The ACC Network launched on August 22nd of 2019, and with it has come... well... not a whole lot. The ACC Network (ACCN), which is buried on cable and some how has extras and pluses that have to be purchased, too, is nearly unwatchable unless you’ve found the exact game you’re looking for.
For a conference that has alumni such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders, and Michael friggin’ Jordan, the ACCN is anything but fun! With increased technology, NIL deals, and the expanding SEC- now is the time to capitalize on being innovative, rather than just another very niche sports channel.
There is a program called “3-Day Weekend” starring Jess Roy, which seems to be about the ACC’s cities, including one on Miami/Coral Gables (Pittsburgh and Blacksburg seem to have episodes, too). That’s in the ballpark of what I’m talking about, however, there’s some how only (hard to find info) three episodes? Maybe five? Also- why not have it star a student-athlete now that NIL is a fully functioning machine?
A week of programming, for instance May 16 through May 22, includes Packer and Durham, an All ACC show, and softball, baseball and track replays. But there are some good ideas like 3-Day Weekend, and there’s something called Authentic ACC: CanezCutz that I can’t find out much info on.
All Access: The ACC Life gives you a peek into the daily life of an ACC athlete. They definitely need more of that type of content and less Packer and Durham. Younger, faster, less boring- thanks!
The SEC Network programming may make more sense because of the smaller region of which it fills. The SEC covers mostly Arkansas through Florida and South Carolina. Most of those states have similar interests such as hunting and fishing, NASCAR, golf, and of course college football. There are similar accents with different twangs.
The ACC covers a more diverse and heterogeneous crowd with accents from Boston, Pittsburgh, and upstate New York; but also Miami, Tallahassee, and in most ACC sports- Indiana. But doesn’t that give the ACC more opportunity for fun and mayhem?
Food and football just go together
Dan Rubenstein of The Solid Verbal used to have a show called Easy Call on SB Nation. If you don’t know about Dan, he does outstanding work about college football over at Solid Verbal dot com (as well as betting shows, and game shows).
Easy Call focused on making college football picks, but also food around New York City. You can watch the first episode from the 2014 season below. I used to watch Easy Call and write down the restaurants for trips to NYC, Dan never disappointed.
While Easy Call was focused on New York, the ACC could easily put together a similar show in each of the conferences cities, focusing on a different city and its best eats every week. That way when you are on the road visiting a campus, you’ve got a few food spots to visit and some great advertising for ACC campuses.
Dan also used to tour campuses as the SI Tour Guy. A tailgating show from ACC campuses would be fun, too. Seeing the traditions and experiencing the game day atmosphere is never a bad thing for promoting college football with attendance numbers dropping all around the country.
I doubt anyone needs another airing of a recap show or studio show, those aren’t drawing eyes in the world of social media and instant scores and highlights coming straight to your phone.
Mustache and Mayhem
There is no reason the ACC Network doesn’t have a Hard Knocks / A Season With... type of show on the Network. I can think of the perfect place to kick off the series- Coral Gables under Mario Cristobal. However, following a team is an easy idea.
I think a season in the life of the strength coach is a better idea. Aaron Feld is in Coral Gables for recruiting first and foremost over even being a Strength and Conditioning Coach. Feld is the, uh, face of the franchise, and other coaches do more of the day-to-day operations of S&C.
Why not use the over the top personality and charisma of Feld and put it to good use? More than just 20 minutes or a one off episode, follow the hardest working folks in college football, the strength staff, around for an entire season.
The players are what sells college football
Of course in the end the players are what sells college football to the fans. The U has had some famous charismatic Hurricanes like Ray Lewis, Jerome Brown, Ed Reed and Michael Irvin to name a few. Obviously there are many many more than just those four ‘Canes. but, shows featuring players and who they are on and off the field would be really entertaining. Rather than having an episode per person, why not give one of these athletes a show?
Congratulations to @Tyler_Van_Dyke on his new ride! BMW 750i Sport for the rest of his collegiate career through an NIL Deal with #SarchioneAutoGallery @rosenhaussports @NFLrecord pic.twitter.com/KxVaCPc0xv— Shawn O'Dare (@ShawnODare) April 13, 2022
With NIL becoming a bigger topic, the ACC Network could capitalize on some of the characters around the ACC. From non-Miami schools, Pitt linebacker SirVocea Dennis has a big personality and would be a fun show to watch. NCSU’s linebacker Drake Thomas and his flowing locks could be another option. Down in Coral Gables, Tyler Van Dyke could take on a TV show and help to solidify his Heisman Trophy campaign as well as first round NFL Draft pick status in ‘23.
There are many opportunities to embrace the ACC playing in both college towns (Chapel Hill, Blacksburg), fast-growing cities (Raleigh), old school pro markets (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston) and of course- sunny Miami.
I love the idea of the 3-Day Weekend show, and even the day-in-the-life stuff the network has quietly pushed out. The ACC Network just needs better social media, marketing and more ideas to pour into the ACCN to avoid three or four straight hours of either replays or studio shows.