BYU, Independence and TV
BYU is going have roughly four games on ESPN networks and we know of eleven of the Cougars twelve (or thirteen) games going in to 2011
Utah St. (Friday)
New Mexico St.
San Jose St.
Based on the UCF game being on a Friday, my sense is that ESPN/ESPN2 will pick up that game, plus the Utah game. After that, pickings are slim. The four WAC teams are more suited for BYUtv or ESPNU. ESPN could be working with the Cougars to secure a decent opponent to give ESPN a third worthwhile game to pick up.
BYU also has a game at Hawai'i and they can pick up a 13th game if they choose. That game must be a home game.
As for the road games (Louisiana Tech, Hawai'i, Texas, Oregon St., Ole Miss), I expect at least three of those games to be available for telecast (Texas, Ole Miss and Hawai'i).
As for BYUtv, I've read a great deal about the HD truck they have. As of this time, I'm not sure if BYUtv has televised anything in HD. DirecTV does not carry an HD feed. Also, BYUtv is a public interest channel and, to my knowledge, receives no carriage fees from cable/satellite companies as carrying the channel, as a PI channel, fills a requirement for these systems. BYU will make more money per season, we know that. We also know they'll get some form of monetary compensation from the WCC deal, whatever amount that is.
Still no word on an ESPN contract, though the conference, as of 9:50am ET on 11/30, seems pretty stable. Then again, the TCU announcement hit around this time with a press conference mere hours later.
C-USA still has a championship game to offer, but ESPN may be waiting for a UCF, Houston or SMU domino to fall before making any offers to the conference. There's been talk of a C-USA/MWC type agreement, but what that agreement entails between the two conferences is unclear. They are both joined at the hip with CBS College Sports as a TV partner.
When the MWC split from the WAC in 1999, they left a conference that could, at least, try to get TV deal with Fox Sports Net, even if it was a profit-sharing deal that from some accounts made the conference no money at all. After rising up from that low point, they got to a place where they had $4 million per year coming in from ESPN and committments for more football and basketball.
Feels like we're at the same place. The WAC, this time, is being picked clean and the reinforcements are having to come from the championship subdivision. This one is going to be much harder to survive and some schools might need some convincing to hold this thing together. The remaining WAC members might as well be Sun Belt West and outside of San Jose St., some of these schools participated in the SBC (Idaho, Utah St., New Mexico St., La. Tech, incoming member Denver is currently a SBC member).
The thought of those four joining up with the Sun Belt has crossed my mind. At least Louisiana Tech, Utah St. and Denver. Would give them twelve football members once South Alabama football comes into the fold. Fourteen basketball members too. But with the Sun Belt, a conference with a tiny budget compared to the Big East, geography matters more.
Either way, the WAC is going to suffer from a TV perspective, both monitarily and getting on TV, in 2012.
Great summary done on the NCAA tournament by SportsVideo.org. They've detailed key items on how Turner and CBS will coexist with respect to showing scores, directing viewers to close games, look-n-feel type items like graphics and how Turner is going to expand on March Madness On Demand with web-based programming and the celebration of National Bracket Day.