Clemson University

Clemson's TV streak snapped

CLEMSON - Since 1994, Clemson has faced 51 nationally-ranked opponents. Each of those games has been televised.

That string will be broken today. The Tigers' game against No. 15-ranked TCU is available through ESPN360.com, a broadband network through Internet providers at no additional cost.

Charter, AT&T and Comcast are among the internet providers that paid ESPN360 for the right to stream the games.

Damon Miller, ESPN360.com vice president, said after ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 made their choices, the other games filter down to ESPNU and ESPN360.com.

"There are only so many games you can put on a linear TV network," Miller said. "And 360 is able to pick up a lot of these games that normally wouldn't be televised."

Michael Kelly, the ACC's associate commissioner for football, said it came down to available windows of opportunity. Miami-Virginia Tech will be the 3:30 p.m. game on ABC. Raycom picked up Georgia Tech-North Carolina at noon, and ESPNU has South Florida-Florida State at noon and Pittsburgh-N.C. State at 3:30 p.m.

"In some years, we would have likely gotten that game on at noon," Kelly said of Clemson-TCU. "In some weeks we would have gotten that game on ESPN or ESPN2 or onto maybe a nighttime window on ESPNU. We kind of got one less window than we normally often have on that particular week."

Conspiracy theorists suggest ESPN's agreement with the SEC squeezes out some games. Five SEC games are scheduled for TV but ESPN has other agreements, including one with the Big Ten.

"The only thing we really lose, based on the SEC contract this year, is the nighttime ESPNU window," Kelly said. "It was rare that we had three ACC games on ESPNU last year.

"I wouldn't chalk this one up to an SEC situation this week," he said. "It's probably more of a Big Ten thing."

Market size was not a deterrent. TCU, located in Fort Worth, is in the nation's fifth-largest market, and Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson is No. 36.

"This happens every year," Miller said. "You can go back the last 10 years of college football and see that some good games don't make it on TV.

"At least now we have a solution to that. We put these games on the Internet so people can watch them."

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