Clemson's Early Season Game Times & TV Networks Announced
GREENSBORO, NC (ACC) -- A fourth straight appearance in prime time for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and 11 national exposures in the first three weeks of the season, including six national TV appearances on the opening weekend of the year, headline the Atlantic Coast Conference early season TV football schedule announced Thursday by the ACC. The schedule includes all of the ACC's games for the first three weeks of the season, with the exception of a few road non-conference games which are controlled by the host teams' conferences, as well as four of five Thursday night contests which will be nationally televised by ESPN. The 2013 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be played for the fourth consecutive year in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, and will have a nationally televised kickoff time of either 7:45 p.m. (on ESPN) or 8 p.m. ET (on ABC). The first of five ACC appearances on ESPN's Thursday night package opens the 2013 football season when North Carolina faces South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. That game is followed by Miami hosting Florida Atlantic (8 pm) on Friday, Aug. 30 on ESPNU and three national appearances on Saturday, Aug. 31; Virginia hosting BYU on ESPNU (3:30 pm); Virginia Tech facing defending national champion Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on ESPN (5:30 p.m.); and Clemson hosting Georgia on ABC (8 p.m.). Florida State and Pittsburgh complete the opening weekend meeting on Labor Day Monday night (8 p.m.) on ESPN at Heinz Field in the Panthers' first ACC football game. The game marks the ACC's 10th consecutive game on Labor Day Monday night, a streak which began in 2004. Pittsburgh, which, along with Syracuse, officially joins the ACC on July 1, will make its initial appearance on Labor Day Monday night in its inaugural league game, while the Seminoles are appearing for the sixth time in the nationally televised showcase. Other national TV exposures during the first three weeks include Wake Forest at Boston College on Friday, Sept. 6 (ESPN2, 8 p.m.); Florida at Miami on Saturday, Sept. 7 (ESPN, noon); Oregon at Virginia also on Saturday, Sept. 7 (3:30 p.m. regionally on ABC, to the rest of the nation on ESPN2); Nevada at Florida State on Sept. 14 (ESPN or ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.); and Georgia Tech at Duke (ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.). In all, seven of the Top 10 teams in the final 2012 USA Today poll will be in action in ACC games on the season's first two weekends in Alabama (No. 1), Oregon (No. 2), Georgia (No. 4), South Carolina (No. 7), Florida State (No. 8), Clemson (No. 9) and Florida (No. 10). Gametimes were also announced for three of the other four Thursday night games for the ACC which will be televised nationally on ESPN with each one having a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Clemson at NC State (Sept. 19); Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Sept. 26); and Georgia Tech at Clemson (Nov. 14). The kickoff time for the Miami at North Carolina game, set for Thursday, Oct. 17, is still to be determined. Combined with the three Friday night games, the ACC has already announced a total of 17 national TV exposures. When ESPN3 games are included A total eight games will also be available nationally on ESPN3 beginning with Presbyterian at Wake Forest on Thursday, Aug. 29 (6:30 p.m.) and continuing with Villanova at Boston College (Aug. 31, Noon); Elon at Georgia Tech (Aug. 31, noon) and North Carolina Central at Duke (Aug. 31, 4 p.m.). The ACC's ESPN3 schedule also includes Western Carolina at Virginia Tech (Sept. 7, 1:30 p.m.); Old Dominion at Maryland (Sept. 7, 4 p.m.); Richmond at NC State (Sept. 7, 4 p.m.) and Wagner at Syracuse (Sept. 14, 4 p.m.). The ACC will again have two syndicated packages produced by the ACC Network this fall: The ACC Network and the Regional Sports Networks (RSN). The ACC Network will make its 2013 debut, syndicating in 95 markets nationally and more than 62 million TV households with three games, each with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff: Louisiana Tech at NC State (Aug. 31); Middle Tennessee at North Carolina (Sept. 7); and New Mexico at Pittsburgh (Sept. 14). In addition, ACC Network games are also available digitally on ESPN3 (outside of the ACC footprint) and on theACC.com and on the ACC App for IPhones, IPads and Droid mobile devices. 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. The RSN package will have a 12:30 p.m. kickoff for the first three weeks of the season. The RSN ACC package begins with Maryland hosting Florida International (Aug.31) and continues with Clemson hosting South Carolina State (Sept. 7) and Wake Forest hosting Louisiana-Monroe (Sept. 14). The RSN package games are also available outside of their coverage areas on ESPN3. ESPN Since its launch September 7, 1979 in 1.4 million homes, ESPN has become synonymous with sports media in America. The original television network, now seen in approximately 100 million homes, is America's #1 source for sports programming, airing Monday Night Football, NASCAR, MLB, NBA, college football including the Bowl Championship Series, men's and women's college basketball including the entire NCAA Women's Tournament, three of golf's majors (Masters, U.S. Open and British Open), IndyCar, an extensive soccer schedule including the FIFA World Cup, the WNBA, the X Games and Winter X Games and The ESPYs. Its programming philosophy is to present a wide variety of exclusive, high-quality, innovative and in-depth sports events; sports news studio shows, most notably the Emmy Award-winning SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and sport-specific shows such as Sunday NFL Countdown and College Football GameDay; plus original programming, such as the highly acclaimed "30 for 30" documentary series. ESPN2 Launched in 1993 to 10 million homes, ESPN2 is the second largest 24-hour sports network (behind ESPN), seen in approximately 100 million homes with a wide variety of major event and studio programming. Its high-quality schedule includes college football and basketball, tennis including all four Grand Slam events, NASCAR's Nationwide Series, NBA and much more. Studio shows include the popular weekday morning duo of Mike and Mike in the Morning (a simulcast of the ESPN Radio program) and ESPN First Take, weekday afternoon's Sports Nation and shows devoted to college football, NBA and NASCAR. ESPNU The 24-hour college sports television network airs more than 650 live events annually and offers over 1,000 original studio shows. ESPNU has seen a steady increase since its inception on March 4, 2005 and is now in 75 million households. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNUHD, now in over 20 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers - Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse. ESPN3 ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. It is currently available to more than 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.