ACC commissioner: ESPN, Comcast ‘really close’ on ACC Network

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips speaks during NCAA college basketball ACC media day, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Matt Kelley/AP)

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Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips speaks during NCAA college basketball ACC media day, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Matt Kelley/AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — ACC commissioner Jim Phillips spoke with optimism Tuesday about a potential agreement between Comcast and ESPN for the cable giant to add ACC Network to its offerings. For better or worse, Georgia Tech fans who subscribe to Comcast and have not been able to watch Yellow Jackets games on the ESPN channel may have heard Phillips sound a similar tone in July before the football season.

After Disney had reached recent agreements with other cable providers to pick up ACC Network, Phillips said at the ACC Tipoff media event that “we’re down to Comcast, and I am really optimistic about where that’s going, but nothing of substance (to report Tuesday). I just know we’re getting really close. But it’s got to be something that Comcast feels good about and our group feels good about.”

Comcast, which has a large subscriber base in metro Atlanta, has been in negotiation with Disney (which owns ESPN) to extend their agreement. The expectation has been that the extension would be the impetus for the cable company to add ACC Network, which launched in August 2019. In July at the ACC Kickoff, Phillips said he was “hopeful” that ESPN could come to an agreement with Comcast and other cable companies that had yet to pick up ACC Network sometime “between now through the end of the year.”

ACC Network has broadcast three Tech football games this season and will televise the Jackets’ Oct. 23 game at Virginia.

Phillips said Tuesday that Comcast “knows the importance of the ACC Network moving forward to Disney and to ESPN, and we also understand Comcast has some things that they’re trying to work through. But it’s very amicable, and we are farther along than we were in July, so there has been progress.”