I bring this up because some television contracts, specifically the Big 12 and possibly others I am not aware of, had clauses in their TV contracts regarding neutral site games that occurred within the conference's footprint. This goes back to a neutral site between Baylor and Notre Dame that was being planned for Arlington. The problem was that because the game was being played in Texas, ESPN enforced a clause in their TV deal with the Big 12.
From The Times-Picayune
The Notre Dame-Baylor game originally was to have been played at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as a Notre Dame home game. But the ESPN contract with the Big 12 precludes any nationally televised game within the league's seven-state footprint being aired on any other network, and NBC would have had the rights to the game, thus forcing the move to another site.TV contracts and networks can often be flexible or have what I'll term as negotiable points or selective enforcement. We saw it last season with the Pac-12 where FOX didn't meet its commitment for broadcast network telecasts. Anyways, back to the subject. There have been 13 of these games part of these three events. So if we were to use the competing teams, the channel showing the game and the location of the game, how many could be attached to a conference's TV deal?
2008 Chick-Fil-A: Alabama vs. Clemson
2009 Chick-Fil-A: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama
2010 Chick-Fil-A: LSU vs. North Carolina
The first three instances of the Chick-Fil-A Classic aired on ABC. If we use that as the primary indicator, all three of these would be part of the ACC television contract.
2012 Chick-Fil-A I: NC State vs. Tennessee
2012 Chick-Fil-A II: Clemson vs. Auburn
2013 Chick-Fil-A: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama
2013 Cowboys: LSU vs. TCU
These four games aired on ESPN or ESPNU. With all four of these games, both competing teams were within their conference footprint and the network airing the game had rights to both conferences. To me, it is not really possible to tell whose TV contract the game falls under.
2009 Cowboys: BYU vs. Oklahoma
The game was played within the Big 12 conference footprint and while it aired on ESPN at a time when they did not have rights to air Big 12 games, ESPN and FOX Sports had a sublicense agreement in place for Big 12 games to air on ESPN or ESPN2. It could be argued that this game fell under the sublicensing agreement.
2010 Cowboys: TCU vs. Oregon St.
When I look at the Pac-12's contract total for 2010 on ABC/ESPN, this game did not count towards their total as they had twenty other games as part of that contract. From what I was told, the Mountain West and their TV partners granted TCU a waiver for this game to air on ESPN.
The Mountain West may have had a loophole regarding neutral site events that BYU previously exposed for a basketball game vs. Michigan St. that was played in Salt Lake City. The game was originally selected by Versus but in the week leading up to the game, it was moved over to BYUtv. One of the beliefs was that the Mountain West TV contracts were either narrowly defined to only cover events at the schools' designated home sites or did not include any provisions re: conference footprint.
So the possibility of granting a waiver for a game to another TV outlet may have been a compromise.
2011 Cowboys: Oregon vs. LSU
Neither conference could claim Texas as part of their conference footprint in 2011, so it is truly neutral.
2012 Cowboys: Alabama vs. Michigan
This one aired on ABC, which if we were to take into account the SEC's conference footprint, should not have been allowed since the state of Texas became part of the footprint in 2012 with the addition of Texas A&M. Maybe this game was granted a waiver to air on ABC since the game was likely organized before Texas A&M was added, but I really don't know.
2011 Chick-Fil-A: Boise St. vs. Georgia
This one aired on ESPN and Georgia was playing in Atlanta, so a reasonable conclusion could be drawn that this could count towards the SEC TV contract.
2013 Texas: Mississippi St. vs. Oklahoma St.
The game aired on ABC, so it theoretically eliminates the SEC TV contract. Also includes a Big 12 team whose games could air on ABC. When you also tack on that the ESPN portion of the Big 12 TV contract is a game or two light (19 games at a maximum, but I only count 17), this one could be tacked on to the Big 12. You might also count LSU-TCU from Arlington as well for the Big 12 too in that scenario.
These games really drive me nuts and why I really have tried to get a hold of schools, conferences, networks to make sure my own record keeping is accurate, but it isn't perfect. Conference footprints are now so wide and sometimes disjointed and not contiguous, so they aren't nearly as good an indicator for a TV contract as they used to be. They are a bit of a relic from contracts that are starting to be renegotiated.