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Back when rumors of the ACC expansion were just beginning, the phrase that resonated the most in newspapers and on internet message boards was "TV markets". The two major players in the conference realignment were the ACC, obviously, and the Big East. You know the story by now. The ACC wanted Miami to join the conference, and the other top contenders were Syracuse and Boston College because of television exposure that the ACC would receive in the north, especially with the Boston market. To make a long story short, instead of Syracuse, the ACC got Virginia Tech.
By taking the top two programs from the Big East in Miami and Virginia Tech, the ACC went a long way in strengthening its own attractiveness to the networks, while at the same time effectively putting a major competing conference out of commission, as far as television exposure goes. Need proof? Take a look at the following table, which lists the number of television games that each conference has had, or is scheduled to have, on the major networks in 2004. (Note: Conference Games of the Week, which are shown on ESPN Regional for the Big East, and Jefferson Pilot Sports for the ACC, are not included)
Big difference, huh? Three times as many ACC games shown on ABC as Big East games, and over twice as many on ESPN. A grand total of 32 televised games for the ACC, and 19 for the Big East. And that doesnít include empty television slots in the coming weeks that have not been handed out yet. Expect the advantage for the ACC to keep growing as the season moves forward.
But that only scratches the surface. Letís move along and take a look at the list of televised games thus far, for both the Big East and ACC. First for the Big East:
And now for the ACC:
The first comparison between the two conferences is the number of ABC games. The Big East has been featured in 4 ABC games, and each one of those games has been a Big East team taking on a high profile out of conference opponent. There have been a grand total of zero Big East Conference matchups on ABC this season. Rutgers, Syracuse, Boston College and Pittsburgh. How many viewers are going to tune in just to watch those teams play? Very few, especially Rutgers. But when matched up with Michigan St., Purdue, Penn St. and Nebraska, those games have a much greater national appeal. Point being, it is very difficult to find a conference game in the Big East this year worthy of putting on ABC over games from the ACC and SEC. ABC is fulfilling their contractual obligations to the Big East by matching up Big East teams with high profile out of conference opponents. There just arenít any Big East games that are very interesting this season. Iím not trying to be critical of our former conference mates, but thatís just the way it is. Back when CBS had the Big East contract, they used to do exactly the same thing with Miami and Virginia Tech in the Big East.
The ACC has fared much better with regards to ACC games. Each week of the season there has been an ACC conference game on ABC, with the exception of September 18, which featured Ohio St. at NC State. There are so many teams with good talent in the ACC this year, and it is a very intriguing race from top to bottom. The ACC has always had a lot of games on ABC, and with the addition of Miami and Virginia Tech there will be even more. Even though the Hokies havenít played on ABC yet this season, it is still interesting and fun to watch these ACC games on ABC and realize that the outcomes have an effect on Tech.
Moving along, letís take a look at the remaining Big East and ACC games that are scheduled to appear on television. Starting with the Big East:
Wow. Part of October left, and all of November, and just 4 Big East games scheduled to be televised. Of those 4 games, 2 are on NBC because Boston College and Pittsburgh are playing the Irish on the road. Donít forget Thanksgiving Day though. Itís all Big East, all the time on the ESPN networks, beginning with a 10:00am matchup of annual titans UConn and Rutgers. 10am? And we complain about the lack of tailgating time at the noon games at Lane! Anybody want to go back to the Big East? I didnít think so.
Now for the remaining ACC television schedule:
Yet again, the trend continues. For the next two weeks, ACC conference games will be featured on ABC. ABC has not picked their games past Oct. 30th, so the Hokies still have a chance to be featured in ABC regional action against North Carolina and/or Virginia. Also, it is interesting to note that ABCís first big national television game of the year was Florida St. at Miami. ABC will also show Virginia Tech at Miami on Dec. 4th, the last day of the regular season. So ABC began the year with a big, nationally televised ACC matchup, and will end the season with the same.
In conclusion, Virginia Tech has two remaining games that have not
been picked up by television as of yet: at North Carolina on November 6th, and home against Virginia on
November 27th. Both of those games will be televised, itís just a question of by whom and at what time.
Games competing with the Hokies and North Carolina on November 6th will be Clemson at Miami, Duke at Florida
St., Maryland at Virginia and Georgia Tech at NC State. Games competing with Tech and UVA on Nov. 27th are
Wake Forest at Maryland, and East Carolina vs. NC State in Charlotte. Right now it would appear that the Virginia
Tech/UNC game would be televised by either ESPN, ESPN2 or Jefferson Pilot Sports, while the Virginia Tech/Virginia game
would be aired on ABC.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 10/20/04 (Audio)
So What Are We Supposed To Do This Saturday?
VT Olympic Sports Holding Their Own in ACC
Tech Talk Tuesday (Audio) for 10/19/04
Hotline Notes for 10/18/04
Notes: Hokies Schedule Syracuse, ACC Unveils Division Names and New Logo, and Other News
VT 2005 Recruiting War Room #7
Crack the Rankings After Long Absence
Tech 62, Florida A&M 0
Wide Right: Randoms
Keys to the Season
Gym Rat's Notebook: Hanging With the Big Boys
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