* Housekeeping: If there are updates after July 1st, I probably won't be picking them up until after July 13th. Going to try to take some time off.
* The Big Ten remains the only holdout for their early season television schedule. Per a Scott Dochtermann article quoted in a previous post, July 1st still appears to be a date that ESPN and BTN must submit their selections.
BTN has struck a deal with Comcast to get the channel in more homes in the NY tri-state area plus Maryland & Washington, DC, so if negotiations with Comcast were holding up the announcement, that is no longer an issue.
ESPN MediaZone currently shows openings at 12pm on ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS, plus the second half of a ABC/ESPN2 reverse mirror at 3:30pm and another ESPNEWS game at 4pm. If the Big Ten doesn't fill all of these slots, you could see games that were set as ESPN3 exclusives earn an upgrade.
Navy at Temple also appears to be waiting for the Big Ten decisions to be made.
* The quiet around when the Big Ten early season selections is interesting. You may know that their ESPN rights agreement ends after the 2016-17 athletic. I have no basis in fact for this one, no behind the scenes knowledge: What if ESPN were proactively trying to extend the Big Ten rights?
It has happened when Big 12 rights were reconfigured in 2012 as the ESPN agreement was extended beyond the 2015-16 athletic year so that it would end at the same time as FOX's agreement. The Mountain West had its rights reconfigured to allow for the ESPN package and the changes tacked on years to their CBS agreement. If you are not aware, the International Olympic Committee extended NBC's agreement into the 2030s this spring. NBC's original agreement was for four Olympic games through 2020.
Just a thought. Probably not happening. The Big Ten isn't making any waves yet about what it wants to do with its next rights agreement, unlike when the Pac-12 went to the market.
* The Mountain West announced three extra national TV selections, along with a time change on the Washington at Hawai'i game to accommodate one of the added games. I was curious as to how & why both ESPN and CBS Sports Network could add games since they had each selected 22 games, which to my understanding was the maximum both parties could select. And 22 is the max, but at the same time it isn't.
As it was explained to me, both CBSSN and ESPN take their 22 game packages. After ROOT Sports and Campus Insiders select games for their packages, CBSSN and ESPN can come back and select two more games each if they want to pick up any extra games. CBSSN is limited by being a single screen channel compared to ESPN, particularly ESPN3, so it is more likely that ESPN would pick up extra games.
This does make some sense. Late last summer, a pair of early season MW games were selected to air on ESPN3 after all other TV packages were set. The two games took ESPN's count up to 25, but one of the games was a sublicensed game from CBSSN, so after accounting for that game, ESPN aired 24 games that they owned.
* I was looking over Chris Dobbertean's Blogging the Bracket the other day as I was applying some updates to the men's basketball TV as he has a list of the early season exempt events. One of the events that caught my eye was the Corpus Christi Challenge, specifically Bradley's inclusion as they will be in an event at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas before Christmas. I *think* that would exclude them from appearing in the CCC.
After thinking about it more, I'm not sure if the Corpus Christi Challenge will be played this year. I can see the event being replaced in the CBSSN lineup by the Emerald Coast Classic, which happens to be set for the same dates that the CCC would fill. The ECC may or may not be looking for a TV partner, but CBSSN could be available, though the Corpus Christi Challenge was listed as an event in a recent press release.
* I have been told that the Ivy League and NBC have not extended their rights agreement. Could mean they are negotiating a completely new deal with NBC. Could also mean that the conference is looking elsewhere. One thing about the Ivy League: It isn't a conference that needs the money. They do just fine financially.
NBC may be strapped for space on Saturdays for Ivy football, with NASCAR coming in next year alongside existing Formula 1 and Barclays Premier League coverage. I left IndyCar off the list as the compressed schedule doesn't put them in conflict with the fall season. Could also be the case for their basketball after January as the conference is a Friday-Saturday scheduled conference for the most part.
* July 1st is the first day of the NCAA athletic year. Some conference & school athletic websites will be changing hosts. If you have bookmarks you might need to replace them. A big push for a lot of schools is to make their sites responsive so that they can be viewed on computers, phones & tablets. If you aren't aware of what responsive design is, here's a Mashable article about it. CBS College Network, now under the CBS Interactive banner, was a little behind in this area. It chose to create separate mobile templates that weren't always as usable or didn't carry the same content. Because of that some schools were choosing hosting from Sidearm Sports, Presto Sports and Neulion which had solid mobile platforms.