Q. I have Comcast and I was excited about watching the Miami-UAB game last week, but I couldn’t find the ACC Network in my lineup. I looked everywhere. Can you tell me which channel it’s on? — Wander, Miami.
Wander, before I answer, a little background on the ACC Network for our readers who are not familiar with the channel.
The ACC Network, which is owned by ESPN (Disney), launched in August 2019 and is dedicated to offering live sporting events and other programming involving teams of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). That includes such colleges as North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and, yes, the University of Miami, which began its 2020 college football season last Thursday night against UAB.
The ACC Network aired the Miami-UAB game, but you couldn’t find it on Comcast because the cable operator has yet to add the channel. Comcast and ESPN have been involved in a carriage dispute since the channel launched a year ago.
Comcast is keenly aware that the omission is upsetting some subscribers, particularly college sports fans. The cable op has set up a separate page at its web site to explain its position.
“For years, Atlantic Coast Conference sports aired on ESPN and other networks at no additional cost to customers. Now, ESPN has launched the ACC Network, a new TV network that will carry some of the ACC games. Unfortunately, they are demanding a large fee to carry it. This would mean that all customers, even those who do not watch ACC sports, would need to pay more,” Comcast states. “Many ACC games are still available on broadcast and cable channels without the new network. However, in support of our customers, Comcast will not carry the ACC Network until we reach an agreement at a fair and reasonable cost.”
ESPN counters that several other pay TV providers carry it, such as Charter/Spectrum, U-verse, Dish, Sling TV, DIRECTV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu, Verizon and AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now. And they find the carriage fees acceptable, the programmer says.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation, and report back here if anything changes in this fee fight.
Until then, happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann