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Tar Heel Blog has new update
1 day ago The ACC Network Launches Tomorrow: Where Things Stand
Photo by Jay Anderson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The latest on carriers, programming, and the UNC perspective. Three years of waiting come to an end tomorrow, August 22, 2019, as the ACC Network officially launches. Campuses are starting to open their on-site production facilities, and cable companies are scrambling with last-second negotiations. Let’s summarize where things stand in case you haven’t been keeping track. Who can watch it? Always the biggest question. Since March, ESPN, the ACC, and various coaches have been encouraging fans to request that it be added to their cable provider. There’s a lot that goes behind that, and if you have a subscription, David Glenn wrote a great piece in the Athletic. It goes into the weeds of both how much money is at stake and all the factors that go into a company adding the channel. The big news is that Charter and ESPN came to an agreement last week to carry the channel, which should cover both the Triangle and Charlotte areas. If you’re a Direct TV satellite customer, a FiOS customer, or have cut the cord with Hulu or YouTube TV, you’ll also have access to the network. Several independent cable companies have also agreed to opt into carrying the channel. Not all fans are that lucky, though. Cox, Comcast Xfinity, and Dish Network have all yet to agree. Cox handles a good part of Eastern North Carolina, and Comcast serves a lot of big markets in the ACC footprint like Boston, Atlanta, Tallahassee, and Miami. That said, Comcast didn’t agree to show the SEC Network until the last second, so something similar could happen here for both. Dish Network has been playing hardball with all sports networks lately, as they currently won’t show the Fox Sports Regional Networks. There’s a suspicion the ACC Network may have something to do with this. The really curious one is AT&T. Direct TV, who is owned by AT&T, agreed to carry the network. However, their streaming service and land-based cable company U-Verse have not. The GoHeels Twitter sent out a handy guide for the companies that are and aren’t carrying, you can check to see if yours is listed. Only THREE days until the ACC Network debuts!Make sure you can watch the Tar Heels from the beginning #GoHeels | #WeDoThishttps://t.co/m6SM1021xB pic.twitter.com/qDY9UOizOm— UNC Tar Heels (@GoHeels) August 19, 2019 If your company is on the thumbs-down emoji, let them know you want it. The more companies that carry it, the more money that goes to the conference, and thus more revenue that goes to UNC. If they refuse, remember you have streaming options at your disposal. What’s on the first day? On Monday, ESPN announced the first ten minutes of the network will be shown across multiple channels, and also released the lineup. Chances are you know what’s being shown, so we really don’t need to dig too deep into that. What’s after Day 1? When they aren’t showing actual events, the ACCN will be highlighted by two original studio shows: “Packer and Durham” from 7 AM to 10 AM, and “All ACC,” essentially a SportsCenter for the ACC. Mark Packer and Wes Durham will provide a morning drive radio show format that centers on ACC talk, anchored by two men who have lived and breathed the ACC for years. It’s likely this pairing is set to be the ACCN’s “Paul Feinbaum Show,” and should create its own loyal base. On top of the documentary being shown on Thursday, several other features have been announced, including a documentary following the ACC Tournament, digging into the Raycom archives to discuss ACC legends, and a couple of “Hard Knocks” style shows for two signature programs of the ACC: Clemson Football, and yes, UNC Basketball. That’s right, Roy Williams is allowing cameras access to UNC during what should be a fascinating 2019-20 basketball season. For many fans, it’ll be their first chance to see what they’ve only heard about: the rigors of UNC practice. It should be appointment viewing. What about the games? This area is probably going to be the biggest adjustment for fans. First and foremost, those games that used to be broadcast by Raycom on a local station are no more. The ACC Network will be showing multiple games on their air as well as the existing games shown across the other ESPN Networks. It’s already been announced that Carolina’s football home opener against Miami on September 7th will be on ACCN, as well as Carolina’s first basketball game against Notre Dame on November 6th. It’s a safe bet those two will not be the last games for either sport shown on the ACCN this year. The bigger adjustment is going to be for the other sports. In years’ past, those who subscribed to ESPN had access to ACC Network Extra on the streaming device of their choice. That channel provided access to the non-revenue sports, but now, those games are going to be moved to where you can only access them if you have access to the ACC Network. Again, if your company isn’t on the list and you were hoping to watch some of these matches, you’re going to want to let your cable carrier know. Who’s on the Network? Lastly, some familiar faces will be the ones behind the mics for the bigger games. Wes Durham will not only be part of the daily show with Mark Packer, but also doing play by play for multiple sports across the ACCN. The other play-by-play voice fans will recognize is Dave O’Brien. O’Brien currently does play-by-play for the Boston Red Sox on their cable channel. He has years of experience calling various sports across ESPN, including the women’s Final Four. He comes back to the Disney umbrella to call multiple sports for the Network. Other announcers and hosts can be found here. It’s understandable if most UNC fans won’t tune in on opening night, but the potential of the ACCN is immense for both UNC and the conference as a whole. Hopefully the rest of the big players in cable will come around at least before September 7th so fans aren’t locked out of seeing Mack Brown’s UNC Homecoming.
Tar Heel Blog has new update
1 day ago UNC Basketball: K.J. Smith receives a scholarship from Roy Williams
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images “Baby Jet” is awarded the last of UNC’s 13 scholarships for the upcoming year. Here’s the thing about playing for North Carolina: there are an awful lot of jerseys in the rafters. Every practice and every home game is played beneath the numbers of the greats who have come before you, and if you’re a player suiting up for this, the 110th year of Tar Heel basketball, it’s a near certainty that the number you’re wearing was worn by a former star. That’s a lot of pressure: just ask any of the Tar Heel point guards who have worn #5. It’s even more pressure when the Tar Heel great whose number you’re wearing happens to be your father. That fact wasn’t lost on K.J. Smith, the newest scholarship player at UNC. Usually when a player is awarded a scholarship, it’s an introduction, a promise for the future. For K.J., this scholarship is very much about the past and, more importantly, the present . There is no introduction needed here: K.J. Smith knows UNC well and it knows him. The redshirt junior and former walk-on (feels good to say “former” doesn’t it?) is, as you may have heard, the son of Tar Heel great Kenny Smith. A former first-team All-American, Smith is second all-time at UNC in assists and first all-time in shots fired at Mr. Charles Barkley. Smith, a mainstay in the world of television, is not merely a Tar Heel great: he’s also a two-time NBA champion and an Emmy winner. That’s a lot to live up to if you’re trying to go into the same field. K.J. knew that all too well: as a high schooler growing up in Calabasas, CA, much of his AAU career was played in front of college coaches all keen to get a look at him because of his last name. “I knew right then that I was Kenny Smith’s son,” he remembered. After he helped lead his Mater Dei High School team to the SoCal State Championship as a senior, he chose to head for the University of the Pacific in Sacramento. He’d be a scholarship athlete and there’d be no family comparisons in the WCC. But after one season, he knew he needed a change. His playing time hadn’t taken off (just 13 minutes per game) and he missed being around top competition (Pacific went 11-22 his freshman year). He called up his dad and said he wanted to make a change. Kenny reached out to the best person he could think of for advice on picking a team: Roy Williams. What Kenny wanted were ideas about which teams around the country could use him, what coaches he could trust his son with. Is there anywhere you see K.J. fitting in? “Just send him here,” said Roy. K.J. enrolled three weeks later. Reading the above, one unfamiliar with the Smiths might be thinking about how nice it would be to have a pro dad with connections. Or maybe how if you weren’t digging your first year of college, having a Hall of Fame coach’s number sure would be a solid card to play for an easy ride. That’s not K.J. Smith, and that’s not his father either. In an interview with the Daily Tar Heel last year, Kenny remarked: “I used to say, ‘If grandpa was a brain surgeon, that wouldn’t make me a brain surgeon. You gotta put the work in to be a brain surgeon.” K.J. Smith is a basketball player, and he puts the work in. Upon arriving at UNC, K.J. took on the family legacy with pride: Not only did he don #30, he asked to be announced as “Baby Jet” (a name coined by Brandon Robinson) at his first Late Night with Roy. Heck, even rocked a flattop for a while in reference to his old man’s 80s style. Due to transfer rules, he sat out the 2017-18 season, but found the court as a Blue Steel sub the following year. For what it’s worth, he tallied a total of 40 minutes for the season, notching 21 points, seven assists, and just three turnovers on 7-15 shooting (4-7 from 3 pt range). Not a bad per-40 average (yes, I am aware that’s not how that works). And on Monday, Roy welcomed the team with some news: Earned, not given. @K30SMITH is awarded with a scholarship for the 2019-20 season. pic.twitter.com/PJZZvnIkcn— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) August 20, 2019 As Kenny said: “It was earned, it wasn’t given.” No arguing that.
Charlotte magazine has new update
1 day ago Weekend Visit: A Trip to Staunton, Virginia
Most mountain towns pull you outdoors. This cozy destination has plenty to explore indoors, too

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