Sunday, July 22, 2012

A few thoughts on Penn St. and possible sanctions

1) I don't expect any changes to the 2012 schedule. Much like when USC was sanctioned and it included the possibility of cancellation of the game at Hawai'i, I think the existing 2012 games, particularly the out of conference games remain intact.

2) I don't think 2013 is a guarantee though. I could see PSU being limited to Big Ten games only, like Baylor basketball.  It would allow the Big Ten to maintain a conference championship game and limit any rebates that ESPN might seek.

3) I think it's a certainty that bowl opportunities will be lost. What some fail to realize is that would trigger the ability for football players to freely transfer without sitting out a year. So the NCAA doesn't have to give out an extra year to those kids. 

I remember in the "30 for 30" documentary on SMU that once players were given the green light to transfer, their campus became a recruiting ground for other schools. I don't know if timing of this announcement lessens that possibility in State College.

4) If they do shut it down for a year, scholarships must be honored if a player elects not to transfer, in my opinion. If the kid decides to continue to pursue his degree, don't penalize him for that.

5) Tomorrow will be a dark day for college athletics. I hope no one takes any enjoyment out of the possible sanctions. What we know is that some will not find the sanctions handed down enough and others will find then too harsh.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Early Big 12 Kick Times

Big 12 kick times are coming out without TV info.  All times ET.  Editing as more come out.
Big 12 now has listings on their site:

This might be how the TV stuff shakes out
9/1 Tulsa-Iowa St. (FSN, 12pm) - Move App St.-ECU to 3:30pm
9/1 Marshall-WVU (F/X, 12pm) - confirmed through C-USA media guide
9/1 Wyoming-Texas (ABC, 3:30pm) - Seems like they might be trying to figure out what to do with this one

9/8 Miami (FL)-KState (F/X, 12pm)

9/8 Rice-Kansas (FSN, 3:30pm) - confirmed through C-USA media guide
9/8 FAMU-OU (Sooner, 7pm)
9/8 UNM-TX (LHN, 8pm)

9/15 ULL-OKSt (FSN or F/X, 12pm)

9/15 TCU-KU (FSN or F/X, 12pm)
9/15 JMU-WVU (MSNSportsNet, 4:30pm)
9/15 UNT-KSt or UNM-TT (FSN, 7pm)

TV news re: SEC media days, Big 12 & C-USA

  • SEC kickoff times were announced on Monday morning.  Here's a few things that were interesting about the announcement
    • To alleviate the glut of games, coupled with the limitations for institutional games and available TV windows, the SEC Network syndication package has a doubleheader on 9/8.  From what I've been told, the SEC requested a few years ago that ESPN discontinue the practice of multiple games in the same telecast windows for the syndication package.  9/8 also happens to be one of the two weeks where CBS doesn't have an SEC telecast.
    • From what some folks have informed me, the CSS and FSN regional cable packages will not have an increased number of telecasts at this time.  So ESPN will have the burden of filling as many slots as possible.  And exclusivity with CBS still exists at 3:30pm and 8pm.
    • When the Idaho-LSU game came out as a PPV game prior to the complete telecast list, a few folks were surprised since the Towson game on 9/29 would be a logical choice for PPV.  And it is a logical choice.  The difference is that 9/29 only has five SEC home games where 9/15 had ten games to fit in several telecast windows.
    • It has been explained to me, and trying to get additional verification, that if you only have six home games, you may not be guaranteed an institutional game.  If that holds true, neither Texas A&M nor Vanderbilt would be guaranteed a local/PPV game.  If I were a TV partner, Texas A&M scheduling two home games vs. FCS competition would not please me if I had to televise both.
    • And Project X...its being worked on.  It will be a reality sooner than later.
  • FOX College Sports took on seven C-USA games last week
    • These are not part of the existing contract with FOX for twenty games on FSN, F/X or FOX
    • My feeling is that FOX College Sports may not have many, if any, Big 12 games, so C-USA will fill that void
    • I'm not aware if FOX will pick up any other games along the way.  There's a few other games out there, but may be part of the C-USA Digital Network managed through the website hosting for C-USA provided by CBS College.
  • Big 12 kickoff times should come out on Monday or Tuesday as part of the conference's media day
    • Two were leaked via Conference USA recently.  Tulsa-Iowa St. on FSN with a time TBA on 9/1 and Rice-Kansas at 3:30pm on 9/8, also on FSN
    • The C-USA media guide also gives away that Marshall-WVU would air at 12pm ET on F/X.
    • One person mentioned to me that Texas and/or ESPN may be considering only airing one Texas football game this upcoming year on Longhorn Network, and that may have been the holdup.  Presumably they would be choosing either the Wyoming or New Mexico game.  With the ESPN slots all full for the 1st three weeks, ABC might have to carry one of the two games on a regional basis.
    • Indirectly, any discussion one of the 1st two Texas games airing on ABC would affect who televises Miami (FL)-Kansas St.  If they took the Wyoming game for the LHN game, ABC might try to televise Miami-KSt. regionally on ABC.
    • I don't know if there is any residual affect to FOX possibly televising Big 12 games if LHN televises only the one Texas game that they are allotted under the existing Big 12 contract rules.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Site Administration re: WatchESPN

If you take a look at the site, you'll see that I've added the Watch ESPN link and logo.  I've also kept up the ESPN3 logo on the site for the time being.  Here's why:

WatchESPN and ESPN3, which when you type them into a browser resolve to the same website, are functionally different.  WatchESPN generally refers the ability to watch the 24/7 networks online or via smartphone.  ESPN3 on the other hand is an internet exclusive network and does not have a true TV component to it.  

WatchESPN much like ESPN3 is tied to the service provider, but WatchESPN is tied to pay TV subscription, where ESPN3 is tied to your internet service provider.

The big difference when it comes to the two products, right now, is that ESPN3 does not show games from ESPNU, which is why those games only have the WatchESPN logo.

The WatchESPN logo will replace the Mobile ESPN logo put on the site in prior years.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What's the holdup in the Big 12/ESPN/FOX contract?

Watch, it will get announced this afternoon after I write this...

Anyways, Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News mentioned a possible hangup in the finalization of the Big 12 deals with ESPN and FOX.  One could revolve around Texas.  And no, before you get all up in arms that its Texas causing the problem, its probably not the case.

As part of the existing Big 12 contract, no team can appear on ABC more than six times in a season.  Virtually all conferences have some form of exposure limit and its two-fold:

  • A team isn't overexposed or dominates all of the appearances for a conference
  • It provides some value to the secondary rightsholder that they'll have opportunities to select games from the top tier teams of a conference.
When the Longhorn Network came into being and FOX gave ESPN the ability to take a 2nd game for the network, it was mentioned that all LHN games involving Texas would come out of ABC's appearance count for the season.  By proxy, that means an appearance on LHN counts as Texas appearing on ABC.  We saw that late in 2011 when the Texas-Kansas St. came up for telecast selection.  Texas had its games against Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas A&M preselected for ABC & ESPN, respectively (the UT-TAMU game, when aired on ESPN, counted as part of the ABC deal, a quirk of the TV deal), plus the Rice & Kansas games on LHN and Oklahoma St. game on ABC.  That left ABC with its maximum of Texas games as part of the Big 12 deal.  F/X became the beneficiary of those choices and was able to take the Kansas St. game.

Note: Texas's home game vs. BYU on ESPN2 was a game sublicensed from FOX.  It would not count towards ESPN's count.

So, we get to 2012 and, ESPN may have boxed itself in with respect to Texas again.  It has been rumored that up to three Texas games could air on LHN.  Let's say the Wyoming & New Mexico games, plus a conference game.  Now tack on the Oklahoma game which has already been selected for an ABC telecast.  And then there's the TCU game, which ESPN seems to have a hold on for its Thanksgiving night telecast.  And we're back to where we were in 2011 where ESPN can only choose one more Big 12 game for its telecast package.  

To get to my point, it would not surprise me that ESPN may be requesting some relief when it comes to selecting Texas games.  Maybe an extra appearance in exchange for FOX taking more Big 12 games for their over the air network (LHN is Texas's institutional network, so one of the games theoretically should be exempt from national rights agreements and ABC appearance count), or that FOX can make a priority pick for another game during the season.  I would have thought that ABC would be the destination for the Notre Dame-Oklahoma game on 10/27, particularly because FOX only have one window on their broadcast network, but negotiations are an uneasy peace at times.  ND-Oklahoma would be a helluva lead in to FOX's World Series coverage that night.