The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Here's what UNC fans can expect from the new ACC Network

John Swofford CHSC
John Swofford, ACC Commissioner and former UNC athletic director, is overseeing the launch of the new ACC Network.

Just in time for the football season, the all-new ACC Network will launch Thursday at 7 p.m. EST and will be "the new, 24/7 national platform dedicated to ACC sports," according to GoHeels

The network, referred to as ACCN on TV channel guides, will feature approximately 450 live televised events, including 40 regular-season football games and 150 men's and women's basketball games, in its first year on air. Providers of the network currently include DIRECTV, Google Fiber, Hulu Live TV, Spectrum, PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV.

Providers not currently carrying the network are Cox Cable, Comcast Cable, Dish Network, Sling TV and AT&T U-verse, among others. Thus, Thursday will be somewhat of a partial launch for the ACCN, with the remaining providers expected to strike deals with the network in the future. Other Power 5 conferences such as the Pac-12 and the Big Ten already have dedicated networks and partnerships with cable providers. 

As an ESPN-affiliated network, the ACCN will be available via the ESPN app on computers, tablets, mobile phones and TV connected devices.

The ACCN also seems to be a crucial part of the conference's vision moving forward – John Swofford, ACC commissioner and former UNC athletic director, is reportedly overseeing the launch of the network.

Now for the important part: what can UNC fans expect from the ACCN?

The first thing to know is that the Tar Heels' home openers for both football and men's basketball – Sept. 7 against Miami and Nov. 6 against Notre Dame, respectively – will be broadcast exclusively on the ACC Network. 

According to a GoHeels release, "There are two ways to watch UNC in action in those games and others broadcast on the ACC Network: get your tickets to the games and cheer on the Tar Heels in person or make sure your cable provider has the ACC Network among its available channels."

That's bad news for UNC fans whose providers haven't yet announced a deal with the ACCN. For those who will have access to the network, however, the most interesting bit of programming will likely be "All Access: A Season with Carolina Basketball." The multi-part series, beginning in October, will present a behind-the-scenes look at the 2019-20 North Carolina men's basketball team and highlight "... the many dimensions of the North Carolina basketball program, its notable alumni and what it's like to be part of the Carolina Family."

It'll feature moments like the one that was made public on Tuesday – Tar Heel guard K.J. Smith getting put on scholarship for the 2019-20 season.

While the conference has been tight-lipped about other team-specific programs – most of the announced shows, like "The Huddle," a football-centric program, will focus on all teams within a single sport – the ACC has said that it will achieve its goal of "... provid[ing] exposure for each of the ACC member institutions" without each school having its own block of time to program.

And while details are scant, that makes "All Access" seem like something of a singularity on the network, at least in its early stages. That should only up the excitement for the series in the eyes of the Tar Heel faithful – an intimate look at their favorite basketball team and a type of access that no other fanbase is getting. At least, not yet.

One thing's for certain: when the ACCN launches on Thursday, fans around the world will be tuning in – or angrily calling their TV providers – for a better look at one of the country's premier collegiate athletic conferences.


@DTHSports |

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.