When ACC Network launches Aug. 22, subscribing fans will be able to watch all 27 Duke varsity sports teams in action from just about anywhere -- their couch, their cellphone, their laptop.
ACC Network is a new addition to many carriers. Some, like DIRECTV, Spectrum, YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV, are already onboard, and others are actively in discussion about adding the network. If most TV providers include ACC Network (ACCN) in their package, Duke and the other ACC schools will have a platform to showcase their teams to a national audience.
This is especially important to those teams whose sport do not get much -- if any -- broadcast time during the regular season
“From a baseball standpoint, we’re thrilled that the network is going linear because it just allows for our product to reach a broader audience,” said Duke baseball coach Chris Pollard. “Specifically, I’m excited for the parents of our current players, our alumni base, along with our prospects and their families that they will be able to see us on TV more often.
“It’s no secret that we recruit nationally. We go to every corner of the country to find the very best student-athletes that are good fits for Duke and that are going to help us get to Omaha (home of the College World Series). When you recruit nationally, visibility and exposure of your program is critical. This is going to allow us to enhance both of those areas.”
ACCN will offer live ACC sports and related studio programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Approximately 450 live televised events, including 40 regular-season football games, 150 men’s and women’s basketball games and 200 other regular-season and tournament games, will be televised each year. There will also be news and information shows and original programming, including features on some student-athletes. Together, ACCN’s TV and digital platforms, ACCNE, expect to feature more than 1,300 ACC events in its first year.
Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White is an enthusiastic supporter of the network.
“ACC Network repositions the ACC most favorably amongst the other high-profile conferences,” White said. “Moreover, as for Duke, the impact on all 27 teams, in that every program will indeed be televised, is dramatic. The national awareness of each team, notwithstanding the university itself, will be seriously elevated. Furthermore, ACC Network will provide significantly more exposure opportunities for women’s programs at the national level.”
Duke field hockey coach Pam Bustin said her program is thrilled that ACC Network will “showcase what is arguably the best collegiate field hockey in the U.S. Faithful alums, families, friends, and hopeful future Blue Devils will have a first-hand opportunity to watch our team compete and celebrate.
“The ACCN will also provide a window to get a peek into some of the stories of our amazing student-athletes and learn more about our proud team culture and maybe even more about the great game of field hockey.”
White said Duke and the other conference members were “unabashedly motivated to see ACC Network become a reality.” Toward that end, Duke has spent years getting ready for the launch.
“As Duke planned for the construction of Blue Devil Tower (in Wallace Wade Stadium), our vision relative to the studio, etc., became a significant part of the futuristic planning,” White said.
White said ESPN, ACCN’s broadcast partner, is working hard to ensure that ACCN will be available across the country.
“ACC Network, along with the very best broadcast partner in the business (ESPN), is approaching 50% of the national television audience, incorporating a 10-state footprint. Pointedly, this particular endeavor will indeed eventually be the largest conference network in the country, whereby the ability to showcase the ACC and the member institutions is without boundaries, domestically and globally (over time).”
So load up on your drinks and snacks, Blue Devil fans. You’ll need plenty of each when you watch many of Duke’s 652 student-athletes competing against their ACC counterparts.
For more information, see this FAQ about the network, courtesy of Duke Sports Information.