Last night’s blowout between Clemson and Georgia Tech served as the debut game for the ACC Network, which meant it was tough to find for some people given that the channel still isn’t on all providers.
Dish Network and Sling TV customers, though, were saved by the bell, as Dish and the network reached a tentative distribution deal before kickoff. That’s according to Sports Business Journal‘s John Ourand.
Dish Network will show ACC Network tonight for its first football game. Sling Preview will also carry it. Deal not signed. It’s described as a handshake deal.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 29, 2019
The conference then put out a tweet saying Dish and Sling will now carry the network.
🚨📺🚨📺 UPDATE 🚨📺🚨📺
— The ACC (@theACC) August 30, 2019
As per Syracuse.com’s Jason Murray, the new channel will be available on channel 402 for Dish Network customers with the America’s Top 120+ package or above. Sling customers will need Sling Orange Sports Extra or above to watch ACC Network.
This is an important boost for the ACC Network. After their deal with Charter was announced a few weeks ago, the channel reached about 36 million potential subscribers (the number of homes that have those providers; not all of those homes . Doing some rough math thanks to provider coverage estimates The Athletic’s David Glenn relayed last month, adding DISH (10 million) and Sling (2 million) to the post-Charter numbers puts the ACC Network at about 48 million potential subscribers. That’s still below the Big Ten Network and the SEC Network (estimated at 55 million and 59 million, respectively), and there’s still no Comcast deal, but this is good progress for the network.
(If you’re curious or a sadist, the Pac-12 Network is currently estimated to have 19 million subscribers. It launched in 2012. Things are going great.)
This is an important add for the new channel, and it comes at the right time; there are few things more guaranteed to anger subscribers than preventing them from watching their football teams play. It’s the ultimate leverage tool for deals like this, and it’ll be interesting to see if anything else gets announced in short order, as the ACC Network is scheduled to carry four more games tonight and tomorrow.