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Pitt A.D. Heather Lyke On The ACC Network

A nicely optimistic take

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NCAA Football: Albany at Pittsburgh
Sep 1, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; University of Pittsburgh athletic director Heather Lyke in attendance as the Panthers host the Albany Great Danes at Heinz Field. The Panthers won 33-7.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC Network debut draws closer every day and we’re going to be seeing more and more about it as the debut draws closer.

Here are some comments from Pitt’s Heather Lyke, who seems pretty optimistic. As she points out, the ACC can learn a lot from what the Big Ten and SEC have experienced, not to mention the rather dismal state of the PAC-12 Network. The reputed Conference of Champions elected to go it alone and it has not gone well. The PAC-12 has had trouble finding distribution, including a long-running failure to get on DirectTV, and is now seeking an injection of cash from venture capitalists. As you may know, that sort of money tends to come with strings attached.

Not a problem in the Ninja Commissioner’s ACC! The biggest issue is getting the network on as many cable systems as possible and as people begin to realize they’re going to miss events, they’ll call and force the issue.

Wisely, it’s already on Hulu and Play Station Vue, which is a good start. It’d be nice to get on Amazon Prime or in particular Apple’s new service, which is looking hard for family-type content.

The ACC has one big advantage over just about everyone else: more people live in its footprint. It’s very difficult for the other conferences to compete with that.

Anyway, from here things are looking pretty good. We’ll see what happens in August and what the first impressions are once it’s up and running.

One last thought: Duke’s social media has been particularly brilliant. The ACC would do well to study it and implement the lessons across the conference, not least of all the way Duke allows its athletes to become the main faces of Duke athletics, and not just in competitions.

Getting to know the athletes as people is really, really smart. The conference could consider something like The ACC’s Got Talent, where athletes could show different sides of their personalities. For those who are going to be professionals, it would be a chance to build a brand awareness.

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