CHARLOTTE — Clemson’s success on the football field played a big role in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s ability to land its own linear network.
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford says he can’t even measure what Clemson’s football success has meant to the league in its negotiations with ESPN the last four years as it worked to get its network launched. The ACC Network (ACCN) will launch at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22.
“There is no question about that,” Swofford said Wednesday as he addressed the media during the ACC’s Football Kickoff at the Westin in downtown Charlotte. “The fact that we have had, from a football perspective, a team in the College Football Playoff, that says a lot.
“The fact that Clemson has won two of the last three national championships, the timing could not be better from a business standpoint and from a network standpoint.”
Since 2015, Clemson has played in the CFP four straight years, played for the national title in three of those four years, and won the national championship in 2016 and 2018.
“I think, too, when you couple the other championships in the other sports, and the depth and the absolute full commitments the schools have made to the sport of football. It has given us a lot more depth than we used to have,” Swofford said.
As part of its debut, the ACCN has produced a show dedicated to a behind-the-scenes look at Clemson football. They also announced on Wednesday another show about Clemson’s perfect season, which will air on the network. It gives an inside look at the Tigers’ last two games last year as they made their run to another national championship. The show will be called Greatest Ever: 2018 Clemson Tigers.
Of course, Clemson will host the ACCN’s first football game on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m., when it kicks off its football coverage against Georgia Tech.
“It has given us a lot more opportunities moving forward to have that many and numerous quality teams, but any time you have a team that is doing what Clemson is doing in college football, it is good for the entire league,” Swofford said. “It is awfully nice to launch a network with the first live football game and having the national champion in it. I think that says it all in terms of Clemson and what they have done and what it means to the league in terms of going forward with the network.
“Great timing from a Clemson standpoint. Great timing, as I earlier reviewed the last five or six years. That kind of competitive success, as I said, it is just simply good for business.”