Saturday, December 30, 2017

Looking Forward to the 2018-19 Collegiate Athletic Year

I rounded up a few items that I felt would be worth keeping an eye on coming into the 2018-19 college athletics year with respect to television & scheduling.  I did note a handful of items with respect to early season selections and I'll do more in-depth items on those later in the winter.

Here we go:

FOX Sports RSNs moving to Disney

For the 2018 season, I don't think you're going to see a dramatic shift in operations at least right away as the timetable for the sale of assets from 21st Century FOX to Disney appears to be at least 12-18 months, which should take the sale's completion well past the end of the season.  It could have more of a potential impact in the area of college basketball.

With that said, FOX Sports might look to seed a few more college football & basketball games on FS2 instead of FSN where they can, potentially preparing for a RSN-less future.

Conference USA back to the negotiating table

Conference USA is heading back to the market with most of their rights as their deals with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and Stadium all expire in the spring of 2018.

John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, in his predictions for 2018, noted that the Mountain West might be the first to jump more towards streaming, but I could certainly see C-USA beating them to the punch.  The conference will have 18 men's basketball games on Facebook out of 33 games that Stadium is producing.

More breathing room on CBS Sports Network?

At the moment, Navy's home football games have reverted back to the inventory the American provides to ESPN, with the exception of the "home" game vs. Notre Dame that CBS retained an option to carry in 2018, which if CBS were to carry is virtually certain to be a night game unless they were allowed to carry the game on CBS Sports Network due to the game's location in 2018 (San Diego) and the fact that the game is the same day as Georgia vs. Florida (10/27/18), which CBS is more likely than not to carry & must be played in the afternoon.

Getting back to Navy, ESPN now holds the rights to those games, but at this moment, the sublicense of American games to CBS Sports Network has not increased in the number of games (up to 15 games per season), so CBSSN could end up doing any of the following:
  1. Increase the number of American games they sublicense from ESPN
  2. Take a few of the Mountain West games that typically air at 10pm or 10:30pm ET and move them to earlier time slots where appropriate
  3. Offer some of those slots to Conference USA during rights negotiations
  4. Use more of the sublicensed MAC games from ESPN on Saturdays instead of weeknights, though that is dependent on the MAC schedule composition.
Another place to keep an eye on at CBS & CBS Sports Network: Big East scheduling.  Their agreement with FOX Sports for the Big East ends after the 2018-19 athletic year.  The reconstruction of FOX Sports under a few less outlets could put a focus on this agreement and whether FOX will keep more of these games for their outlets (FOX, FS1, FS2) or move more games to CBS Sports Network as scheduling permits as today's agreement allows for up to 30 games total to CBS & CBSSN (up to five games on CBS).

Final season of Raycom Sports' ACC Network

Raycom's ACC sublicense ends after the 2018-19 athletic year, with most of their content expected to populate the ESPN operated ACC Network.  With the agreement with Altice for carriage of the ACC Network, look for some initial ramp-up in terms of awareness towards consumers that this content is moving elsewhere and that you'll need a new channel in 2019 to see it.

To be honest, I don't have any sense of what Raycom could invest in or stay involved with as a primary producer of college sports.  I believe they own a fair amount of production equipment and could stay involved in providing production support to regional entities and the ACC Network as needed.  Frankly, ESPN could make use of that support once they take in the FOX Sports RSNs.

Random stuff

* Oklahoma is unique out of all the Big 12 schools in that their member retained game ends up on pay-per-view.  I do wonder if either FOX Sports or ESPN will want the opener vs. FAU for their national packages while having to designate the game as member retained (I don't see this happening for the UCLA game).

FAU at Oklahoma also happens to be the only Big 12 controlled game in Week One that involves two FBS schools.

* I think ESPN will figure out how to keep all of those SEC neutral site games during Week One.  They've already moved LSU vs. Miami (FL) to Sunday.  I think they could air two each on ABC & ESPN.  With that said upfront, I think it would leave CBS without a sublicensed SEC game for this particular week and they'd end up taking one of those selections later in the season, similar to what they did in 2017.

If ESPN were to determine that they can't air one of those games, in my opinion, the Chick-Fil-A game in Atlanta, which has previously been sublicensed to CBS, or the Tennessee vs. West Virginia game in Charlotte would be targets to move.  ESPN Events has a stake in both the Advocare Texas Kickoff in Houston & the Camping World Kickoff in Orlando.  Because of those stakes, I think those are less likely to air outside of ABC or ESPN Networks.

* Both Arizona & Arizona St. are at home on 9/1, hosting BYU & UTSA, respectively.  If neither FOX nor ESPN is interested in either of those games, look for one of them to move their game to Thursday or Friday evening.  Both schools strongly prefer night games in September and the Pac-12 Networks do not have the space to provide them to be played concurrently.

* For a pair of items that rotate on a yearly basis, ESPN has the Big 12 Championship and, I believe, the top priority pick in the Pac-12, where FOX has the Pac-12 Championship and the top choice of which week they want to select first in the Big 12.

I think FOX will use the top Big 12 choice on the week of the Red River Rivalry and maybe attempt to pair it with a NLDS game like they tried in 2016 (the MLB game ended up be rained out), but I look at picking 2nd on 9/15 (either USC at Texas or Ohio St. vs. TCU from Jerry's World) as valuable too.  As for the Pac-12, Notre Dame at USC looks like the most valuable non-conference game, so after that your guess is as good as any.  USC at Arizona (9/29, Khalil Tate vs. defending Pac-12 champs) & UCLA at Oregon (11/3, Chip Kelly's return to Eugene) seem like they'll have good storylines attached to them

* I'm also interested to see if ESPN is working to move one of their conference championship games to Friday night.  Will the MAC move back to Friday?  I expect the Big 12 Championship on ABC, so that would in theory leave the American on ESPN, unless a tripleheader was attempted and any tripleheader would mean a game opposite the SEC Championship on CBS.

The Sun Belt adding a championship game to the mix isn't as big of a deal though as they've had games on Championship Saturday on ESPN2 the last two seasons, so they can be worked into the mix.

And all of this math assumes a place for the C-USA Championship on ESPN or ESPN2 which I suppose isn't guaranteed.

* For games scheduled for weeknights outside of Labor Day weekend, there's a lot to be announced and those will come out as schedules appear for 2018 from the ACC, American and Mountain West.  My initial impression is that ESPN will have Texas Tech at TCU on Thursday 10/11, Arizona at Utah on Friday 10/12 & Stanford at Arizona St. on Thursday 10/18 due to FS1's MLB postseason commitments.  While FS1 could conceivable not have MLB those days, I don't think they can count on it, nor count on the possibility of weather related issues changing dates/times.

* The two new FBS independents, Liberty and New Mexico St., both have a wealth of experience when it comes to being able to produce their own telecasts in football.  Liberty has had their Liberty Flames Sports Network and New Mexico St.'s AggieVision has been around since their time in the WAC and through one independent season before they moved to the Sun Belt.  Both productions regularly made it to ESPN3 along with RSNs.  I'd expect that to continue.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Some Thoughts on FSN Content Promotion & A Reversal Of Sorts

While driving towards my holiday destination yesterday, I elected to listen to the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, because my drive was close to the length of the podcast (intelligent speed on the Podcast Addict app cut down some of the time).

And either Kyle Costner or Andrew Bucholtz (sorry, don't remember which one) made an extremely valid point regarding the sale of the FOX Sports Regional Networks to Disney.  Paraphrasing, one of them mentioned that FOX really wasn't very good at integrating them into the national business of FS1 and FOX broadcast network.

And if it wasn't foggy, I would have clapped it out for that point but I needed to hang onto the wheel.

To be clear, my frame of reference on this particular topic is from about 2004 forward, so I can't say how the national MLB package was promoted before that time, but when it came to national programming investments for FSN, I personally never felt it got the proper, or any, promotion from the big brothers.  From my own recollections, which get worse every day, the only time I can recall ever seeing any type of FSN promotion on "Big FOX" was a men's basketball tripleheader they carried where three of the top five ranked teams in the nation (#5 Duke, #2 North Carolina & #1 UCLA) would be playing on Sunday, New Year's Eve in 2006 on FSN.

That's it, and this is a network chain that had a pair of highly coveted pro tennis events for a two year stretch (Indian Wells & Miami).  Those events couldn't wait to get away from FSN fast enough and paid for time on ESPN instead.

So when it came to promoting anything on FSN, I can see where it was a bit tough for FOX to do it and four things came to mind:

  • Not every RSN affiliated with FOX Sports Net was actually owned by FOX or carried the FOX Sports Net branding.  
  • It isn't realistic to promote something that could conceivably not air on the RSN in your area where something could preempt the programming.  Regional pro sports typically trumped the college sports FSN carried.  In a few cases with Comcast SportsNets, they often aired their nightly news program & would join whatever live event FSN was airing in progress
  • The FOX Sports branding itself didn't appear on a lot of the national programming
    • ACC Sunday Night Hoops didn't always use the FSN logo on the score bar or bug and the mic flags often carried the conference's logo, which continues to this day, albeit the arrangement that FOX receives its ACC content from is a bit different
    • There was a five or six year stretch where the FSN branding disappeared from content like the national college football they carried, where they went with the branding of "College Football Saturday" and "(Insert Conference Name Here) Hoops".  That branding ended right around the time Comcast RSNs elected to stop carrying FSN programming and the return of on-air FOX Sports branding.
  • After Comcast RSNs stopped carrying FSN programming, the network really ceased to be national.  Arrangements have been made to carry FOX Sports Networks programming in non-FSN markets as needed (football briefly aired on local stations in San Francisco,  Boston & Washington, DC and has a few working arrangements for Big East basketball), but there was no point to try to promote what wasn't going to be available outside of FSN affiliated areas on FOX College Sports, a local station or through online means.
Now here comes a reversal of what I believed earlier when it comes to content from the Big East & Big 12 "national" contracts that they showed on FSN: While they don't own those regional networks anymore, they might find it easier to distribute that content.  They might have to go back to being a bit nameless or faceless when it comes to the branding (ie. "Big 12 Football", or something similar to the RSNs airing WCC basketball), but it could be easier to be a distributor of those games to AT&T, ESPN, Comcast & other independent RSNs, if they don't want to keep them for themselves to add to FS1 or FS2.  They can put those games out for bid if they want.  They aren't having to make a deal with Comcast for backdrop programming on the NBC Sports RSNs, they're just selling a two hour window for a college basketball game or a three hour, 30 minute window for a football game, which they do now for Big East basketball as mentioned above.  Work out the digital distribution to keep it within FOX Sports Go and figure something out if an RSN group wants to stream it (they probably will).

And the promotion of these events on RSNs, which FOX wasn't really good at, isn't something they need to worry about.  They just need to distribute as widely as possible.

Any thoughts on this?  I'd be curious to hear what you think.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Implications on College Sports Content if FOX Were to Sell Their RSNs

If you've not heard, 21st Century FOX is working on a sale of assets to Disney.  Some of those assets include portions of FOX Sports, specifically their regional sports network group.  A few things that came up with respect to college sports content that airs there.

* Some content is contracted directly to the individual regional sports networks.  Think of things like Saint Louis men's basketball on FOX Sports Midwest & Big West sports on the group of RSNs in southern California.  Assuming the RSNs are sold, I would think that those contracts would be included in the sale.

One place where this affects FOX Sports' national college sports portfolio is the Big 12.  Five schools have contracts with FOX Sports RSNs to air at least one football game per season and other content that the school elects to produce for television:

FOX Sports Southwest or Oklahoma
Oklahoma St.
Texas Tech

FOX Sports gets to define the member retained football game for all ten schools each year, which is a bit interesting because they're defining the game that would currently air on RSNs.  If they don't own those contracts (at that point, FOX Sports would not own 3rd tier rights to any Big 12 schools while ESPN could own those five plus Texas through Longhorn Network+), would FOX Sports be able to call the shots on what games were defined as 3rd tier?

+Kansas St. & Kansas also have existing working arrangements with ESPN3, with some content airing locally on linear TV through partnerships with other networks and outside the defined local area on ESPN3.

* The ACC maintains a big presence on FOX RSNs through a sublicense from Raycom, as Raycom own rights to both a regional cable package & over the air syndication package, but that content will move to the ESPN-owned ACC Network in the late summer of 2019.

* Some content on FOX Sports RSNs are tied to national TV contracts with FOX Sports.  Most likely this content would not move with these RSNs to ESPN, unless ESPN were to come to an agreement to have FOX provide this content to them.  This content is as follows:
  • Big 12 women's basketball
    • Some Big 12 women's basketball airing on RSNs comes from the 3rd tier school packages.
  • A package of "Olympic" / non-revenue sports from the Big 12, including championships in baseball, softball, etc.
  • Big East sports, particularly men's basketball
Where would this content go to is anyone's guess, assuming it doesn't follow the RSNs.  It could end up on FS1 or FS2.  Maybe there's a push for this content to move exclusively to FOX Sports Go.  CBS Sports has a sublicense for Big East basketball that calls for 20-30 games.  So far, the number has been at 20 each year.

* Where does BTN fall in this equation?  I believe it is managed separately from the FOX Sports RSNs.  FOX Sports Media Group defines BTN as its own entity, separate from the RSNs, FS1, FS2, etc..  Doesn't mean it couldn't be part of the sale though.

* FOX College Sports is listed under the FOX Sports umbrella, but if they sold the RSNs & the underlying content to ESPN, there would be very little for that suite of channels to air.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

TV Facts & Figures For The 2017 College Football Season

2017 was a bit of a mess, particularly early in the year where scheduled TV appearances were set aside or cancelled altogether as schedules were readjusted for weather issues, along with the annual weather delays that slotted games that were scheduled for a specific network and ended up elsewhere.  If you look over 2017 and feel that these numbers were slightly skewed, I won't argue the point.  I didn't see any conference's contractual numbers that were missed because of these problems.

* Florida St. ended up with two ACC controlled games on ABC, the lowest number of ACC appearances on the network since 2009 when the Seminoles had a single appearance on ABC.  Likewise, Louisville had only one ACC appearance on ABC.
* Miami led with five ACC appearances on ABC.  Clemson was second with four appearances.
* Raycom had its first nighttime window that I can recall for ACC football.  UL-Monroe at Florida St. was scheduled for evening but the window was cancelled due to the game's postponement.  They were granted a makeup with Duke at Virginia Tech on 10/28.  It was explained to me that Florida St. had requested the nighttime window to stay out of hot daytime weather the first few weeks of the season.

* A breakdown of regular season games by network:
  • ABC: 3
    • One was split national where others saw it on ESPN2
  • ESPN: 7
  • ESPN2: 6
  • ESPNU: 15
  • ESPNEWS: 7
  • CBS Sports Network: 15
    • An additional five aired on CBS Sports Network as part of Navy's expiring TV deal
  • ESPN3 or local/regional TV: 17
* East Carolina never appeared on ESPN or ESPN2.  Tulane appeared once on ESPN2.
* The Pirates appeared in seven of the fifteen CBSSN sublicenes.
* USF made the most appearances across the primary TV networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU) with eight games.  Memphis & Temple each had seven and UCF had six.  Note that UCF's lost game vs. Georgia Tech was scheduled for ESPNEWS.
* The American had several alterations to their schedule, to their credit, to make sure the entire conference schedule could be played.  If you'd like to see how the schedule was originally set, take a look.

Big 12
* Just twelve games on broadcast television, the lowest number for the Big 12 since I started tracking in 2005.
* Three of the five games on ABC were part of reverse mirror / split national presentations.
* 39 games aired on ABC (full or split national with ESPN2), ESPN, ESPN2, FOX or FS1.
* Texas played twice on broadcast television and had only one game involving them announced as part of the in-season selection process (Red River Rivalry), and that game could have been selected by ESPN before the season started & not announced.
* Oklahoma led the way with five appearances on broadcast television as part of the Big 12 TV deals.  Oklahoma St. appeared four times and Iowa St., Texas Tech and TCU each appeared three times.
* Three games aired on FS2, the first time games were scheduled or intended for scheduling on FS2.

Big Ten
* Thirty regular season games aired on broadcast television between ABC & FOX with an even split of fifteen games.
* In terms of cable networks, the breakdown is as follows:
  • BTN: 41
    • Aired over 32 telecast windows
  • ESPN: 5
  • ESPN2: 6
  • ESPNU: 1
    • Per contractual rules, only non-conference games can air here.
  • FS1: 12
* Regular season primetime games per entity, including weeknight games.  Anything after a 6pm ET start:
  • ABC: 4
  • BTN: 9
  • ESPN: 1
  • ESPN2: 1
  • FOX: 3
  • FS1: 5
* Some fun facts re: the Big Ten appearances:
  • Courtesy Sean Kelly, Nebraska never appear on an ESPN platform in a Big Ten controlled game.  Rutgers also never appeared on an ESPN platform.
  • Michigan never appeared on the four primary packages' cable networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or FS1).
  • Rutgers led with ten games on BTN.
  • All of Michigan St.'s appearances on FOX Sports platforms were on FOX broadcast network.
  • All of Penn St.'s appearances on ESPN platforms were on ABC.
* BYU didn't appear on ESPNU this season.  There was a requirement/guideline/suggestion that at least one game per season appear on ESPNU.  They did have four games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 so maybe that washes away the need for a game on ESPNU.
* For the third consecutive season, BYUtv aired a pair of games.  Only one game per season is required to air here, but ESPN can defer picking up a game if they desire and other contractual obligations are met.

I don't want to leave Conference USA out.  Most of their television & internet schedule was set before the season started, so I don't really have anything to add.  Feel free to view their conference controlled TV schedule which still had a lot of local telecasts, plus the addition of Stadium-produced Facebook offerings.

* Ten games aired on ESPNU, the most on the network since they aired the same number in 2007.  To be fair, two of those games (Kansas at Ohio on 9/16 & Western Michigan at Buffalo on 10/7) were added to the schedule due to weather related schedule adjustments.
* Northern Illinois appeared six times across ESPN's linear television platforms and the CBS Sports Network sublicense package, the most of any MAC school.

Mountain West
* In terms of the breakdown of ESPN platform games, the games on each network is as follows:
  • ESPN: 1
  • ESPN2: 12
  • ESPNU: 6
  • ESPN3: 5
    • VMI at Air Force & Fresno St. at San Jose St. were selected by ESPN after their original 22 selections.
* ESPNU carried three Mountain West games outside of where ESPN platforms have typically carried them, which was either Saturday afternoon or early evening.

* USC lead all Pac-12 schools with six appearances on broadcast television.
* The fourteen regular season games on broadcast television beat the number that ABC & FOX aired each of the last two seasons, excluding the conference championship game.
* Nine of the 12 schools played at least once on broadcast television.  Arizona, Arizona St. and Oregon St. did not.
* The five ABC games is the most that network carried since 2014 when they showed six Pac-12 games.
* Utah appeared the most times on ESPN or FOX pay TV platforms with seven appearances.
* Arizona St. had the least number of appearances among the two primary TV partners with 3 games.  Consequently, their eight appearances on Pac-12 Networks lead all schools with Oregon St. second with seven appearances.
* Oregon's sole appearance as part of ESPN's portion of Pac-12 games was the Civil War vs. Oregon St., which was selected by ESPN before the season started.
* USC never appeared on FS1.

* Georgia was the only SEC schools to hit the maximum number of five CBS appearances.  All of Georgia's appearances were at 3:30pm ET.
* In the "no one wants to play at 12pm ET" department, Ole Miss had four 11am local starts on SEC Network.
* Alabama, Texas A&M & LSU each had six total appearances on ESPN or ESPN2.  One could make the argument that LSU's appearance vs. BYU was not part of the SEC's television contract.  
* Texas A&M made two additional SEC appearances on ESPNU.
* Kentucky never appeared on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.  They had ten appearances on SEC Network and one on CBS.
* Mississppi St. never appeared on ESPN2 or ESPNU.  All their games were on CBS, ESPN or SEC Network.  Their 11/18 game on CBS may have been from a sublicensed TV window from ESPN too.

Similar to Conference USA, the Sun Belt had only one linear national TV appearance set during the season (12/2, Troy at Arkansas St.).  Feel free to view their information.

Monday, November 13, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 13 (11/21/17 - 11/25/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 11/21 - 11/25 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to (well, under twelve days for the MAC but you get the picture).  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Twelve games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  There were a fair number of alterations to this particular week on the way in and they can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll be wrong & most people don't give me grief over that) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.

This is the final 12 day post for the season.  If there's enough games held for six day holds, I'll probably do one for those too, but I hope that as many start times are set for the games as possible.  Its a bit of an inconvenience to have a bunch of games held for start times when some fans & students could be travelling, but TV pays the schools' bills.

All times Eastern

Tuesday 11/21
7pm ESPNU:

Friday 11/24
11:30am ESPNU: 
12pm ABC: Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh
12pm ESPN: Navy at Houston
12pm CBSSN: 
3:30pm ABC: USF at UCF
4pm ESPN3: Texas St. at Troy
8pm ESPN: Virginia Tech at Virginia

Saturday 11/25
Six day holds:
ACC - Georgia at Georgia Tech (12pm or 8pm on ABC)
Big 12 - West Virginia at Oklahoma (ABC at 12pm, 3:30pm or 8pm or ESPN at 3:45pm), Kansas at Oklahoma St. (12pm FS1 or 3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU), Iowa St. at Kansas St. (12pm FS1 or 3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU)
Big Ten - Wisconsin at Minnesota & Penn St. at Maryland (3:30pm ABC, 3:30pm BTN or 3:45pm ESPN)
Pac-12 - Notre Dame at Stanford & Washington St. at Washington (3:30pm ABC, 3:45pm ESPN, 8pm FOX or ABC)

12pm ESPN: Florida St. at Florida
12pm ESPN2: Indiana at Purdue
12pm ESPNU: East Carolina at Memphis
12pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at Cincinnati
12pm SEC: Louisville at Kentucky
12pm CBSSN: Tulane at SMU
12:20pm ACC Network: Boston College at Syracuse
12:30pm ACC RSN: Duke at Wake Forest
2pm ESPN3: Appalachian St. at Georgia St.
3pm ESPN3: Arkansas St. at UL-Monroe
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Auburn
3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: North Carolina at NC State
4pm FOX: Michigan St. at Rutgers
4pm FS1: Northwestern at Illinois
4pm ESPNEWS: Temple at Tulsa
4pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Tennessee
4pm ESPN3: Idaho at New Mexico St.
4:30pm Pac-12: Arizona at Arizona St.
5pm ESPN3: Wyoming at San Jose St.
5pm ESPN3: Georgia Southern at UL-Lafayette
7pm ESPN2: Oregon St. at Oregon
7:30pm ESPN: Clemson at South Carolina
7:30pmpm ESPNU: UTSA at Louisiana Tech
7:30pm SEC: Texas A&M at LSU
10pm FS1: Colorado at Utah
10:15pm ESPN2: Utah St. at Air Force

Sunday, November 12, 2017

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Weeks 13 & 14

Threw in Championship Saturday as a freebie at the bottom.  No sense in wasting a post on it.  Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast for weeks 13 & 14.  Here are the known available telecast windows.

* Per Jon Wilner of Bay Area News Group, the Pac-12 order is as follows: ESPN/ABC (3:30pm or 8pm), FOX (8pm), Pac-12 Nets (4:30pm ET), FS1 (10pm).  Wilner also says that Oregon St. at Oregon, selected in the spring by ESPN when it was moved from Friday to Saturday due to the PK80 men's basketball event, will be at 3:30pm or 7pm on ESPN2.  I'd personally rather place the Civil War on ESPNU, but Jon's been pretty solid with the TV information.
* Based on 11/18 six day selections and contractual maximums, the following conferences should have this number of 12 day selections by rightsholder:
  • Big Ten (maximum of 27 for both FOX & ESPN)
    • ESPN: 2
    • FOX Sports: 2
    • BTN: 1
  • Big 12 (maximum of 23 for ESPN)
    • ESPN: 2
* BTN does not list a 12pm window at this time.  3:30pm is listed.  There will not be a nighttime window on the network.
* The ACC, American, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 all have six day holds to use.  I don't think the SEC does, but I didn't think the SEC had a 3rd six day hold possible either, so maybe I'm wrong about that too.
* If Ohio beats Akron on 11/14, the Bobcats would wrap up the MAC East and make their Black Friday game meaningless.  Look for all the MAC times & TV to be finalized after 11/15.
* Since the Apple Cup could decide the Pac-12 North and ESPN has the Pac-12 Championship on Friday 12/1, I felt they'd be better served taking the Apple Cup instead of Notre Dame at Stanford.
* ESPNEWS has a second window added at 4pm in addition to the 12pm window that has been out there for a while.
* ESPN2 instead of ESPN now has the late evening window and a late evening window on ESPNU has been removed.  I went with Wyoming at San Jose St. instead of Utah St. at Air Force since Wyoming has a remote shot at the Mountain Division title if Boise St. were to drop its final two games vs. Air Force & Fresno St.

All times Eastern

Tuesday 11/21
7pm ESPNU: Kent St. at Akron
TBA ESPN3: Bowling Green at Eastern Michigan
TBA ESPN3: Miami (OH) at Ball St.

Friday 11/24
11:30am ESPNU: Western Michigan at Toledo
12pm ABC: USF at UCF
12pm ESPN: Navy at Houston
12pm CBSSN: Northern Illinois at Central Michigan
3:30pm ABC: Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh
8pm ESPN: Virginia Tech at Virginia
TBA ESPN3: Ohio at Buffalo
TBA ESPN3: Texas St. at Troy

Saturday 11/25
12pm ABC: West Virginia at Oklahoma
12pm ESPN: North Carolina at NC State
12pm ESPN2: Northwestern at Illinois
12pm FS1: Kansas at Oklahoma St.
12pm ESPNU: Tulane at SMU
12pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at Cincinnati
12pm SEC: Louisville at Kentucky
12pm CBSSN: Temple at Tulsa
12:20pm ACC Network: Duke at Wake Forest
12:30pm ACC RSN: Boston College at Syracuse
3:30pm ABC: Washington St. at Washington
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Auburn
3:30pm ESPN: Penn St. at Maryland
3:30pm ESPN2: Oregon St. at Oregon
3:30pm ESPNU: East Carolina at Memphis
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Purdue
4pm FOX: Wisconsin at Minnesota
4pm FS1: Michigan St. at Rutgers
4pm ESPNEWS: UTSA at Louisiana Tech
4pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Tennessee
4:30pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Arizona
7pm ESPN: Clemson at South Carolina
7pm ESPN2: Iowa St. at Kansas St.
7pm ESPNU: Florida St. at Florida
7:30pm SEC: Texas A&M at LSU
8pm ABC: Georgia at Georgia Tech
8pm FOX: Notre Dame at Stanford
10pm FS1: Colorado at Utah
10:15pm ESPN2: Wyoming at San Jose St.
TBA ESPN3: Appalachian St. at Georgia St.
TBA ESPN3: Georgia Southern at UL-Lafayette
TBA ESPN3: Arkansas St. at UL-Monroe
TBA ESPN3: Idaho at New Mexico St.
TBA ESPN3: Utah St. at Air Force

Saturday 12/2
12pm ABC: American Athletic Championship
12pm ESPN: MAC Championship
12pm ESPN2: Conference USA Championship
12pm ACC Network Extra: UL-Monroe at Florida St.
7:30pm ESPN2: Best available Sun Belt game (let's say Troy at Arkansas St.)
7:45pm ESPN: Mountain West Championship
8pm ABC: ACC Championship

Saturday, November 11, 2017

CFB Six Day Guesses For 11/18

Stanford beating Washington last night shakes up a few things. 
  1. It elevates the Big Game's relevance in the Pac-12 as it puts Stanford in reach of a Pac-12 North championship.
  2. It does NOT give them control of their own destiny though.  That currently belongs to Washington St. by virtue of beating Stanford.
  3. Washington needs a loss by Stanford in the Big Game to have any shot at using the Apple Cup to win the Pac-12 North.
Pac-12 selection order is known for their six day holds (ESPN, FOX Sports, ESPN, Pac-12 Networks).  On the Rich Eisen Show, Joel Klatt brought up that he will be at Michigan at Wisconsin, which seems to imply FOX has the top choice.  This makes sense as I originally had ESPN with this choice, but it would leave FOX with, in my mind, only six top choices after including Ohio St. at Michigan on 11/25.

(Side note:  If Klatt knows where he'll be, it makes you wonder why they held off at least picking the game, but I can understand why they didn't set a time.)

I put the top Big 12 choice with ESPN too.  Dropped the open ESPNEWS window since it won't be used by any of the remaining conferences involved.  There's nothing saying that the Pac-12 can't have dueling night games on ABC & FOX with 9/26/15 being the most recent example either, but I left Cal-Stanford in the earlier afternoon slot.

Here we go:

12pm ABC: Virginia at Miami (FL)
12pm CBS: Texas A&M at Ole Miss
12pm FOX: Nebraska at Penn St.
12pm ESPN: Maryland at Michigan St.
12pm FS1: Kansas St. at Oklahoma St.
12pm FSN: Iowa St. at Baylor
12pm BTN: Purdue at Iowa
12pm BTN: Rutgers at Indiana
3:30pm ABC: Illinois at Ohio St.
3:30pm ESPN: Oklahoma at Kansas
3:30pm ESPN2: Texas at West Virginia
3:30pm ESPNU: Syracuse at Louisville
3:30pm BTN: Minnesota at Northwestern
4pm FOX: Michigan at Wisconsin
4pm FS1: California at Stanford
7pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Arkansas
7pm ESPN2: LSU at Tennessee
7pm Pac-12: Utah at Washington
8pm ABC: UCLA at USC
8pm FOX: TCU at Texas Tech
10:45pm ESPN: Arizona at Oregon