ACC Network (Raycom Sports)

ACC Network was a syndicated package of college sports telecasts featuring football and basketball events from the Atlantic Coast Conference, produced by Raycom Sports, the sports syndication unit of Montgomery, Alabama-based Raycom Media (now owned by Gray Television).

The package stemmed from a joint venture between Raycom and Jefferson-Pilot Teleproductions, which acquired the rights to ACC basketball in 1982 under the banner Raycom/JP Sports. In 2004, Jefferson-Pilot's ACC football package (which began in 1984) was also moved under Raycom/JP Sports. Jefferson-Pilot was acquired by Lincoln National Corporation in 2006, who would in turn sell its media assets to Raycom in 2006. In 2010, ESPN acquired the rights to ACC basketball and football, but continued to sub-license games to Raycom Sports to continue the syndicated package, which was relaunched under the ACC Network brand. Broadcast games were shown locally on over-the-air broadcast stations, regional sports networks, as well as streaming on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.[1][2]

In July 2016, ESPN announced an extension of its contract and plans to launch an ACC cable channel of the same name in 2019, and took ownership of the ACC rights that were previously sub-licensed to Raycom. In anticipation of the new channel, the "ACC Network" branding during its syndicated telecasts was phased out in 2018. Although ESPN will continue to subcontract Raycom Sports resources for the new channel, Raycom's final syndicated ACC telecast—the 2019 ACC men's basketball championship game—aired March 16, 2019.

ACC Network
Country
AvailabilityRegional
HeadquartersCharlotte, North Carolina
Broadcast area
United States
OwnerRaycom Sports
ParentGray Television
Key people
  • Ken Haines
  • (President & CEO, Raycom Sports)
  • John Swofford
  • (Commissioner of the ACC)
  • John Skipper
  • (President, ESPN Inc.)
EstablishedDecember 8, 1982
Launch date
September 2010
DissolvedMarch 17, 2019
Affiliateslist of affiliates
Official website
www.theacc.com
www.raycomsports.com

History

ACC men's basketball had been broadcast by Raycom/JP Sports, a joint venture of Raycom Sports and Jefferson-Pilot Teleproductions, since the 1982-1983 basketball season. The roots of the current package date to 1957, when Greensboro businessman C.D. Chesley hastily assembled a five-station network to broadcast North Carolina's appearance in that year's Final Four. The Tar Heels went on to win the national championship, and Chesley expanded to a full-season package for the 1957-58 season. Chelsey retained the rights until his retirement in 1981, and then Baltimore-based Metrosports had the ACC rights just for the 1981-82 season.

The first ACC basketball telecast by Raycom/JP Sports was an early-season game between the Virginia Cavaliers and the Duke Blue Devils on the night of December 8, 1982.[3][4] It was uncertain whether this first broadcast was going to happen at all until the 9 p.m. tip-off; many East Coast network affiliates were unexpectedly carrying national coverage of a hostage situation at the Washington Monument, tying up the AT&T network lines required for Raycom to distribute the game.[5]

Jefferson-Pilot Teleproductions was the sole producer of ACC football beginning with the 1984 football season, but the Raycom/JP Sports joint venture began to include ACC football for the 2004 season.[6]

In 2006, JP Sports' parent company, the Jefferson Pilot Corporation, merged with Lincoln National Corporation, taking the broadcasting and sports broadcasting divisions with it. JP Sports became Lincoln Financial Sports, thereby renaming the joint venture Raycom/LF Sports. Lincoln announced the sale of its media assets to Raycom Media in November 2007, making Raycom Sports the sole producer of all ACC projects and, from January 2008 until March 2009, SEC men's basketball and football.

In 2010, ESPN acquired rights to ACC football and basketball, replacing Raycom. In a discussion between ACC commissioner John Swofford and then-ESPN president John Skipper, Swofford acknowledged Raycom's long-standing relationship with the conference, and requested that it continue to be involved in some way. ESPN negotiated a sub-licensing agreement with Raycom, which would allow it to continue producing a syndicated package of ACC football and basketball broadcasts. As a condition of the deal, they were rebranded under the new on-air title ACC Network. As part of the agreement, Raycom also agreed to operate the ACC's website and digital properties. It was suggested that ESPN agreed to Raycom's involvement so it would not create conflicts with the SEC NetworkESPN Regional Television's then-new package of syndicated Southeastern Conference football and basketball games, established after ESPN replaced Raycom as the SEC's main rightsholder besides CBS.[7][8]

Raycom began syndicating the ACC Network beyond the ACC footprint sometime between 2010 and 2013.[4] Beginning with the 2014–2015 academic season, following the discontinuation of ESPN's syndicated SEC package after the launch of the SEC Network cable channel, Raycom expanded the ACC Network's distribution up to 84% of the entire United States.[2][9]

Future

On July 21, 2016, ESPN announced a 20-year extension of its ACC rights, and that it would launch a new ACC cable network, also known as ACC Network, in 2019, with its accompanying digital platform ACC Network Extra launching in the 2016–17 season. As part of the establishment of the channel, ESPN acquired Raycom Sports' previous package of games.[10][11][12] As of the 2018 ACC football season, the ACC Network branding was downplayed from its telecasts, and returned to using the Raycom Sports branding.

Raycom Sports will continue its role as the ACC's in-house digital media partner, and ESPN will subcontract production resources from Raycom Sports for the new channel.[13] Raycom's final syndicated ACC telecast was the 2019 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament final.[14]

Distribution

United States

Upon its final season ACC Network included:

  • 35 CW affiliates (including WTTO in Birmingham, WCCT in Hartford, WTOG in Tampa, WUPA in Atlanta, WNOL in New Orleans, WKBD in Detroit, KPLR in St. Louis and KMYS in San Antonio)
  • 32 MyNetworkTV affiliates (including WUXP in Nashville, WDCA in Washington, WNDY in Indianapolis, WUAB in Cleveland, and WCGV in Milwaukee)
  • 20 independent stations (including WLNY in New York and KTXA in Dallas)
  • 12 Fox affiliates (including WOFL in Orlando and WXIX in Cincinnati)
  • 11 CBS affiliates (including WFOR in Miami, WJZ in Baltimore and WBTV in Charlotte)
  • 10 NBC affiliates (including WRAL in Raleigh)
  • 9 ABC affiliates (including WHAS in Louisville, WPVI in Philadelphia and WTAE in Pittsburgh)

Outside of the U.S., the telecasts could be received in Canada via historic superstations still carried on cable, such as Boston's WSBK-TV, and during its final seasons, WPCH-TV in Atlanta (the former WTBS), as well as over-the-air signals receivable in border markets.

Programming besides live games

Primary source:[15]

  • ACC Football Blitz - pre-game in-studio show
  • ACC Basketball Tip-off Show
  • Kings of the Court

On-air personalities

ACC Football

  • Tim Brant - play-by-play commentator (Retired 2016)
  • Dave Archer - color analyst
  • Roddy Jones - sideline reporter
  • Kate Whitham - host of the ACC Blitz
  • Tommy Bowden - co-host/analyst on the ACC Blitz
  • Tom Werme - alternate play-by-play commentator
  • Renaldo Wynn - alternate color analyst

ACC Basketball

Play-by-play commentators

Color analysts

See also

References

  1. ^ "ACC Properties - ACC". theacc.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Press Release (July 1, 2014). "ACC Network Has Expanded National Reach" Raycom Sports. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  3. ^ 2007 ACC Tournament Official Program, page 24.
  4. ^ a b Haygood, Daniel (Spring 2013). "Through Part of Seven Decades, From C.D. Chesley to Raycom Sports, ACC Basketball has Gaines Exposure Through Partnerships, Distribution, Innovation" (PDF). ACC Sports Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 20, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  5. ^ Wilkerson, Brant (March 11, 2019). "Signing off: Raycom Sports will air its final ACC tournament this week". Greensboro News and Record.
  6. ^ ACCSlicks.pdf Archived October 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Raycom Sports. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Smith, Michael; Ourand, John (October 5, 2010). "History with ACC secures future for Raycom". Washington Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Smith, Michael (October 4, 2010). "History with ACC secures Future for Raycom" (PDF). Sports and Business Journal. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "ACC Network will be syndicated in 90 million homes". nbcsports.com. July 19, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "Art of the deal: How Swofford, ACC, ESPN reached agreement to launch ACC Network". The News & Observer. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "ACC, ESPN announce new television deal, including launch of ACC Network". syracuse.com. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  12. ^ "ESPN-backed ACC Network launches in 2019". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  13. ^ bwilkerson-new@greensboro.com, Brant Wilkerson-New. "Raycom takes new role as ACC Network plans to debut". Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "The pilot sails no more: After four decades, ACC's longtime TV partner signs off". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  15. ^ "Raycom/Jefferson Pilot ACC Syndicated Package Promotional Brochures (1990-2013)" (PDF). raycomsports.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
2010–11 Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball season

The 2010–11 Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball season was the 58th season for the league.

Big 12 Network

The Big 12 Network (stylized as the Big XII Network) was a syndicated package featuring live broadcasts of College basketball events from the Big 12 Conference that was broadcast under that branding from 2008 until 2014. It was owned and operated by ESPN Plus, the syndication arm of ESPN, Inc., and was mainly shown in areas in the Big 12’s geographical footprint, along with other areas of the United States. Games were shown locally on broadcast stations, regional sports networks, as well as on ESPN Full Court, and WatchESPN.

Cory Alexander

Cory Lynn Alexander (born June 22, 1973) is an American former professional basketball player who is now an announcer for college basketball.

After a career at the University of Virginia (having graduated with a degree in psychology), Alexander was the 29th overall selection in the 1995 NBA draft, chosen by the San Antonio Spurs. He played for the Spurs, the Denver Nuggets, the Orlando Magic and, after a three-year absence from the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats. His NBA career averages include 5.5 points and 2.7 assists per game. He later became a commentator for the ACC Network (Raycom Sports). Cory is currently working for ESPN as a college basketball commentator. He also runs Cory Alexander Basketball School in Richmond, Virginia.

List of ACC Network (Raycom Sports) affiliates

The following is a list of affiliates with the former ACC Network, an ad hoc syndicated sports network operated by Raycom Sports and featuring the athletic teams of the Atlantic Coast Conference. This network is not to be confused with the ACC Network linear channel announced on 2016 July 21 by the league and ESPN, which is slated for launch in 2019. The stations listed below include all stations that broadcast the syndication package.

Note: The ACC Men's Basketball Tournament is not broadcast by ACC Network affiliates outside the ACC's geographical footprint as ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU have rights to that tournament in areas outside the ACC footprint. The ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU broadcasts of the tournament are no longer blacked out in areas inside the ACC's footprint, which as of 2014, includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.The current ACC Network includes:

35 CW affiliates (including WTTO in Birmingham, WCCT in Hartford, WTOG in Tampa, WUPA in Atlanta, WNOL in New Orleans, WKBD in Detroit, KPLR in St. Louis and KMYS in San Antonio)

32 MyNetworkTV affiliates (including WUXP in Nashville, WDCA in Washington, WNDY in Indianapolis, WUAB in Cleveland, and WCGV in Milwaukee)

19 independent stations (including WLNY in New York, KDOC in Los Angeles, and KTXA in Dallas)

11 CBS affiliates (including WFOR in Miami, WJZ in Baltimore and WBTV in Charlotte)

10 NBC affiliates (including WRAL in Raleigh)

9 ABC affiliates (including WHAS in Louisville, WPVI in Philadelphia and WTAE in Pittsburgh)

Men's college basketball on television

Men's college basketball on television includes the broadcasting of college basketball games, as well as pre- and post-game reports, analysis, and human-interest stories. Within the United States, the college version of basketball annually garners high television ratings.

Not all games are televised. Coverage is dependent on negotiations between the broadcaster and the college basketball conference or team. In general, major programs will be televised more often than smaller programs. The televised games may change from year-to-year depending on which teams are having a strong season, although some traditional rivalry games are broadcast each year. Major match-ups between top-ranked teams or major rivals are often broadcast nationally. Some games are traditionally associated with a specific event or holiday, and viewing the game itself can become a holiday tradition for fans.

WBTV

WBTV, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 23), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The station is owned by Gray Television. WBTV's studios are located off Morehead Street, just west of Uptown Charlotte, and its transmitter is located in north-central Gaston County. In addition, WBTV's studios continue to house the operations of its former sister radio stations now owned by Entercom: WBT-AM/FM and WLNK, as well as WFNZ, which was previously owned by CBS Radio prior to its purchase by Entercom in late 2017.

On cable, WBTV is carried on Charter Spectrum channel 2 in the immediate Charlotte area (channel 3 in Kannapolis, Concord and on legacy Charter systems), Comporium Communications channel 105 and AT&T U-verse channel 3.

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