ESPN, Atlantic Coast Conference Stamp ACC Network For 2019 Launch
Digital offering, ‘ACC Network Extra,’ to debut this August
After years and rumors and rumblings, it’s finally official: ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will partner up to launch the ACC Network.
The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s media rights extension that links the two through 2036. ESPN and the ACC officially announced and debuted the future linear and digital network’s logo and programming plans during the conference’s Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte on Thursday.
The linear channel is slated to debut in 2019 and is expected to air 450 exclusive live events, including 40 regular-season football games, 150+ men’s and women’s basketball games, and 200+ ‘Olympic sports’ contests and conference tournament games. Similarly to the currently running SEC Network and Longhorn Network, there are plans for news and information shows and original feature and documentary programming.
“We are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC. ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans, while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches and institutions.”
While the linear network launch is still three years off, fans will begin enjoying enhanced ACC coverage beginning as soon as next month. Starting in August, ESPN will offer more than 600 exclusive live events on the newly established digital platform, ‘ACC Network Extra’, which will be available to all ESPN subscribers on ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
“We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams, and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings,” said John Skipper, ESPN President.
When the linear and digital networks are running simultaneously in 2019, ESPN plans to distribute more than 1,300 ACC events across the platforms and its expected that, much like the SEC Network model, the schools themselves will be heavily involved and responsible for the production of many of the digital-exclusive live events.