers available to local viewers). (Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Spectrum deal was announced on Aug. 14. The deal was confirmed by the ACC Network.)

As of Aug. 14, there is no deal in place with AT&T U-verse, DISH Network or Comcast.

For those with streaming services, there is a deal with YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV (note that this is not the same as regular Hulu) and PlayStation Vue. There is no deal in place with Sling or Fubo.

The ACC Network FAQ lists dozens of carriers, such as Verizon FIOS, a streaming service available to Verizon customers, but for the most part, there are few good options for viewers in the heart of the ACC. Many of the carriers listed are companies like Southern Montana Telephone and Cable Systems of Nevada.

There is no option to subscribe to stream the ACC Network for a monthly fee, the way one might for HBO Now or CBS All Access.

The worry over Spectrum

The ACC Network, which launches Aug. 22, has taken to social media to rally local sports fans to the cause, tweeting that they should contact their providers and “demand” access.

In response to a tweet about the situation in July, Spectrum’s customer service account, @Ask_Spectrum, responded:

“At this time we do not carry this network and do not have any information on if/when we will carry it. You can request this network and countless others via this link (link: http://bit.ly/2ygC2cy) bit.ly/2ygC2cy. ^SS”

Scott Pryzwansky, communications director for Charter (Spectrum) in the Carolinas, told The News & Observer on July 29: “We are currently in negotiations to carry the ACC Network and are trying to keep programming costs down for our customers. We hope to reach an agreement soon.”

Spectrum is the largest cable carrier in the state.

The Spectrum deal announced Aug. 14 is part of a huge multi-year deal between Spectrum and Disney, which owns ESPN.

We also reached out to AT&T Uverse (which owns DirecTV) for an official response.

This story will be updated with that response when available.

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Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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