Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Red River Shootout in Primetime?

The Red River Shootout is one of the penultimate games on the college football schedule. It has often decided the Big 12 South and sometimes foretold the BCS rep for the Big 12. It often is played at high noon ET or CT but has been played as late as 3:30pm. It also has been the sole game ABC has aired during the time slot it has been played.

Could it be moving to prime time? The Cotton Bowl stadium does have lights, but the two schools have often shied away from playing the game at night. I think we could see a Red River Shootout at night and here's a few key indicators:

1) The FSN schedule for the Big 12 has their telecasts on that date at 12:30pm and 4:30pm. 4:30pm is scheduled for Georgia at Colorado. Typically the Red River Shootout has been played in an exclusive window and FSN does not televise against it, though there are exceptions. For example, Kansas-Kansas St. aired opposite the game on FSN in 2005.


Either way, with FSN doing a 4:30pm game, ABC likely isn't doing a 3:30pm ET start and probably won't coexist with the FSN games. 4:30pm plus 3.5 hours = 8pm. Seems to make some sense.

2) A second indicator is the release of the MAC's regional TV schedule on ESPN Plus. Ohio at Eastern Michigan has been scheduled for a 12pm kickoff. Many of the ESPN Plus affiliates who carry these games are ABC affiliates, as in prior seasons the Cleveland and Detroit affiliates have picked up the MAC package. During the three years that the MAC has had the ESPN Plus syndication package, twice the Red River game has aired at 12pm on ABC and the MAC package has skipped that Saturday.

Now the SEC and Big East packages have aired games during the same time slot, so maybe item #2 means absolutely nothing. Item #1 seems to be a strong indicator when paired with #2 because ABC generally does not coexist with FSN. It would also be surprising that a Red River game would be at 12pm because it would leave the evening Big 12 slot empty (FSN is not planning to do a PAC-10 or Big 12 game that evening).

But its worth keeping an eye on...

4 comments:

youknowrobby said...

"Either way, with FSN doing a 4:30pm game, ABC likely isn't doing a 3:30pm ET start and probably won't coexist with the FSN games. 4:30pm plus 3.5 hours = 8pm. Seems to make some sense."

I'm curious about this comment. You have Texas/OU listed with a 3:30 ABC start. No possible 11am C National start? Prime time 7pm C start? thanks, Robby

Matt said...

Hi Robby. When I wrote the article the OU- UT time was not decided. Since then FSN has moved the Georgia- Colorado game to 7pm.

youknowrobby said...

Any chance the 2:30 KO will be national? I'm curious, both the UT and OU official sports sites still have TBA listed by the start time. thanks, for your time, Robby

Matt said...

No Pac-10 game at 3:30pm, but ACC and Big Ten are likely.