Thursday is a big night for Clemson and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
A week after the league debuted the ACC Network, it will hit another milestone on Thursday when the top-ranked Tigers host Georgia Tech in the first live televised football game on the network.
“Usually, when we play on Thursday nights it is on the road, so this is a unique situation for Clemson to play on a Thursday night and to kickoff this ACC Network. That is huge for our league. We are honored to be the first game on it, it is a big deal.
“I know our fans are going to show up and give us a good atmosphere to play in Thursday night.”
ACC Commissioner John Swofford will be one of nine dignitaries on hand at Memorial Stadium, while ESPN’s College Football Live and College GameDay shows will broadcast live from inside Death Valley.
“This is a pretty big deal and were excited about what this means for us as an institution and for the ACC as a whole,” Deputy Athletic Director Graham Neff said to The Clemson Insider.
Neff and athletic director Dan Radakovich placed just a modest increase on Clemson’s budget for the new network. Last year, the ACC reported about $26 million per school for his television revenue. The Clemson Athletic Department budgeted just over $29 million for this coming season.
“We hope we can do more, but that is what we budgeted,” Neff said. “We feel like it will increase over the years. We feel good about what we budgeted and we’re confident we can at least get there.”
TCI learned Swofford informed each school a few weeks back that they should get the $3 million off the network. And though the ACC is excited about its network, its far behind what the SEC and Big Ten reported last year.
SEC schools made $40.9 million off its television revenue last year, while the Big Ten Reported $37 million.
Clemson and the other 14 ACC schools are hoping the ACCN can eventually produce numbers close to those other conferences.
“Heck, it has people sitting around talking about the ACC every day” Swinney said. “It gives us a channel. We’ve had the SEC Network for a few years, and they sit around and talk about the SEC all the time. Everybody gets mad because sometimes certain people say bad things about the ACC.
“That’s like they work for the Yankees. They are not going to talk good about the Red Sox. It does not work that way or vice versa. They work for the Red Sox, so they are not going to talk good about the Yankees. So, to be able to have a network that is just constantly talking about the ACC and not only talk about it, promoting our league and giving all of our teams a platform for men’s and women’s sports all day every day. We have not had that, and we have still been pretty good. We’ve been pretty good around here, but now we do, and to me that is a game changer.”
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