Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Notes on Big 12 FB Champ Game Start Time & Several MBK TV Releases

* It appears that FOX affiliates have been told that the Big 12 football championship game will be an early afternoon affair on Saturday 12/2.  The conference announced a sponsored tailgate tour with the date of the championship game prominently mentioning the Saturday date.

The only thing left was the time of the game, but that could be relatively easy to deduce when looking at the schedule of college basketball games on FOX & FS1 that day, the Big Ten championship on FOX in primetime, and UFC PPV prelims that I've tentatively targeted to FS1 that evening.

When you take those items into account, the open time on 12/2 was in the early afternoon on FOX.  Even if you move the UFC prelims to FX or FXX, my hunch with respect to programming is that FOX has less hefty competition in the early afternoon with the American & either the MAC and/or C-USA championship games compared to the Big 12, ACC and Mountain West in the evening.

As for the possibility of a Friday 12/1 night game, my opinion is that possibility took a severe hit when the Cowboys were scheduled for a Thursday night home game on 11/30.  If the Big 12 needed control of the field for any sponsor related events prior to the game, Friday is now the only time to do those.  The Big 12 was non-commital about the date during spring meetings and football media days, which could have been the conference trying to find out about the feasibility of a Friday night game as the Cowboys' Thursday night home game was already known.

* A few items around the Pac-12 TV release:
  • Gonzaga at Washington on Pac-12 Networks on 12/10 - I have to assume there was a selection order or priority hold placed on this one by Pac-12 Networks.  Last year, FS1 picked up the Zags' game at Washington St. and I would think a game from the national runner-up would merit selection by either FOX Sports or ESPN, regardless of the stature of the Huskies.
  • Cincinnati at UCLA on CBS on 12/16 - I don't quibble with the choice (this game comes out of ESPN's pool of games).  This is more surprise that CBS took a Pac-12 non-conference game.  Will be doubleheadered wth Syracuse-Georgetown, which comes from FOX as part of an agreement with CBS Sports for Big East games.
  • Utah at Arizona on FOX on 1/27 - If you're asking "Why the 5:30pm ET start time with no game before it? Did you mean to put it on Sunday after Purdue at Indiana?", the answer could be tied to the 24 Hours of Daytona, which starts on the 27th and had its first three hours of competition air on FOX last year.  I'm under the impression that the endurance race will once again start on FOX and have a lot of coverage on FS1 for the remainder of the race.
* Weeknight men's basketball tripleheaders are not new to ESPN as they'll often have three games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  But they are different with FS1 where they have typically stuck with doubleheaders, but they'll have weeknight tripleheaders on the following dates:
  • 2/1/18 - Creighton at Villanova, Northwestern at Wisconsin & Oregon St. at Stanford
  • 2/21/18 - Xavier at Georgetown or Seton Hall at Providence, then Depaul at Villanova followed by USC at Colorado
  • 2/22/18 - Purdue at Illinois, Arizona at Oregon St. & Arizona St. at Oregon
Those last two dates are important because it shows FS1 stacking their schedule to the weeknights due to NASCAR responsibilities on Friday and Saturday, along with NHRA on Sunday.

* I counted six doubleheaders on FS1 involving the Big Ten & Pac-12.

* ESPN and FS1 are splitting a pair of neutral site doubleheaders.  The Never Forget Tribute on 12/9 from Newark will have one game on FOX (Seton Hall-VCU) and one on ESPN2 (Florida-Cincinnati).  The Under Armour Reunion from MSG will have the same structure, with the Seton Hall-Texas Tech game on FS1 followed by Temple-South Carolina on ESPNU.

* Per a couple the American Athletic schools, the conference tournament schedule will now air on ESPNU in full on day one (now four games, previously three games with two on ESPNEWS).  For now, the Friday games will continue to be split on ESPN2 and ESPNU.  Note that the 2018 championship only will have the semifinals and final on CBS via sublicense due to the Big Ten championship being held a week earlier.

* As ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain has expanded its territory further west with the addition of the regional rights to the Vegas Golden Knights, it also stepped up coverage beyond the Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico based Mountain West schools with 11 total games involving UNLV and Nevada.   Last year, just two games on ROOT Sports involved the Nevada based schools.

Monday, September 18, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 5 (9/30/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/30 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Four 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.  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 prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.  

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Northwestern at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm ESPN2: North Carolina at Georgia Tech
12pm FS1: Maryland at Minnesota
12pm ESPNU: Houston at Temple
12pm CBSSN: USF at East Carolina
12pm SECN: New Mexico St. at Arkansas
12pm ACC RSNs: Rice at Pittsburgh
12:20pm ACC Network: Syracuse at NC State
1pm ACC Network Extra: Central Michigan at Boston College
2pm ESPN3: Ohio at Eastern Michigan
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at Tennessee
3:30pm ABC or ESPN2: Baylor at Kansas St.
3:30pm ABC or ESPN2: Florida St. at Wake Forest
3:30pm ESPNU: Navy at Tulsa
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Penn St.
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Murray St. at Louisville
3:30pm ESPN3: Buffalo at Kent St.
4pm FOX: Iowa at Michigan St.
4pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at SMU
4pm SECN: Eastern Michigan at Kentucky
4pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Stanford
6pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Auburn
6pm ESPN3: Akron at Bowling Green
7pm ESPN2: Memphis at UCF
7pm ESPNU: Troy at LSU
7pm ESPN3: Marshall at Cincinnati
7pm ESPN3: Ball St. at Western Michigan
7pm ESPN3: Coastal Carolina at UL-Monroe
7:30pm SECN: South Carolina at Texas A&M
7:30pm BTN: Ohio St. at Rutgers
8pm ABC: Clemson at Virginia Tech
8pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
8pm Pac-12: Washington at Oregon St.
9pm ESPN: Ole Miss at Alabama
10:30pm ESPN2: Colorado at UCLA
10:30pm FS1: California at Oregon
10:30pm ESPNU: San Jose St. at UNLV

Sunday, September 17, 2017

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Five (9/30/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows.

* BTN listings did not have a schedule of telecast windows available, so I am assuming two telecast windows at 12pm & 3:30pm ET.
* I'm looking at FOX to take a Big Ten game in primetime, thinking that they'll have the top pick of Big Ten games, but not another selection since they have Nebraska at Illinois on Friday night.  Also think they'll have the top pick of Big 12 games where ESPN should have the top Pac-12 pick.
* Also, I believe FOX will take both available Big 12 games with ESPN carrying Texas at Iowa St. on Thursday night.
* I could see FOX waiting for the result of Penn St at Iowa before deciding their choice. For now, I went with higher ranked Penn St.  Because of that, you might see both that game and Iowa at Michigan St. held as night game with one on FOX and the other on ESPN2, or maybe even ESPN if they flip the 6pm & 9pm window combo over to ESPN.
* Ohio St. at Rutgers would clear the Buckeyes of all required BTN appearances if chosen (two games on BTN with one of those appearances being an intraconference game).
* Initial listings indicate two ACC RSN games at 12pm & 3:30pm ET.
* I had to play with the available games for the ACC Network and ACC RSN windows as I wanted to give the ACCN slot a intraconference game, plus I had to consider who might not be available due to MLB for each of the ACC RSN windows.  NESN, for example, may have a 4pm Red Sox game and has a UMass game at 3:30pm on NESN+.  Meanwhile, the Pirates have a 7pm game on AT&T SportsNet and the RSNs typically do not like to give up their pregame shows.  With BC already playing a conference game on ACC Network Extra, Rice-Pittsburgh was the odd game out.
* If ESPN isn't interested in televising San Jose St. at UNLV, they could place it on ESPN3 and ditch the late ESPNU window.

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Florida St. at Wake Forest
12pm ESPN: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm ESPN2: North Carolina at Georgia Tech
12pm FS1: Baylor at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNU: Navy at Tulsa
12pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at SMU
12pm CBSSN: USF at East Carolina
12pm SECN: Eastern Michigan at Kentucky
12pm BTN: Ohio St. at Rutgers
12pm ACC RSNs: Central Michigan at Boston College
12:20pm ACC Network: Syracuse at NC State
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at Tennessee
3:30pm ABC: Northwestern at Wisconsin
3:30pm ESPN2: Houston at Temple
3:30pm ESPNU: Memphis at UCF
3:30pm BTN: Maryland at Minnesota
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Murray St. at Louisville
4pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
4pm SECN: New Mexico St. at Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: Washington at Oregon St.
6pm ESPN: Ole Miss at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: Iowa at Michigan St.
7pm ESPNU: South Carolina at Texas A&M
7:30pm SECN: Troy at LSU
8pm ABC: Clemson at Virginia Tech
8pm FOX: Indiana at Penn St.
8pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Stanford
9pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Auburn
10:15pm ESPNU: San Jose St. at UNLV
10:30pm ESPN2: California at Oregon
10:30pm FS1: Colorado at UCLA

Online only (ESPN3, ACC Network Extra or other) or no video
Marshall at Cincinnati
Rice at Pittsburgh
Charlotte at FIU
North Texas at Southern Miss
Akron at Bowling Green
Buffalo at Kent St.
Ball St. at Western Michigan

Monday, September 11, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 4 (9/23/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/23 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Three 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.  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 prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.  

All times Eastern.

SEC (7pm ESPN2 or 7:30pm ESPNU/SEC Network)
Florida at Kentucky, Syracuse at LSU & Auburn at Missouri

12pm ABC/ESPN2: Texas Tech at Houston
12pm ABC/ESPN2:  NC State at Florida St.
12pm ESPN: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
12pm ESPNU: West Virginia at Kansas
12pm CBSSN: Army at Tulane
12pm SECN: Massachusetts at Tennessee
12pm ACC RSNs: Kent St. at Louisville
12pm BTN: UNLV at Ohio St.
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
1:30pm ESPN3: New Mexico at Tulsa
2pm ACC Network Extra: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
2pm ESPN3: Ohio at Eastern Michigan
2pm ESPN3: Idaho at South Alabama
3pm FS1: UCF at Maryland
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Vanderbilt
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: USC at California
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: TCU at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Boston College at Clemson
3:30pm ESPNU: Duke at North Carolina
3:30pm SECN: Louisiana Tech at South Carolina
3:30pm BTN: Georgia Southern at Indiana
3:30pm BTN: Rutgers at Nebraska
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Toledo at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ESPN3: Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
3:30pm ESPN3: Wake Forest at Appalachian St.
4pm FOX: Michigan at Purdue
5pm ESPN3: UL-Monroe at UL-Lafayette
6pm Pac-12: Nevada at Washington St.
6pm ESPN3: Akron at Troy
6:30pm FS1: Oklahoma at Baylor
6:30pm ESPN3: Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina
7pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Georgia
7pm ESPN3: FAU at Buffalo
7pm ESPN3: Wagner at Western Michigan
7:30pm ABC: Penn St. at Iowa
7:30pm ESPN3: UTSA at Texas St.
8pm ESPN3: UTEP at New Mexico St.
10pm FS1: Washington at Colorado
10pm Pac-12: Oregon at Arizona St.
10:15pm ESPN2: Hawai'i at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: UCLA at Stanford

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pre-Schedule Release Notes from the Big East & Pac-12

* With respect to non-conference play for the Pac-12, the following games were found as selected by ESPN in ESPN MediaZone:
  • Georgia Tech vs. UCLA (11/10, played in Shanghai, China)
  • North Carolina at Stanford (11/20)
  • Alabama at Arizona (12/9)
  • Kansas St. vs. Washington St. (12/20, played in Spokane)
  • Connecticut at Arizona (12/21)
  • Kansas vs. Stanford (12/21, played in Sacramento)
In addition, six conference games were selected by ESPN for airing on ESPN or ESPN2:
  • Washington St. at USC (12/29)
  • Washington St. at UCLA (12/31)
  • Arizona at Utah (1/4)
  • Utah at UCLA (1/11)
  • Oregon at Arizona (1/13)
  • UCLA at Oregon (1/20)
If FS1 picks up any Pac-12 games in November or December, and they've stayed away from non-conference Pac-12 games in prior years with a few exceptions, here's some candidates (NOTE: some of these games could end up on ESPNU as their December schedule has not been published. Pac-12 Networks schedules also are awaiting finalization.):
  • Missouri at Utah (11/16) - Incoming freshman Michael Porter seems to be driving some TV decisions on ESPN2 for Mizzou in non conference play with games vs. Wagner & Stephen F. Austin to be shown.  Would probably need to be the last game of a tripleheader after Nebraska at St. John's & Xavier at Wisconsin
  • Texas A&M at USC (11/26) - No Big East games currently scheduled for that day.  Maybe paired with UC Riverside at Michigan as a doubleheader.
  • Gonzaga at Washington (12/10) - Maybe pair it with Philly Big 5 matchup La Salle at Villanova.
  • Cincinnati at UCLA (12/16) - ESPN has bowl games this day, while ESPN2 has three MBK games, plus the Division II football championship & NCAA women's volleyball tournament (championship?).
  • Vanderbilt at Arizona St. (12/17) - I have nothing for this one.
* The other side of this is the dates where FS2, FSN or CBS Sports Network could end up being used for the Big East due to other commitments for FS1 or FOX.
  • 11/10 - All schools openers except for DePaul & Georgetown, though we don't know when Georgetown's opener is.  CBSSN isn't available at all either, so look for FS2 and FSN, plus the possibility of FOX College Sports to be used
  • 11/11 - This would be DePaul's opener and the CFB schedule for FS1 only has one game, followed by UFC in the evening, so they could slot this one to tip at around 4pm ET on FS1.
  • 11/13 - At least one of Delaware St.-DePaul and Rider-Xavier.  Minnesota-Providence on FS1 already.
  • 11/14 - At least one of Central Connecticut-St. John's and Nicholls-Villanova.  Purdue-Marquette on FS1 already.
  • 11/17 - Only Lafayette vs. Villanova.  NASCAR on FS1.
  • 11/18 - Three games: UMES at Georgetown, Furman at Butler, NJIT at Seton Hall
  • 11/25 - Boston College at Providence could end up on FS1 at 8pm ET, but SIU Edwardsville at Creighton probably ends up on FS2.
  • 12/2 - Of the five games currently on the schedule (Cincy-Xavier, Saint Louis-Butler, Younsgtown St.-DePaul, Sacred Heart-St. John's & Georgia-Marquette), I'd throw at least the DePaul & St. John's games on secondary outlets.  FS1 should also have UFC PPV prelims in the evening.
  • 12/9 - FS1 has a UFC card at night.  Colorado-Xavier & Nebraska-Creighton should be on FS1 and Marquette-Wisconsin is either on FOX or FS1.  Look for NCA&T-Georgetown or Youngstown St.-Butler to slide over.
  • 12/16 - FS1 should have UFC prelims before FOX takes over in the evening.  Kansas at Nebraska is on FS1 at 8pm and the Orange Bowl Classic is on FS2 from 2pm to 6:30pm.  
  • 11/29, 12/5, 12/6 & 12/21 are weeknights with three Big East games scheduled.  Typically you can only get two games in on FS1 from the conference on an evening.
* Based on FS1 schedules, look for the Big East schedule to start on December 30th.  December 28th has the Holiday Bowl and the 29th has UMBC at Maryland in the evening, possibly paired with a Pac-12 game.  Saturday the 30th has one Big Ten game (Brown at Northwestern) with a TBA start time, so they may be looking to slot Big East games around that one.

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Four (9/23/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows.

* The 7:30pm ET ABC window indicates a Big Ten game will air at this time.  Also indicates that FOX and ABC can show Big Ten games concurrently.
* BTN does not have a night game window.  They are carrying women's volleyball instead.
* Listings indicate two ACC RSN windows at 12pm & 3:30pm ET.
* FS1 listings provided to Screener/Zap2It had UCF at Maryland (3pm) & TCU at Oklahoma St. (6:30pm) in the first two FS1 windows.  The Pac-12 game at 10pm did not have any game attached to it.
* Rutgers at Nebraska & Michigan at Purdue are homecoming games and are slotted to air at 3:30pm or 4pm ET.
* ESPNU does not have a late evening window.
* ESPNEWS has no game windows scheduled.
* I could be talked into taking Alabama at Vanderbilt on CBS instead of Mississippi St. at Georgia.
* I'm under the assumption that FOX is selecting first for the Big Ten & used it on the previously announced Notre Dame at Michigan St. game.  With FS1 listings indicating they have UCF at Maryland, that pushed both Michigan at Purdue and Penn St. at Iowa over to ESPN.
* If ESPN has the top pick of Big 12 games (I have the top Big 12 pick with FOX), slide Oklahoma at Baylor over to the slot occupied by USC at California and move that one over to FOX.  I believe ESPN had the top Pac-12 choice for this week.

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Boston College at Clemson
12pm ESPN: Florida at Kentucky
12pm ESPN2: NC State at Florida St.
12pm ESPNU: Georgia Southern at Indiana
12pm CBSSN: Texas Tech at Houston
12pm SECN: Louisiana Tech at South Carolina
12pm ACC RSNs: Kent St. at Louisville
12pm BTN: UNLV at Ohio St.
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
3pm FS1: UCF at Maryland
3:30pm CBS: Mississippi St. at Georgia
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Michigan at Purdue
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: USC at California
3:30pm ESPN: Duke at North Carolina
3:30pm ESPNU: West Virginia at Kansas
3:30pm BTN: Rutgers at Nebraska
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
4pm FOX: Oklahoma at Baylor
4pm SECN: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: UCLA at Stanford
6:30pm FS1: TCU at Oklahoma St.
7pm ESPN: Alabama at Vanderbilt
7pm ESPN2: Auburn at Missouri
7pm ESPNU: Massachusetts at Tennessee
7:30pm ABC: Penn St. at Iowa
7:30pm SECN: Syracuse at LSU
8pm Pac-12: Nevada at Washington St.
10pm FS1: Washington at Colorado
10:15pm ESPN2: Hawai'i at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: Oregon at Arizona St.

ESPN3 or local TV
Toledo at Miami (FL)
Army at Tulane
New Mexico at Tulsa
Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
Ohio at Eastern Michigan
FAU at Buffalo
Wagner at Western Michigan
UTEP at New Mexico St. (AggieVision ??)
UTSA at Texas St. (local TV in San Antonio & Austin ??)
Wake Forest at Appalachian St.
Idaho at South Alabama
Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina
Akron at Troy

Friday, September 8, 2017

Notes on ACC, A-10. Big Ten & MAC MBK TV Schedule Releases

Some random stuff I picked out while combing through the TV schedules.

ACC
Atlantic 10
Big Ten
MAC

* Call this a bit of homerism, but I'm slightly surprised that FOX allowed CBS to take Syracuse at Georgetown, regardless of how big a rebuild the Hoyas are in for.  I don't know if CBS gets the ability to pick games off the top from FOX and FOX pushed them this one instead of, say, Duke at St. John's as Duke is much more of a national draw.

Per Jon Rothstein, the Big East schedule should be out next week, so we'll see at that time the other Big East games they've received to air on CBS & CBS Sports Network.

* NBCSN went in on four Atlantic 10 non-conference games after not selecting any last year.  With that said, I'm checking on the counts for ESPN and CBS Sports Network as they don't match the number of games announced.

You'll notice that Stadium was not announced as a TV partner, but that the conference talked about additional regional & local TV announcements forthcoming.  When this round of TV partners were set in 2012, it was noted that NBC Sports regional networks would have some level of commitment to carry games from member schools.  Nine schools reside in areas covered by NBC Sports RSNs.

* The Big Ten release did not have any information about TV for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge nor the Gavitt Games vs. the Big East, but the ACC's release did carry the info.  I assume that the Big East's TV release would have Gavitt Games information.  Maybe.  Possibly.

* Also missing from the Big Ten release: Wildcard windows for CBS and BTN.  I don't know if its because of the compressed schedule for 2018, but all games were slotted to a specific date and TV network, with a handful of games awaiting tip times either based on the NFL or other programming.

* Besides a decent number of Monday & Friday Big Ten games during conference play, five Thursday & four Sunday night windows were also secured by FS1.  Those games could being paired with Pac-12 games, particularly the Thursday night games.  One Sunday window will likely be paired against the Phoenix NHRA event (February 25th).

* The MAC release had seven CBS Sports Network and two ESPN telecast windows.   I assume that each network will have a handful of wildcard windows later in the season.

The conference semifinals are once again on CBS Sports Network and it will be interesting to see where the semifinals, along with C-USA's semifinals are slotted in on the network.  Last year, the Mountain West semifinals were moved back an hour, but the 2018 schedule has them returning to their traditional 9pm & 11:30pm ET starts, which could move the MAC or C-USA semis to start at 4:30pm ET & someone (maybe the MAC) to have semifinals start at noon ET on a Friday.  Yuck.

* The first Duke-North Carolina meeting has been scheduled as a Thursday night game for the second consecutive year.  The ACC will again fill ESPN's open NBA Wednesday night in February during the NBA All Star break with the same four schools from 2017 (Duke, Louisville, North Carolina & Syracuse) in diffrerent matchups: North Carolina-Syracuse & Duke-Louisville

* Potentially a side effect of the loss of several Big Ten games to FOX and changes to the SEC schedule appear to have left ESPN with an opening for women's basketball on Thursday nights.  Per ESPN MediaZone, each Thursday night in January there will be a women's basketball game on ESPN.  I can't say whether this will extend to February, but this is in addition to the Big Monday ESPN2 slot.