Thursday, June 27, 2019
ACC Network -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
PROMISING OPPORTUNITIES FOR VIEWING (FOR SOME)
As most of you know, the ACC Network is coming. On August 22, this network will begin broadcasting ACC Sports. The current providers in Louisville are DirectTV, Hulu, Vue, Fios, Optimum, Google Fiber and "other providers"...according to the ACC Network information website. The ESPN app is another option.
One notable name is missing. Spectrum.
For those of you (myself included) who haven't "cut the cable" and still use this provider, the question, I suppose, is "Will Spectrum carry the ACC Network?" I decided to do a little research and "see what I could see".
After scouring the Internet and not finding out any relevant information on whether the ACC Network would be on Spectrum or not, I went to "Plan B" and decided to call Spectrum and ask a few questions.
As usual, when you call most businesses anymore, you have to go through a series of "prompts" to reach a real person. I call this the "Automated Alice" procedure. I was eventually able to convince "Alice" I wanted to speak to a live customer service representative. And, after a five minute "hold time" I had a human being on the line. I realize that call centers are, for the most part -- understaffed... and delays are inevitable if you want a real person.
The customer service representative I spoke with was polite but could not provide an answer on whether Spectrum would be negotiating with the ACC Network or ESPN to carry it. So, I politely asked to speak to someone who might provide more information. This is what the industry calls a "supervisor transfer call" and the hold time here was 12 minutes.
I get it. There are less supervisors than call center customer service representatives.
I posed the question several ways. Each time the response was the same. She had no information on whether "corporate" Spectrum was negotiating with the ACC Network for coverage. So, I decided to "retreat" and try another angle. I did make a request that Spectrum include the ACC Network on their roster and she promised she would deliver the message.
I thought a call to UofL and to the department that is working with the ACC Network might provide some answers. Unfortunately, I got the voice mail of the person listed as "executive director of TV productions". Once again, I understand that....I'm sure that there are a lot of details and things to be worked out in preparation for the Cards part of the ACC Network and this person can't be sitting by the phone waiting to field questions from people like me. I did leave a detailed voice message, however, including my name, affiliation, phone number, e-mail address and reason for the call. I haven't had a reply yet....if I get one, I'll add it to the comments section.
So, batting 0-3 and nervously looking toward the dugout to see if Coach Aprile was going to send in a pinch-hitter for me...I debated my next options.
Perhaps Vince Tyra would know? Or Kenny Klein, the senior associate AD/SID? Maybe one of the assistant SID's would have an answer? Coach Walz knows a lot of stuff...maybe he had the answer I was looking for. I've got this "know-it-all", opinionated neighbor, who I'm sure would weigh-in with his "two cents worth"...even though he subscribes to ATT U Verse...and is a UK/SEC fan. (For the record, ATT has not signed a carriage contract with ESPN either to carry the ACC Network). Maybe my priest or that helpful guy at the Auto Zone had the answer?
I came to the conclusion, though, that the UofL folks were probably way too busy to field a call from an independent website owner. I did not make these calls. And, my neighbor is on vacation, so that venue wasn't possible either.
I wondered if "Ask Jeeves" was still an active website? I checked and got directed to ask.com but found no answer there either.
Then it dawned on me. Why not call ESPN? So I did.
My call was answered by ESPN's version of "Automated Alice" but the prompt sequence went pretty quickly. The customer service representative I spoke with was did not know anything about any negotiations with Spectrum for carrier coverage but suggested I might ask "the Customer Care team". But, as it turns out, this "team" wasn't in the office. Maybe they were out travelling for an away game or practicing for their next opponent.
I did try again to speak with "the team" a few minutes later but a different Automated Alice informed me that no support agents were available to take my call and was asked to please call back later. A few subsequent attempts came up with the same results...but eventually, I did get through to a member of the Customer Care team.
I did find out that negotiations are ongoing between Spectrum and ESPN about a carrier pairing....so that is a bit of positive news.
I also went to the site support.espn.com. There is a lot of information there, including a much broader list of providers that will carry the ACC Network, and the site is worth checking out.
So, I must sadly report that my quest for knowledge came up with limited success. I was 0-6 and I'm sure Coach Walz has someone getting off the bench to replace me. Maybe it'll be Jess, Kasa or Lindsey...I can't seem to get any offense generated and I'll have a seat next to Sam Purcell and discuss my lack of positive performance. Sometimes, the shots just don't fall.
I wonder if the gang at NCIS knows? Ol' Gibbs and McGee, they're pretty sharp, you know...
It is a fact the the SEC has (2) channels on Spectrum. One of them doesn't do a lot of programs, just plays the same song over and over again. Can the ACC get equal coverage?
Shoot, just give us one channel...but, if we get two, I bet the ACC could come up with a better song to play over and over.
The promise of the ACC Network offers a great deal of programming, live events and such to keep any of the fans of the 15 schools in the ACC happy. Dedicated soccer, field hockey, volleyball, basketball....you name it...nights. Live events, replays and more. As of now, some media subscribers will have unlimited access to these.
The rest of us will wait, hope for positive developments and see what happens. I sincerely hope the negotiations go well.
Maybe you're reading today's column in a different city than Louisville. If so, I hope you have access to the ACC Network. Feel free to let us know your status, thoughts and what you know about the ACC Network in the comments section below.
If you would like to request that Spectrum, or ATTUVerse carry the ACC Network in your area, you can make a request for this coverage with your provider. Just be prepared to prompt Automated Alice first. (Maybe we could get her on a broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour as an automated guest? I wonder how she'd do on our weekly quiz?)
Fans interested in learning more about the ACCN can go to www.getaccn.com
Have a terrific Thursday!