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Primetime for the 11th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship;
Virginia Tech Hosts Defending Champion Ohio State on Labor Day Monday Night;
Every ACC Home Game Will Be a National Exposure
GREENSBORO, N.C.—A sixth-straight nationally televised, prime time appearance for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, 20 national TV exposures and 13 national ESPN3 exposures in the first three weeks of the season headline the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference early season TV football schedule announced Friday by the ACC.
The schedule includes all of the ACC’s games for the first three weeks of the season, with the exception of several road non-conference games which are controlled by the host teams’ conferences. Also included are five Thursday night contests and five Friday contests which will be nationally televised by ESPN.
The conference will have a syndicated package on the ACC Network which will air in more than 100 markets and a package on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) that will be in an average of 71 million homes.
With ESPN3 carrying both packages outside of its syndicated footprints, once again every ACC-controlled football game this year will be a national exposure.
The 2015 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be played for the sixth consecutive year in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, and will have a nationally televised kickoff time of either 7:45 p.m. (on ESPN) or 8 p.m. ET (on ABC).
As usual, the ACC opens the season in an exciting way, with North Carolina facing South Carolina in the first Belk College Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium in a Thursday night opener (Sept.3) that will be nationally televised on an ESPN network still to be announced. The UNC-USC tilt is one of four games for the Conference on Sept. 3, as Wake Forest will host Elon (ESPN3, 7 p.m.); Georgia Tech will host Alcorn State (ACC RSN, 7:30 p.m.); and Duke will travel to Tulane (CBSSN, 9:30 p.m.).
On Saturday, Sept. 5, Louisville faces Auburn in the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. That same day, Virginia travels to UCLA to headline eight ACC Saturday games.
Virginia Tech then makes its third appearance on the Labor Day Monday Night Game, hosting defending National Champion Ohio State at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg on Sept. 7 in a game nationally televised by ESPN. Tech was the only team to defeat the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes last fall, claiming a 35-21 decision in Columbus. The Hokies made previous Labor Day Monday Night appearances, facing Boise State in 2010 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and Georgia Tech in 2013 in Blacksburg. This year’s game marks the 11th of the last 12 years an ACC team or teams has appeared on ESPN’s coveted Labor Day platform.
In all, seven of the Top 25 teams in the final 2014 Associated Press poll will be in action in ACC games on the season’s first three weekends in Florida State (No. 5), Georgia Tech (No. 8), Clemson (No. 15) and Louisville (No. 24) as well as top-ranked Ohio State, UCLA (No. 10) and Auburn (No. 22).
Additionally, in the same time period, eight of the Top 25 teams in “ESPN’s Way Too Early Top 25” are also in action in ACC games including Clemson (No. 10), Florida State (No. 15), Georgia Tech (No. 18) and Louisville (No. 25), Ohio State (No. 1), Auburn (No. 4), UCLA (No. 11) and Notre Dame (No. 12). Also, 22nd-ranked Boise State will play at Virginia one week later on Sept. 25.
Notre Dame makes two appearances against ACC teams in nationally televised games in the first three weeks, travelling to Virginia for a national exposure on ABC on Sept. 12 (3:30 p.m.) and hosting Georgia Tech the very next week on Sept. 19 in a national TV game on NBC (3:30 p.m.). In all, the Irish will play six ACC teams this fall.
Game times were announced for the ACC’s five nationally televised Thursday night games on ESPN, including North Carolina vs. South Carolina (Sept. 3, 6 p.m.), Clemson at Louisville (Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.), Miami at Cincinnati (Oct.1, 7:30 p.m.), North Carolina at Pitt (Oct. 29, 7 p.m.) and Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.).
The five national exposures on Friday include Florida State at Boston College on Sept. 18 (ESPN, 8 p.m.), Boise State at Virginia on Sept. 25 (ESPN, 8 p.m.), NC State at Virginia Tech on Oct. 9 (ESPN, 8 p.m.), Louisville at Wake Forest on Oct. 30 (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) and Miami at Pitt on Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 27 (ABC or ESPN, time TBD).
A total 12 games will also be available nationally on ESPN3 beginning with Elon at Wake Forest on Thursday, Sept. 3 (7:30 p.m.) and continuing with Rhode Island at Syracuse Sept. 4, 7 p.m.); Maine at Boston College (Sept. 5, 1 p.m.); Youngstown State at Pitt (Sept. 5, 1 p.m.); Bethune-Cookman at Miami (Sept. 5, 6 p.m.); and Troy at NC State (Sept. 5, 6 p.m.).
The ACC’s ESPN3 schedule also includes Appalachian State at Clemson (Sept. 12, 12:30 p.m.); Howard at Boston College (Sept. 12, 1 p.m.); Furman at Virginia Tech (Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.); Eastern Kentucky at NC State (Sept. 12, 6 p.m.); North Carolina Central at Duke (Sept. 12, 6 p.m.); North Carolina A&T at North Carolina (Sept. 12, 6 p.m.) and William & Mary at Virginia (Sept. 19, 3:30 p.m.).
The ACC will again have two syndicated packages produced by the ACC Network this
fall: The ACC Network and the ACC Regional Sports Networks (RSN).
The ACC Network will be syndicated in over 100 markets nationally and more than 90 million TV households with three games in the first three weeks, each with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff: Wofford at Clemson (Sept. 6), Wake Forest at Syracuse (Sept. 12), the first ACC league contest of the year, and Northwestern at Duke (Sept. 19).
In addition, ACC Network games are also available digitally on ESPN3 (outside of the ACC syndication) and on theACC.com and on the ACC App for IPhones, IPads and Android mobile devices.
Once again, the ACC will also feature a weekly football game which will air each week on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) of Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Florida or Sun Sports, Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, New England Sports Network (NESN), the YES Network or MSG Network in New York and Root Sports in Pennsylvania, in addition to several other RSNs nationally reaching 71 million homes on average.
The RSN package will have four games in the first three weeks of the season including a season-opening Thursday night game on Sept. 3 with Georgia Tech hosting Alcorn State (7:30 p.m.) and a doubleheader on Sept. 12 with Louisville hosting Houston (Noon) and Georgia Tech hosting Tulane (3:30 p.m.). The Regional Sports Networks will also carry Syracuse hosting Central Michigan on Sept. 19 (12:30 p.m.).