ACC Football: Fans Should Like Addition of Pittsburgh, a Major Player in Ratings

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterAugust 29, 2012

Dec 3, 2011; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Syracuse Orange running back Jerome Smith (45) rushes for a 10-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 33-20.  Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

While fans complain about the addition of teams to their basketball-centric league, a quick look at the Top 25 college football media markets lets us know the addition of Pittsburgh is a plus. In fact, Pittsburgh as a city pulls in ahead of the "heart of the ACC" the Raleigh-Durham media market. 

That's right, according to ESPN Media Zone's release of the Top 25 College Football Markets in 2011, the city of Pittsburgh finished in the 16th spot; while Raleigh-Durham came in at a respectable 22.

So, while both Charlotte and Greensboro rank in the Top 15, the area that actually houses three ACC schools is a bit lagging in their following of college football on television.

While folks complain about chasing markets and whether or not people are going to watch; especially following the Boston College move, the fact is Pittsburgh is going to watch their football.

Yes, they watch the Nittany Lions and the West Virginia Mountaineers, but they also are watching the Pitt Panthers. And, that's a positive for the ACC, a league that needs some positive exposure as they try to gain footing with viewers.

Balancing markets is an interesting practice, because while certain markets, like Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth, are massive, the market share and overall rating comes in lower.

Especially when compared to concentrated, football-crazed markets like Birmingham, Alabama and Greenville, South Carolina. In the case of Pittsburgh, however, it is a bigger media market than Raleigh-Durham.

In other words, not only is the market bigger, but it also has a higher concentration of fans watching college football than southern soon-to-be colleagues.

While Syracuse will be interesting to watch, in terms of impact, the addition of Pitt makes plenty of sense on the football front. Now, it's up to Paul Chryst to keep those eyeballs by putting together wins for the Panthers.


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