Movie Theaters To Show ESPN Telecasts Of ACC Games

ESPN has signed a distribution agreement with Theater Sports Network (TSN) to televise Atlantic Coast Conference college football games in movie theaters.

The deal, which covers about 75 games in total over the 2023-24 college football season, also includes the New Year’s Six Bowl games, including the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, the Capital One Orange Bowl, the CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game, and the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T.

ACC games that air on ESPN platforms are available for TSN distribution in the away-team markets or, for neutral-site games, in both home and away markets. Ticket prices will be determined by participating local theaters.



The companies did not disclose terms of the deal, including whether ESPN will charge advertisers for the additional distribution or share advertising revenue with TSN. 

Previously, in 2021 and 2022, ESPN teamed with Cinemark to make the College Football Playoff semifinal and National Championship games available to fans in theaters (about 70, in 2022). 

Watching games in theaters is a relatively new option for sports fans, and their level of uptake over the long term remains to be seen. 

“We believe movie theaters are the next great frontier for live sporting events” because they allow for replicating “the feel of a football stadium experience,” said Scott Daw, president and COO of Theater Sports Network, adding that the network hopes to add games from other college football conferences and other live sports events..

Theater Sports Network uses global, cloud-based entertainment delivery platform MetaMedia as its live-streaming distribution partner. MetaMedia currently has connections to 5,000 cinemas, drive-ins and other out-of-home venues in the top-50 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

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