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ESPN to Bring Over 700 ACC, SEC Events to Networks, Streaming This Fall

David Satin

Get ready, ESPN subscribers, because an avalanche of live college sports is coming at you this fall! The SEC and ACC Networks, along with their digital platforms [SEC Network +] and ACC Network Extra, will be bringing more than 700 combined events to ESPN and the ESPN app this fall.

The SEC Network and SEC Network+ will carry more than 300 soccer and volleyball matchups, including Thursday Night Primetime soccer matches. That coverage begins with women’s soccer at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 18 when No.1 ranked Florida State travels to No.12 ranked South Carolina. In all, ESPN will broadcast 50 marquee soccer and volleyball matchups on its linear channel, while over 250 more will be available to stream via SEC Network+ exclusively on the ESPN app.

The volleyball slate on the SEC Network begins Aug. 28, with three straight days of opening weekend coverage, highlighted by coverage of five-time defending champion Kentucky as the team launches another championship bid.

The ACC Network will also be offering a host of men’s and women’s soccer, as well as women’s volleyball and field hockey, action throughout the fall. The action starts on Thursday, Aug. 25 with a women’s and men’s soccer double-header: preseason No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 6 Auburn on the women’s side, and UCF vs. No. 15 Wake Forest on the men’s.

Friday night will be soccer night on the ACC Network, as the channel will carry 12 prime-time conference matchups on Fridays this season, four of which will be double-headers. The ACC boasts nine NCAA Men’s Soccer Championships, the most of any conference.

Fans will also want to tune in Sundays for Sunday’s Best, which will feature marquee matchups in women’s field hockey, soccer, and volleyball. That will run for nine straight Sundays beginning Aug. 28. Some of the most successful women’s soccer teams in the nation play in the ACC, including current preseason No. 1 Florida State and 21-time national champion North Carolina.

There will also be over 300 events offered exclusively on the conference’s digital platform, ACC Network Extra. ESPN subscribers will want to make sure to download the ESPN mobile app, as this is the only way to access those live events.

The announcement is another instance of ESPN’s commitment to providing a platform for more women’s sports. After losing out on broadcast rights to the Big Ten, ESPN refocused its efforts towards securing rights for multiple women's championships, including retaining the entirety of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Earlier this week during Disney’s most recent earnings report, company executives continued discussing plans to introduce a direct-to-consumer (DTC), standalone version of ESPN. If, and when, that eventually happens, fans should be able to look forward to an even greater expansion of women’s sports coverage on the network.

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