Photograph by Roger Winstead, NC State

Local sports fans may have a hard time catching ACC games soon. Next season, both ACC football and basketball games will no longer be televised on WRAL, or any other local stations, as, in August, ESPN will launch its ACC Network, dedicated to broadcasting virtually all conference games. This means that ACC games will only be available on cable or satellite going forward and if you don’t subscribe to a cable package, well, you’re pretty much screwed. The ACC Network will be a 24/7 platform broadcasting an estimated 1,300 live events in its first year, including regular season football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, regular-season competitions and tournament games, and news and information shows. The change heralds the end of a 37-year partnership between the ACC and Charlotte’s Raycom Sports, which offered WRAL a package of 21 games this season. Though Raycom will still help ESPN produce the games—some of the channel’s programming and staff will be based in Charlotte—the move is just the latest blow to add to the decline of local television.

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