North Carolina football fans planning on watching Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech on Dish Network or Sling TV were unexpectedly hit with news that those two services no longer carry the ESPN family of networks.
The contract expired Friday night and, with no new deal, that means viewers will have to seek alternatives to see the Tar Heels and Hokies’ 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ACC Network.
Duke’s game against Virginia at 7:30 p.m., carried by Bally’s Sports South, will also be blacked out. But subscriptions to the new Bally Sports+ streaming service are available for $19.99 a month and the package includes a free seven-day trial.
Wake Forest and Florida State at 3:30 and N.C. State’s showdown at Clemson at 7:30 p.m. are both games on ABC and will not be impacted. However, if both sides can’t reach a new agreement quickly, future broadcasts — including the start of the college basketball season next month — will be in jeopardy.
ESPN and its umbrella, which includes ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network and SEC Network, is owned by the Walt Disney Company. Disney owns ABC too, but the expired contract only effects Disney and ESPN channels.
The best way to watch a game broadcast by ESPN if you have Dish or Sling is to catch the action on streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV or ESPN+.