For a brief hour or two last night, ACC fans weren’t in Iowa. They actually WERE in heaven.
Thanks to the word being spread throughout social media, the biggest block of ACC fans who have not been able to watch the ACC Network – those who have Comcast/Infinity as their cable provider – were ecstatic after turning their televisions to an obscure channel and seeing the network in their homes.
Last night if you went to Channel 1322 on your Comcast guide, all you saw was a channel that said SEC Network, and all of the blocks of programming said “OFF.” But if you pressed on it any way, you got the three pulsating buttons you normally see while the cable box is searching, and after about 45 seconds, you saw the ACC Network.
The programming that was on was routine and boring, but that wasn’t the point. After two years of Comcast refusing to carry the ACCN, the channel at least was now coming into homes like mine in Ashburn without having to stream it on an app with a friend’s log-in. The long struggle to be like other neighbors with Cox, Verizon, Dish Network, DirecTV, etc. seemed to be over.
“Seemed” being the key word.
Sensing it was too good to be true, first thing I did this morning was turn on the TV and go right back to channel 1322, but this time it was a black screen. No amount of waiting made any video come on. It was like waking up the next morning asking yourself “did that happen, or was it a dream?” and then finding out that it was sadly a dream.
Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted out a very plausible explanation, saying “The ACC Network appearing on Comcast last night was apparently an operational error on the part of the distributor (ESPN) in inadvertently putting it on an overflow channel. Comcast and Disney continue to negotiate new contract, which is expected to include ACCN.”
It sounds like Comcast was testing the channel by putting it on the SEC Network’s overflow channel, didn’t think anyone would notice it, and then had to explain why it was there in the first place by calling it an “operational error.”
This doesn’t mean the ACC Network won’t be on Comcast, as they are in negotiations. I’m even of the opinion you don’t test these things if you don’t believe an agreement is imminent.
But there is no final agreement. It’s like the bank telling you that you got the house you were attempting to purchase one night, then hearing the next morning that it’s all pending some inspection you didn’t know about. You feel like it will probably happen, but you can’t celebrate yet.
Even though everyone did last night.