College football fans and followers continue to react to the news, though not everyone is sure how the new plan will go over.
The two sports networks announced the agreement on Tuesday in a press release.
ESPN has entered into a theatrical distribution agreement with Theater Sports Network to televise Atlantic Coast Conference college football games at movie theaters. Additionally, the agreement covers the New Year’s Six Bowl games… and the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T. In all, the agreement includes approximately 75 games during the 2023-24 college football season.
ACC games that air on ESPN platforms are available for Theater Sports Network distribution in the away team markets – or in both home and away markets for neutral site games. The cost of attendance to watch the games will be determined by participating local theaters. For more information and a schedule of games in specific areas, fans can visit theatersportsnetwork.com.
Not only does the agreement include ACC games, but it also covers the New Year’s Six Bowls which include the Peach, Cotton, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, and Rose Bowls, as well as the national title game.
ESPN says that the conference games will be aired in road team markets, with exceptions made for neutral game sites. In all, approximately 75 matchups will be aired in movie theaters.
“We believe movie theaters are the next great frontier for live sporting events,” Scott Daw, president of Theater Sports Network said of the ESPN/ACC deal. “Theaters have the ability to generate excitement around live sporting events. These events will replicate the feel of a football stadium experience as fans gather and fill theaters to watch the games on the big screen.”
While it’s certainly an interesting idea, college football fans aren’t quite sure how to feel about it. Check out the immediate online reaction.
ACC Movie theaters
Dying institutions https://t.co/Y1ZqtldB0g
— Pregame Empire (@PregameEmpire) August 29, 2023
Imagine watching your team get blown out on a 70-foot screen.
florida st fans watching clemson blow them out again pic.twitter.com/dEsGnKX1GF
— tate (@TateJettas) August 29, 2023
“Anybody who buys tickets to watch Syracuse vs. Virginia in a theater belongs on a federal watch list,” this person replied.
I’m torn between thinking that putting ACC football games in movie theatres is creative and probably low cost for the league…and thinking that anybody who buys tickets to watch Syracuse/Virginia in a theatre belongs on a federal watch list
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) August 29, 2023
While some joked about the idea, there were others who showed genuine excitement following the announcement.
ok the ACC movie theatre thing could actually be the greatest thing to come to this sport in years
— theTCUburner🐸🌵9️⃣9️⃣ (@theTCUburner) August 29, 2023
Get you popcorn ready for the 2023 season, folks. You can tune in Week 1.
ESPN will air the following Week 1 college football games in select THEATERS this weekend …
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) August 29, 2023