Comcast has confirmed to the TV Answer Man that it does not have a deal to add the ACC Network, continuing a two-year carriage dispute between the cable operator and its owner, Disney/ESPN.
The channel launched two years ago this week and it’s been carried by several other pay TV operators including DIRECTV and Dish.
However, Comcast has never carried the regional sports network which 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, Virginia, Georgia Tech, University of Miami, Syracuse and Boston College.
Several Comcast viewers in ACC markets posted comments earlier today on social media sites saying the ACC Network has been available on Xfinity channel 1322, although under a different name. But a Comcast official, who declined to be named, said the channel’s programming aired by mistake.
“We did not sign a carriage deal with ACC Network,” the official said. “What happened was ACC Network programming appeared on an SEC Network overflow channel yesterday. That was an issue on the programmer’s end that has been addressed.”
There have been recurring rumors that Comcast and ESPN are close to a carriage deal, fueled in part by upbeat comments from ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips.
“Phillips told his audiences in Blacksburg and Charlottesville that he believes ESPN/Disney, the conference’s partner in the ACC Network, likely will strike a carriage agreement by September with cable behemoth Xfinity/Comcast,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported in May.
But on August 23, 2021, there is no deal.
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— Phillip Swann