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ACC Network Studio Reveal

The ACC Network revealed its’ new studio set to the media today, and followed that up with a call with ESPN executives.

Melissa Rawlins / ESPN Images

The new ACC Network is set to launch on August 22nd, 2019. In anticipation of the launch, ESPN took some time to do a soft launch and reveal its new in-studio set to the media today, and it is quite impressive.

The kickoff experienced a bit of a bumpy start as there were technical difficulties that prevented the media from seeing the broadcast.

The issue was quickly addressed by the network as the technical issue with the live feed was discovered and a workaround was offered, so kudos to them for working through the issue.

Once we were able to jump into the reveal, it was short and to point and we got to see two former Miami Hurricanes on display with former Miami Linebacker @jonbeason appearing first as a member of ALL ACC, a news and information show about the conference.

Jon Beason (Left) on the ACC Network Studio Reveal

Next, we had a chance to see and hear from our former Head Coach, Coach Mark Richt, who will be a staple of the ACC Show “The Huddle” which will air on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the fall.

Coach Mark Richt on The Huddle

The reveal didn't end without some controversy as Beason showed off the new touch screen technology on set by selecting the Gators to win the Camping World Kickoff.

Now before you light him up, consider the fact that he is a true supporter of the program and led the way for the IPF with a generous give of $250k before it was fashionable to do.

(*Of note, Coach Richt is also a former player and donated $1 Million of his money to the IPF.)

Here are a few words from Jon on why he chose to giveback to the University:

We are proud of what both of these Alumni are doing, and if you’d like to see the debut for yourself, you can catch the full 6 minutes and 20 seconds of it here:

Executive Discussion

When the reveal ended, we had a chance to speak with, and hear from, some of ESPN’s Executive team to discuss the launch of the network in depth. Here are some of the highlights of what we discussed.

Keri Potts, ESPN PR/Senior Director, College Sports started the call with a thank you for our patience with the hiccups they experienced during the reveal. She went on to introduce Amy Rosenfeld, Senior Coordinating Producer for ESPN. Amy quipped about describing the technical issues as a liberal arts major, and then shared the vision for the set design:

Problems lead to innovation

Amy mentioned an interesting part of the process to her was that with problems, come innovation. Because the studio is shaped “like a giant Thomas’ English Muffin”, getting around proved to be difficult.

The team devised a solution of robotic cameras that are part of the scenery on set. Fully robotic cameras are embedded into tables that pop open and allow a camera to telescoptically lift out of it. (This is demo’d in the video above.)

Robotic camera - Bristol, CT - August 7, 2019 - Studio G: ACCN set (Photo by Melissa Rawlins / ESPN Images)
Melissa Rawlins / ESPN Images

Amy highlighted these as being complicated, but great, because the studio space now houses both the on air talent and content delivery mechanisms such as smart screens. There are monitors everywhere that provide content for the staff, and she mentioned “Teaching Coach Rick how to use the touch screen was pretty cool. Smart guy.”

Network Launch

In speaking with Rosalyn Durant, Senior Vice President, College Networks, Programming she was upbeat about where the network is with four national outlets (DirecTV, Hulu Live TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV) providing access to the Network, and mentioned talks are ongoing with more outlets to bring the content to as many homes as possible.

When pressed for specifics, Rosalyn declined to speak further, but added this:

Let’s hope that includes COX, Comcast, DISH Network, and Spectrum cable amongst others.

When asked about the network’s emphasis on Women’s athletics, Amy offered a great comeback:

As reporters from around the country returned to distribution questions, Rosalyn shared that the media landscape is vastly different from linear network launches of the past. One major difference being the multiplicity of providers, both traditional and now streaming.

I asked Rosalyn if she had any info on specific programming related to the University of Miami that she could share with us at this time and she stated:

There you have it, fresh from media day in Bristol, CT, you’re up to date on the latest news and info. Now let’s make Jon regret his pick!

Here is a gallery of Photos from the event, enjoy!

Let me know your thoughts on the set, the network, and what you're looking forward to in the comments section below.

#GoCanes #TNM #UFamily