Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FOX Sports 2 & Distribution for College Sports

Going back through a few items, some related to the Big Ten rights negotiations upcoming in the next year.  The rights that are housed in BTN aren't up for negotiation, but the rest will be and there is the belief that FOX will be active in acquiring a portion of the rights they currently don't have.

Besides the college football that FOX Sports 1 already carries, there is also MLB, NASCAR and UFC that the network carries on Saturdays, so it is rare for the network to have just college football shown on a particular Saturday.  So the focus comes to FOX Sports 2, which doesn't have the distribution number that FS1 has.  Typically FS2 is on a different tier from FS1 or it might not be carried at all.  FS2 was subscribed to in around 33-37 million homes coming into the year compared to around 85-90 million for FS1, so there is a big gap.

For the Big 12Pac-12 & C-USA content that FOX has rights to, there are differences that FOX can exploit.  These come from press releases, not actual contracts, so we don't know the exact language being specified.  Many of these press releases listed FX or FSN as well, but FS1 is more or less a direct replacement for F/X when it comes to FOX's national sports content.

It is probably easier to exploit the Big 12's and C-USA's contract provisions.  Both conferences place games on FSN and FOX College Sports.  The Big 12 has a very low minimum number of just six games on a national cable outlet, so their agreement may have been built to be flexible with a secondary outlet or FSN in mind.  C-USA's agreement may be built to be flexible.  I'm less certain about the Pac-12.

But the ability to schedule a game for a particular outlet may require FOX to guarantee a level of distribution for that channel.  Could be why FOX still puts a decent number of Big 12 & C-USA football on FSN instead of FS2.  

So I ask you - if you were a conference commissioner negotiating rights for a conference and FOX wanted to move games to a secondary outlet like FS2, what would be the minimum number of subscribing homes you could accept nationally?  Does it have to be 1-for-1 with FOX Sports 1?  Can it be closer to ESPNU (~75 million homes) or lower like CBSSN (~60 million) or BTN (~59 million)?

And this isn't saying the network can't grow from there.  Doesn't have to be a big time game either, but what is that minimum that you would accept to schedule a game over there?

Monday, October 27, 2014

MBK & CFB TV Roundup, Opinions, BS, etc.

I couldn't put together a complete post on a particular topic, so this is just random stuff.  There's conjecture and opinion sprinkled in here.

* On 11/29, there are only four SEC controlled games.  There's a CBS 3:30pm window and it could end up airing the Egg Bowl or the Iron Bowl.  No guarantees yet for either one.  What is interesting is that there are three scheduled SEC Network windows, per ESPN MediaZone.  Three, not two.

There is no men's basketball scheduled for the network that day.  No other events currently.  So, if the number of telecast windows hold up, and when running the numbers for 11/29, they might as the ACC has five games for ESPN nets after Raycom & RSN packages and the Big Ten has four games (assuming two on BTN), you won't see either the Egg Bowl or Iron Bowl on ESPN if CBS doesn't take it.  You might need the SEC Network.

* For the 11/8 football TV selections, it makes sense in some ways that FOX took, arguably, the top two Big 12 selections (Baylor at Oklahoma & Kansas St. at TCU while the Pac-12's top two games (Notre Dame at Arizona St. & Oregon at Utah) found their way to ESPN.

ESPN has used fourteen of their nineteen Big 12 selections with four weeks left.  On 12/6, with three Big 12 games, FOX does not have a broadcast TV window for the conference and FS1 has a single window at 3pm, so it would make sense that ESPN would have two games that day.  There's only one way to accomplish that realistically and that is for ESPN to skip airing any Big 12 games one of these weeks.  That particular Saturday appears to be on November 8th.

* And both the Pac-12 & Big 12 appear to be intertwined by the common rightsholders of ESPN and FOX.  ESPN had six remaining Pac-12 selections to use coming into the 11/8 selections and FOX had five.  ESPN used two, FOX used one and now they are on equal ground for the rest of the season with four to use over the final three Saturdays.  The math seems to work out.

11/15 - 3 games.  Pac-12 Networks has one scheduled window at 4pm ET.  FOX & ESPN each take one game.

11/22 - 6 games. Pac-12 Networks has three telecasts scheduled at 1pm, 4:30pm and 10:30pm ET.  FOX could take a game, then ESPN could take two.  Or vice versa

11/29 - 5 games.  Pac-12 Networks has two windows at 1pm & 4:30pm.  Whomever takes two games on 11/22 takes only one on 11/29.

* Periodically, ESPN airs two games or more on ABC without 100% reverse mirror coverage for all the games.  Usually the ACC, Big 12 or American is involved in these scenarios.  The reason for that is that these three conferences don't have the requirement of their games airing "nationally" via a reverse mirror.

I can't speak for either conference, but I would suspect that if they wanted full coverage for every game, they would have had to give up something in return, possibly monetary (I know, these conferences make a lot of money already).  The Big 12, by having their rights split by FOX and ESPN, does enjoy the ability for a few extra national broadcast games via FOX.

* The Pac-12 Networks, instead of picking a specific 10pm ET / 7pm PT men's basketball game on the opening night of the season out of the five available, will show "Full Court Friday Coverage" on the national feed.  I'm interpreting this to mean they will show whiparound coverage of the five available games instead of focusing a specific game.

* Straight up got it wrong regarding my position on Big Ten rights and what is going out for bid.  Apparently everything is.
The BTN partnership is 25 years, so I guess its possible for FOX to own a network where they control none of the rights on it, but that doesn't make a lot sense.  I imagine the conference would approve of putting a handful of games that currently reside on BTN on a more widely distributed network.  Not sure if ESPN would like that, but I'm not sure it matters.  I don't see FOX getting into the game at a big scale.  I'm looking at a BTN that after the first few weeks isn't that clogged up with two or three games.

It is something I need to rethink in the offseason.

* Disregard the strike-through item.  After writing up the original item regarding the Big Ten, I found that BTN's rights are not up for negotiation.  The only rights that are up for negotiation are:
  • ESPN, which includes football & men's basketball
  • CBS, for basketball including the conference tournament semifinals and championship
  • FOX, for the football championship game
BTN is a 25 year partnership for FOX and the Big Ten and that includes the games on the network and its distribution (TV, internet, etc.).  Just try to get the correct items out there.  My apologies.

* I am curious to see the final number of Big Ten games that air across all ESPN platforms.  So far, they've had fourteen games on ABC & 29 games on ESPN platforms, which is two over their previous maximum of 41 games.  Five of the 29 have aired on ESPNEWS and that network is new to airing Big Ten football.   I had it pegged at around 44 games and they'll match that, at least, with the 11/15 selections.

* If FOX isn't tied to placing the live college sports content they own on FSN, maybe FOX Sports 2 would have a few more live events and subscribers.  Most of the Big 12 and C-USA football games that end up on FSN aren't impressive to you and me, but FSN currently has a lot of sublicensed content from the ACC tied into the next 10+ years that they can distribute to all of their RSNs and it doesn't appear that FOX can place this ACC content on FS1 or FS2.  Again, the Big 12 and C-USA stuff, plus around 18-20 Big East basketball games, isn't great content and I don't know what guarantees FOX has with its RSNs to provide college sports programming, but some of this content could be used to slowly build up FS2 while they continue to control the sublicensed ACC content for another decade, or at least until it is bought back for a possible ACC 24/7 Network.

* I'm really surprised/dumbfounded/in the dark when it comes to the MAC.  I expected the regional syndication items to fall off since they fell off for other conferences that ESPN administered syndication packages.  I am more surprised that the regional cable/sports package ended completely, at least for the moment.  In football, only Buckeye Cable Sports has picked up any games to air regionally.  For basketball, an announcement for more regional coverage is supposed to be forthcoming.  At least it was at the end of September.

CFB TV Confirmations for 11/8

The MAC games on 11/4 & 11/5 had their network designations set yesterday and can be found at the link for the week eleven schedule. 

Six day hold for two Big 12 games.  Baylor at Oklahoma & Kansas St. at TCU will air on FOX platforms.  One at 12pm on FS1, the other at 7:30pm on FOX.

12pm ESPN: Georgia at Kentucky
12pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Iowa at Minnesota
12pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Wisconsin at Purdue
12pm FSN: UTSA at Rice
12pm CBSSN: SMU at Tulsa
12pm BTN: Penn St. at Indiana
12pm SEC: Presbyterian at Ole Miss
12:30pm ACC Network or RSNs: Georgia Tech at NC State
12:30pm ACC Network or RSNs: Duke at Syracuse
3pm ESPN3: Georgia St. at Troy
3pm ESPN3: South Alabama at Arkansas St.
3:30pm ABC: Notre Dame at Arizona St.
3:30pm ESPN2: Michigan at Northwestern
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Auburn

3:30pm FS1: West Virginia at Texas
3:30pm ESPNU: Tulane at Houston
3:30pm FSN: Iowa St. at Kansas
3:30pm ESPN3: UL-Monroe at Appalachian St.
4pm SEC: UT Martin at Mississippi St.
4pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Oregon St.
4pm ESPN3: Georgia Southern at Texas St.
6:30pm ESPN: Virginia at Florida St.
7pm FS1: UCLA at Washington
7pm ESPNU: Hawai'i at Colorado St.
7:15pm ESPN2: Louisville at Boston College
7:30pm SEC: Florida at Vanderbilt
8pm CBS: Alabama at LSU
8pm Pac-12: Colorado at Arizona
10pm ESPN: Oregon at Utah

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week Eleven CFB TV Guesses (11/4 - 11/8)

Games currently set for kickoff
Available TV Windows

* I believe that ESPN has to honor CBS exclusivity for both 3:30pm & 8pm for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, but not SEC Network.  ESPN has been regularly sticking in conference games during CBS's 3:30pm window, so the "least desirable" game opposite CBS's SEC game isn't happening and probably isn't going to happen here.  Florida at Vanderbilt will likely be competing with one of CBS's games.

* Two flex windows for the MAC.  Weeknight #MACtion is back.

* Almost felt like doing two or three versions of this schedule.  One where ESPN has the top Big 12 choice & FOX has top for the Pac-12, and vice versa.  Right now I'm assuming FOX preselected the Notre Dame at Arizona St. game before the season started.  My logic behind this is that ESPN and FOX would split the two available games in the Pac-12 with Notre Dame as the road team.  The other game, at USC on 11/29, is typically at 8pm ET.  FOX doesn't have a broadcast window on 11/29 in the evening, just a FS1 window.

  • If the Pac-12 Networks window at 8pm could be moved to 10pm or 10:30pm ET and Pac-12's top choice went to FOX, I think you would see Notre Dame at Arizona St. on FOX at 7:30pm and Baylor at Oklahoma on FS1 at 3:30pm.
  • If ESPN has the top Pac-12 choice, I think the game remains at 3:30pm ET and airs nationally on ABC.  I believe ESPN will only have one Pac-12 Saturday game this week, so I believe they would lose out on Oregon at Utah to do so and that game moves over to FOX to air.  Virginia at Florida St. could move to 7pm on ESPN and Iowa at Minnesota at 3:30pm on ESPN2.  If ESPN carries two Pac-12 games and keeps Oregon at Utah, Kansas St. at TCU could slide over to FOX with Virginia at FSU at 12pm on ESPN & Iowa at Minnesota on ESPN2 at 3:30pm.
The massive roadblock is that when the Pac-12 Networks airs a game in east coast primetime, a broadcast network cannot.  A cable net can, however, air a concurrent game.

* I believe that Ohio St. at Michigan St. will be full national on ABC.  Could consider a reverse mirror at 8pm, if they were to move the 7pm ESPN window back one hour.  If they could air the Oregon at Utah on ABC as a reverse mirror, it might count for their required Pac-12 primetime game, though I think you'll see one in a couple weeks, plus the possibility of Notre Dame at USC in primetime too.  I'm also unsure if that Pac-12 primetime game has to air exclusively on a broadcast network or can be split between broadcast and cable outlets depending on where you live.  Might have to be 100% on a broadcast network.

* The Big Ten Network only listed one window at 12pm so I think the Big Ten is going to have a 3:30pm game on ESPNU.

* There are a couple Sun Belt games that could have teams with winning records matched against each other, but I believe they'll be ESPN3 exclusives and not on ESPNEWS.  Because I have Hawai'i at Colorado St. at 7pm on ESPNU, I removed both the 4pm ESPNEWS & 10:30pm ESPNU telecast windows.

Tuesday 11/4 at 8pm ET
Bowling Green at Akron, ESPN2
Toledo at Kent St., ESPNU

Wednesday 11/5 at 8pm ET
Northern Illinois at Ball St., ESPN2
Buffalo at Ohio, ESPNU

12pm ESPN: Kansas St. at TCU
12pm ESPN2: Georgia at Kentucky
12pm FS1: West Virginia at Texas
12pm ESPNU: Wisconsin at Purdue
12pm ESPNEWS: Tulane at Houston
12pm FSN: Iowa St. at Kansas
12pm CBSSN: SMU at Tulsa
12pm BTN: Penn St. at Indiana
12pm SEC: Presbyterian at Ole Miss
12:30pm ACC Network: Duke at Syracuse
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Georgia Tech at NC State
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Iowa at Minnesota
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Virginia at Florida St.
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Auburn
3:30pm FS1: Notre Dame at Arizona St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Michigan at Northwestern
3:30pm FSN: UTSA at Rice
4pm SEC: UT Martin at Mississippi St.
4pm Pac-12: Colorado at Arizona
7pm ESPN: Oregon at Utah
7pm ESPN2: Louisville at Boston College
7pm FS1: UCLA at Washington
7pm ESPNU: Hawai'i at Colorado St.
7:30pm FOX: Baylor at Oklahoma
7:30pm SEC: Florida at Vanderbilt
8pm CBS: Alabama at LSU
8pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Oregon St.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Six day guesses for 11/1

Since there are enough games to make this worthwhile, here's a guess for 11/1.  This assumes the schools in bold win using today's daily lines.  Yes, I know WVU-Oklahoma St. is nearly a pick 'em.

12pm ESPN: Wisconsin at Rutgers
12pm ESPN2: Northwestern at Iowa
12pm FS1: Oklahoma at Iowa St.
12pm BTN: Maryland at Penn St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: TCU at West Virginia
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Purdue at Nebraska
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Michigan
7pm ESPN: Auburn at Ole Miss
7:15pm ESPN2: Arkansas at Mississippi St.
7:30pm FS1: Texas at Texas Tech
8pm ABC Regional: Kansas St. at Oklahoma St.

I also realize it is a strange reward for Kansas St. & Oklahoma St. to both win, but get slotted into a time where the game will be shown on ESPN3 or GamePlan to much of the country.  I gave TCU the benefit of likely coming out of the 10/25 games ahead of Kansas St., so it gets the reverse mirror "national" treatment.

If ESPN doesn't have the top two Big 12 choices (they might not, I really don't know the order), flip flop Oklahoma-Iowa St. & Kansas St. at Oklahoma St.  As for Texas at Texas Tech at 7:30pm, don't assume it is going their because its a more desirable timeslot.  Game could get covered up rather easily with other games at the same time.

For the SEC games, assuming all four favorites win, ESPN will pick Auburn-Ole Miss.  Shouldn't have that one on ESPN2.

Big Ten is rather muddy.  Went with what should be the highest ranked assuming favorites for ABC at 3:30pm.  After that, assumed Wisconsin at Rutgers will be the highest win total for two teams.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Considerations for the Rest of 2014 CFB on TV

Just going through existing TV windows and announcements, along with future weeks.

* If you were CBS, would you still have your SEC primetime doubleheader on November 8th?  Look at your other choices (lets eliminate the two games vs. FCS competition):

Texas A&M at Auburn
Georgia at Kentucky
Florida at Vanderbilt

Its a virtual lock that Alabama-LSU is on CBS, and I suppose they'll make a decision based on the higher ranked school for the other (currently Auburn), but if you had a doubleheader with the Egg Bowl and Iron Bowl on 11/29, would anyone change the channel for anything else?

I imagine CBS has to declare their primetime doubleheader in advance so that ESPN can prepare because I assume they have to put all of their ESPN/2/U selections in a different window.

* Ohio St. at Michigan St. is on ABC on 11/8 and it is assumed to be full national, though Big Ten selections on 11/1 don't guarantee that, so I assume (?) Notre Dame at Arizona St. is on a FOX property.  Could air on ABC or ESPN too, but I'm 100% sold on it airing in primetime.  I could see it airing on FS1 or ABC in the mid afternoon.   Pac-12 Networks say they'll have games on at 4pm & 8pm ET respectively, but we know those can change, so that would seem to indicate that neither ABC nor FOX will have a Pac-12 game in primetime.  Pac-12 Networks can air games at the same time as ABC or FOX in the early TV window.

However, Pac-12 Networks will air one more game on 11/1 than tentative windows indicated, so it is possible that they took a window from another week.  Maybe from 11/8 to clear the primetime space.

* By FOX airing Stanford at Oregon on 11/1, they will have met the required conditions of eight Pac-12 games on their broadcast network, counting the Black Friday airing of the Territorial Cup along with the requirement of four games in east coast primetime.  ABC is required to air one Pac-12 game in primetime before the end of the season.

FOX has five remaining Pac-12 selections with eight games on FOX broadcast & nine games on FOX cable outlets.  ESPN has six selections left with three games on ABC (national or reverse mirror) and thirteen on ESPN cable platforms.  One Arizona St. game must air on Pac-12 Networks, probably either the Oregon St. or Washington St. game.  By Pac-12 Networks selecting USC at Washington St. on 11/1, the rest of USC's schedule is available for both FOX and ESPN.

* FOX Sports 1 is going to try to shoehorn in four games on 11/1 with a Big 12 tripleheader followed by Utah at Arizona St. at 11pm ET.  The addition of the four hour TV window at 12pm ET was done, it appears, by taking one of the windows from FSN and moving the NASCAR programming that FS1 was supposed to air over to FS2.

In my opinion, if you have a four hour TV window, that's where the Kansas at Baylor game should have went with Baylor's last two games running over four hours in TV time.  Then again, Kansas will probably not score as much as TCU and West Virginia did.

* ESPN did some TV window juggling as well.  I missed that they had dropped the 12pm window on 11/1 before this past weekend's games.  Then they dropped one of the available ESPN or ESPN2 windows as they were supposed to have a 6pm & 9pm doubleheader and decided to show Illinois at Ohio St. alongside a Big 12 game to be determined without a reverse mirror.

Regarding the lack of reverse mirror for the Big Ten, this was allowed under their current TV deal as the 3:30pm window was the only place the reverse mirror was required, but it looked like the provision was eliminated once Nebraska came on board as they didn't have a split regional window until now.  Now that the conference has fourteen schools, it is possible that a split regional window without reverse mirror had to be put back into use.  Maybe the ability to use it never went away either.

Either way, if you want to watch the game not on your ABC affiliate next week, you'll need to use ESPN3 or have ESPN GamePlan.

* With ESPN placing two Big 12 games on ABC on 11/1 (really it doesn't matter where the placed them), ESPN has used up fourteen of their nineteen Big 12 selections, leaving them with five selections, around one per week the rest of the year:
  • Seven on ABC (regardless of whether they were reverse mirrored)
  • Six on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
  • One on Longhorn Network (the Iowa St. game)
* ABC has added a 12pm ET telecast window on 11/15.  11/15 could be for Florida St. at Miami (FL) early in the afternoon if there are other games they decide to air in primetime or in the mid-afternoon.

* With Nevada at BYU airing on ESPN2 on 10/18, the UNLV at BYU game should air on ESPNU on 11/15.  The only question at this time involves the telecast window.  ESPN also has two Mountain West games in hand to place on their networks that weekend (New Mexico at Utah St. & Boise St. at San Diego St.), though ESPNEWS is an option for them.

* For the Mountain West, one of Boise St.'s final three games has to air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  Each of those Saturdays has a late evening ESPN or ESPN2 window.  11/15 on ESPN and 11/22 & 11/29 on ESPN2.  Currently the Broncos are tied with Colorado St. in the MW Mountain Division but own a victory over the Rams.

Wyoming at Fresno St. is the first Mountain West game selected in season for a Saturday broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 as Colorado St. at Boise St. was picked before the season started.  The Mountain West pays a $500K bonus per appearance off the top of their pooled TV money to a school who appears on a major network on Saturdays as part of the games under the control of their TV contract.

* Assuming FOX doesn't play around with its telecast windows on 11/15 (FSN at 2pm ET, FS1 at 3pm & 10pm, FOX at 3:30pm & 7:30pm) or open one up on FOX College Sports, either FOX or FS1 should carry a C-USA game.  FOX selected both North Texas at UTEP & Rice at Marshall.  The Thundering Herd, if they beat FAU this Saturday, could be available for an upgrade from FSN as they have an off week on 11/1 before the TV selections on 11/3 for 11/15.

* 11/1 will be the first Saturday where a Big Ten game will air on ESPN at 12pm ET.  In previous years, that telecast window seemed to be owned by the conference, but since 2012 the window has had more variety with the ACC, Big 12 and SEC appearing at that time.  On the other side of that is that 11/1 will be the tenth straight week in 2014 (10 for 10) where the Big Ten has had a game air on ESPN2 at 12pm, at least to a portion of the country as two of those Saturdays were reverse mirrors with ABC.

* FSN matched the ACC RSNs start time for 11/1 with Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech moving from its initial announced time of 12pm ET to 3pm ET.  This allows all FOX RSNs, alternate feeds and FSN affiliates, plus non-FOX RSNs carrying the ACC package, to be sent to a game at the same time.

CFB TV Confirmations for Week 11

Full Schedule
My Guesses

Big Ten is on a six day hold for 12pm & 3:30pm ET.  

Big 12 is on six day hold for several timeslots with most games.  
12pm FS1 - Texas at Texas Tech, Oklahoma at Iowa St., Oklahoma St. at Kansas St. OR TCU at West Virginia
3:30pm ABC w/ESPN2 reverse mirror - Oklahoma at Iowa St., Oklahoma St. at Kansas St. OR TCU at West Virginia
7:30pm FS1 - Texas at Texas Tech, Oklahoma at Iowa St., Oklahoma St. at Kansas St. OR TCU at West Virginia
8pm ABC - Oklahoma at Iowa St., Oklahoma St. at Kansas St. OR TCU at West Virginia

Two SEC games are officially/unofficially on six day holds (kick times are 15 minutes apart) for ESPN at 7pm or ESPN2 at 7:15pm: Arkansas at Mississippi St. & Auburn at Ole Miss

8pm ESPN2: 
8pm ESPNU: 


12pm ESPNU: Duke at Pittsburgh
12pm ESPNEWS: East Carolina at Temple
12pm SEC: UL-Monroe at Texas A&M
12pm CBSSN: UCF at Connecticut
12:30pm ACC Net (split): Boston College at Virginia Tech
12:30pm ACC Net (split): North Carolina at Miami (FL)
1pm Pac-12: Washington at Colorado
1pm ESPN3: Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan
2:30pm ESPN3: Western Michigan at Miami (OH)
3pm FSN: Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech
3pm ACC RSNs: NC State at Syracuse
3pm ESPN3: Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Virginia at Georgia Tech
3:30pm ESPN3: Georgia St. at Appalachian St.
4pm FS1: Kansas at Baylor
4pm SEC: Kentucky at Missouri
4pm ESPNEWS: Houston at USF
5pm ESPN3: South Alabama at UL-Lafayette
5pm ESPN3: Arkansas St. at Idaho
4:30pm: USC at Washington St.
7pm ESPNU: Old Dominion at Vanderbilt 
7:30pm FOX: Stanford at Oregon
7:30pm SEC: Tennessee at South Carolina
8pm ABC: Illinois at Ohio St.

10:30pm ESPN: Arizona at UCLA
10:30pm Pac-12: California at Oregon St.
10:45pm ESPN2: Wyoming at Arizona St.
11pm FS1: Utah at Arizona St.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014-15 Bowl Eligibility

Note: Idaho is not eligible due to APR. Transitioning schools will not be eligible as they are not required to help fill bowls.

I tried to count up the number of tie-ins each conference had, but with several bowls having multiple tie-ins (ie. TaxSlayer is Big Ten or ACC or Notre Dame vs. SEC), I felt that count would be inaccurate.

There are 76 slots to be filled in with two already taken by BYU and Navy.  38 games, including the two playoff semifinals.  Game 39 is the national championship game.

There are 81 bowl eligible schools.  Georgia Southern, Old Dominion & Appalachian St. have at least six wins but as transitioning schools, they would only be eligible for bowl consideration if there are not enough bowl eligible schools. 

Also, if Fresno St. loses the Mountain West title game, they remain bowl eligible at 6-7 as a conference's division champion.

2014-15 Bowl Schedule with available tie-ins

Conference Eligible Not Eligible
ACC Boston College
Florida St.
Georgia Tech
Miami (FL)
NC State
North Carolina
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
American Cincinnati
East Carolina
Big 12 Baylor
Kansas St.
Oklahoma St.

West Virginia
Iowa St.
Texas Tech
Big Ten Illinois
Michigan St.
Ohio St.
Penn St.
C-USA Louisiana Tech
Middle Tennessee
Western Kentucky
North Texas
Old Dominion
Southern Miss
Independents BYU
Notre Dame
MAC Bowling Green
Central Michigan
Northern Illinois
Western Michigan
Ball St.
Eastern Michigan
Kent St.
Miami (OH)
Mountain West Air Force
Boise St.
Colorado St.
Fresno St.
San Diego St.
Utah St.
New Mexico
San Jose St.
Pac-12 Arizona
Arizona St.
Oregon St.
Washington St.
SEC Alabama
Mississippi St.
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Texas A&M
Sun Belt Arkansas St.
South Alabama
Texas St.
Appalachian St.
Georgia St.
Georgia Southern
New Mexico St.

CFB TV Guesses for 11/1 (Week Ten)

EDITED as of 1:35pm ET on 10/19.  See changes in italicized bold.

Schedule for Week Ten
Available TV Windows

* Arguments could be made for six day holds with a lot of conferences, especially with Pac-12 & Big 12.  Pac-12 because Stanford-Oregon doesn't look nearly as good as it did in the preseason & Utah-Arizona St. & Arizona-UCLA are comparable games.  Big 12 because you have two comparable games (TCU-WVU & OKSt-Kansas St.) plus ranked Oklahoma (they'll be in the 20s I assume) and Baylor.
* ABC has a tripleheader.  EDIT: Not anymore.  Just a doubleheader
* CBS does not have a SEC selection as they selected Georgia vs. Florida before the season started. In some ways, it acts as a way for ESPN to get the better selection for the week.  I would think that if CBS had the ability to choose a game here, they'd probably take Auburn-Ole Miss, a game between two top five schools.
* FOX's game returns to a primetime slot.
* FOX Sports 1 has changed their schedule slightly if their website is to be believed (FOX still has the FAU-Marshall game next week at 7pm while its been at 3:30pm for several weeks).  Listings currently have 3pm & 7pm for the first two windows, but now lists those games at 4pm & 7:30pm with a 3:30pm pregame show.  EDIT: The reason FS1 does not have an earlier game than 3pm or 4pm is due to NASCAR coverage from Texas.
* ESPN again has its dopey three hour window at 6pm, presumably to air a SEC game, following by a 9pm game, which doesn't necessarily have to be another SEC game.  Again.  Dopey.
* Pac-12 currently has listed windows at 1pm (10am PT / 11am MT) and 4:30pm, which could be due to ESPN wanting to fulfill their requirement to air one Pac-12 game in primetime on ABC, but the current setup doesn't seem to allow for that with Illinois at Ohio St. at 8pm ET.  FOX could select a Pac-12 game though.
* USC has only been on the Pac-12 Networks once, 10/18 vs. Colorado.  With eleven of their twelve games part of the Pac-12's TV deal, I think this is the other week that both ESPN & FOX pass on them so they can have access to any game the rest of the way from the Trojans, especially since the Utah game could have an impact on the Pac-12 South.
* Wisconsin at Rutgers (12pm), Indiana at Michigan (3:30pm) and Illinois at Ohio St. (8pm) are locked into their start times.  The first two as homecoming games, the last one because it was set for primetime.
* Old Dominion let it slip a few weeks back that their road game vs. Vanderbilt would be at 7:30pm on FSN, but when looking at advance listings for several SEC-based FOX RSNs, they do not list a 7:30pm game.
* With ECU ranked, one way to get that game off of ESPNEWS would be to place it on ABC at 12pm with TCU-WVU.  Big 12 games do not require a reverse mirror.

EDIT: So I looked after I made these picks and noticed that ESPN's MediaZone no longer lists a 12pm window for 11/1.  They've added one for 11/15 as of last week.  So I decided to take a mulligan.  I moved Maryland at Penn St. to BTN from ESPN2 and TCU at West Virginia to ESPN2 from the vacated ABC 12pm slot.

8pm ESPN2: Cincinnati at Tulane
8pm ESPNU: Tulsa at Memphis

12pm ESPN: Arkansas at Mississippi St.
12pm ESPN2: TCU at West Virginia
12pm ESPNU: Duke at Pittsburgh
12pm ESPNEWS: East Carolina at Temple
12pm FSN: Texas at Texas Tech
12pm SEC: Old Dominion at Vanderbilt
12pm BTN: Maryland at Penn St.
12pm BTN: Wisconsin at Rutgers
12pm CBSSN: UCF at Connecticut
12:30pm ACC Net: North Carolina at Miami (FL)
1pm Pac-12: Washington at Colorado
3pm ACC RSNs: NC State at Syracuse
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Purdue at Nebraska
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Utah at Arizona St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Boston College at Virginia Tech
3:30pm FSN: Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Michigan
3:30pm BTN: Northwestern at Iowa
4pm FS1: Kansas at Baylor
4pm SEC: UL-Monroe at Texas A&M
4pm ESPNEWS: Houston at USF
4:30pm Pac-12: USC at Washington St.
6pm ESPN: Auburn at Ole Miss
7pm ESPN2: Kentucky at Missouri
7pm ESPNU: Virginia at Georgia Tech
7:30pm FOX: Stanford at Oregon
7:30pm FS1: Oklahoma St. at Kansas St.
7:30pm SEC: Tennessee at South Carolina
8pm ABC: Illinois at Ohio St.
9pm ESPN: Oklahoma at Iowa St.
10:30pm ESPN2: Arizona at UCLA
10:30pm ESPNU: Wyoming at Fresno St.
11pm FS1: California at Oregon St.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Breakdown of 2014-15 FOX Sports Men's Basketball Schedule

Similar to the CBS post from earlier this week, here's one on the men's basketball that FOX will carry across several platforms this upcoming season.  Will have posts on NBC and ESPN later in the month.

FOX has a ten game schedule of games they have rights to, so this is different compared to the years where you might have turned on your local FOX station to watch the ACC, Big 12, Big East or SEC regional television package of games.  This is an eight game increase from last year where FOX showed two Big East games.

The package is heavy on the Big East, with eight or nine games from the conference airing on the network.  The Pac-12 is guaranteed to have one game on the network with the possibility of a second.  Nearly every game is on a Saturday afternoon with the exception of the Duke-St. John's game on January 25th.  That game is during the off week between the NFL's conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

If you are paying attention to the schools being showcased for these games, Villanova will appear in four of the games and could appear in half of the games if their game vs. St. John's on March 7th is chosen for the flex slot at 12pm ET.  St. John's is the only other Big East school guaranteed to appear more than once on FOX.  They are currently scheduled for two appearances but could have two more games flexed in.

FOX Sports 1
FS1 will carry the bulk of games that FOX has direct rights to, exactly 140 games.  Up to 107 of the games will involve the Big East (106 guaranteed) including their conference tournament, with at least eighteen Pac-12 games (possibly nineteen) and four C-USA games including the C-USA championship game.   FS1 will also carry a pair of events from Las Vegas, the Orange Bowl Classic game between Wake Forest & Florida with a FOX Sports Florida simulcast and games involving the Big East from events at Barclays Center and the MSG Holiday Festival.

FS1 will again kick off Big East conference play with a quintuple-header on New Years Eve.  After that, there's a bit of a pattern when it comes to the weekly schedule.

Tuesday: Big East  - often a doubleheader
Wednesday: Big East - often a doubleheader
Thursday: Pac-12 - usually a single game
Saturday: Big East - often a doubleheader
Sunday: A mix of Big East and Pac-12

FOX Sports 2
Acting as FOX Sports 1's overflow channel for the second year in a row, the channel will carry seventeen Big East controlled games.  A new twist is that the channel will carry two Big East conference games late in the season as FOX adds in new NASCAR commitments.

FSN and sublicensed Big 12, ACC & SEC games
Regionally, FOX Sports Networks will carry nineteen Big East games and seven C-USA games with most of those games on the weekend.

In addition to these games, many FSN affiliated RSNs will carry at least three Big 12 conference games and a large schedule of ACC and SEC games sublicensed from ESPN (via Raycom in the case of the ACC).

Typically the SEC games are exclusive to FOX RSNs and do not make it on to the ROOT Sports RSNs or MSG Networks.  Last year the Big East games on FSN were made available in a few local markets in the conference to a FOX-owned broadcast affiliate or a deal was made with local cable (ie. Cox Cable in Rhode Island) to make sure that the Big East games were available in all of the conference's local markets as several are served by Comcast RSNs.

Several FOX RSNs & FOX affiliated RSNs such as the ROOT Sports group & MSG Networks also have deals to carry local schools or regional conferences.

Also, FOX College Sports will have one Big East game exclusively and will simulcast several regional telecasts from various FOX RSNs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Breakdown of 2014-15 CBS Sports Men's Basketball Schedule

The links by the network take you to the Google Sheets document with the games for that particular network

Besides being the over-the-air carrier of the NCAA tournament, CBS also has rights to games involving the American, Big Ten & SEC.  In addition to those conferences, CBS sublicenses games from the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12, plus the MVC & A-10 championship games, from ESPN and the Big East from FOX.

CBS is unique that they will often pay a conference based on the number of appearances while guaranteeing a minimum number of conference games.  For the conferences they have rights to:

American - 6 (two conference games, one home non-conference, one road non-conference)
Big Ten - 17 (eight conference games, one road non-conference game)
SEC - 14 (six conference games, two home non-conference)

For the conferences that they sublicense games from ESPN & FOX:

ACC - 11 (five conference games, one road non-conference game)
Big 12 - 5 (two conference games, one home non-conference game)
Big East - 3 (one conference game, one home non-conference game)
Pac-12 - 4 (two conference games)

The ACC's road non-conference appearance is from the North Carolina at Kentucky game.  The Big East's sublicensed games are part of a deal to place games on both CBS and CBS Sports Network

Two changes from the previous year
  • CBS has set up an event for themselves, called the CBS Sports Classic.  The event, similar to ESPN's Champions Classic event, will match North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio St. and UCLA in round robin matchups over a three year period.
  • The Conference USA championship, which has aired on CBS since 1996, will air on FOX Sports 1 this year.  CBS and FOX elected not to extend their sublicense of the game.
CBS typically webcasts the games they own direct rights to plus, I believe, the games sublicensed from FOX.  In the past, they have not webcast the games sublicensed from ESPN except in special circumstances such as an extended overrun from the previous game or other issues.

FOX Sports 1 gets the publicity, but CBS Sports Network might have a better mix of men's basketball and carries thirty more games.  Similar to the broadcast network, CBSSN carries a lot of sublicensed content from the American, Big East, NEC (??), OVC (??) and Southland (??) alongside the rights they control from the Atlantic 10, C-USA, Mountain West and Patriot League.  While the conferences aren't necessarily the most prestigious compared to some of the Power Five, they do provide a nice mix.

The network also handles a fair number of neutral site events with the Cancun Challenge, Corpus Christi Coastal Classic, Emerald Coast Classic (champ game only), Great Alaska Shootout and Paradise Jam.  The Veterans Classic, a new doubleheader played on the Navy campus, will also air on the network and kick off their live game schedule.  The schedule, per the Big 12 media guide, also includes the Iowa St. vs. South Carolina game on 1/3/15, though it was missing from CBS's own release.

For conference tournament action, the Atlantic 10 (semifinals), C-USA (semifinals), Mountain West (quarterfinals & semifinals) and Patriot League (semifinals & championship) will have portions of their tournaments air here.

Here's the breakdown by conference for regular season games based on the home team: 

American - 30
Atlantic 10 - 25
Big East - 18
C-USA - 8
Mountain West - 31
NEC - 2
OVC - 7
Patriot League - 12
Southland - 1

Monday, October 13, 2014

CFB TV Confirmations for 10/25

Guesses for Week Nine
Schedule for Week Nine

Note that many games are already set for 10/25.  These are the game and times being set twelve days in advance.  Will update as announcements are made.

I'm unsure if this is truly a six day pick or not, because the start times are close, but three SEC games will have their start times & network (all on ESPN platforms) set after 10/18 games.

12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Rutgers at Nebraska
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Minnesota at Illinois
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Texas at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNEWS: Memphis at SMU
12pm FSN: North Texas at Rice
12pm BTN: Maryland at Wisconsin
12pm SEC: UAB at Arkansas
12:30pm ACC Net: North Carolina at Virginia
1pm ESPN3: Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
2pm Pac-12: UCLA at Colorado
2pm ESPN3: Georgia Southern at Georgia St.
2pm ESPN3: Ohio at Western Michigan
2:30pm ESPN3: Kent St. at Miami (OH)
3:30pm FOX: Texas Tech at TCU
3:30pm CBS: Mississippi St. at Kentucky
3:30pm ABC (ESPN2 reverse mirror possible): Michigan at Michigan St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: West Virginia at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Oregon St. at Stanford
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at Wake Forest
3:30pm ESPN3: Central Michigan at Buffalo
4pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Missouri
4pm ESPNEWS: UNLV at Utah St.
5pm CBSSN: Temple at UCF
6pm Pac-12: Arizona at Washington St.
7pm ESPNU: Syracuse at Clemson
7pm ESPN3: Texas St. at UL-Monroe
8pm ABC: Ohio St. at Penn St.
10pm FS1: USC at Utah
10:45pm ESPN: Arizona St. at Washington

Sunday, October 12, 2014

FOX, the Pac-12 & NLCS scheduling - 2014 Edition

Last year, there was a bit of an issue when FOX may or may not have wanted to select UCLA-Stanford on 10/19 to show on FOX Sports 1 and the Pac-12 may have stepped in because they wanted the game shown to a wider audience, a different start time, take your pick.  It ended up being much ado about nothing when Stanford lost to Utah before the UCLA game.

The issue involved FOX's MLB postseason commitments as under their previous MLB television deal, they had to show all of their postseason games on FOX (there were some exceptions when concurrent games were shown on FX or FSN).  I mentioned that I thought this would be mitigated going into the future as FOX would have room to show postseason games on FS1, giving them a second outlet to plan around.

The problem isn't on Saturday anymore.  It moved to Thursday.  This coming Thursday to be specific with the upcoming Utah at Oregon St. game set back in June to air on FOX Sports 1.  The game was scheduled for a Thursday night back in January.  I don't know who makes the decision to place a game on a weeknight.  I would assume that both FOX and ESPN have some input in these decisions.  While I cannot find an article to cite, I believe every Pac-12 school committed to hosting a set number of weeknight games over the life of the FOX and ESPN television contracts.

Anyways, back in June that I made a bad assumption that FOX knew what its MLB postseason schedule would be and that it wouldn't conflict.  While no announcement has been made yet, because the NLCS could be a four game sweep, FOX is making plans to move Utah at Oregon St. over to FOX Sports 2 with local stations in Oregon and Utah carrying the game.  I would expect an announcement once Game Five is guaranteed to occur, which could be tonight after Game Two or as late as Wednesday evening after Game Four.

To avoid any confusion, I do believe it is best for FOX, the conference and the schools to get ahead of this.  Maybe confirm the game for FOX Sports 2 with the local market simulcast instead of an either/or scenario.  Give viewers outside of those markets time to plan to order a tier that gets FS2 if they don't already.  Let in-market know where they can find the game.  Whether that actually happens, I don't know.

I don't know if the Pac-12 holds a draft for the weeknight games and this ended up in FOX's lap or if they made a bad judgement call.  Utah will be ranked coming into the game, so there is some national significance to the game.  Also don't know if this was FOX's plan all along and the Pac-12 knew of this possibility, though if FOX wanted to push FS2,  I'm not sure if this is the game to do it.  The story goes that ESPN2 was able to get a lot of traction by airing a Duke-North Carolina men's baketball game that went to double overtime in a year where Duke was down.

As for the Pac-12 and its scheduling philosophy, this could happen again next year.  The 2015 schedule was released in mid-September and included weeknight games.  Four of those weeknight games are consecutive Thursday night games in October.  Maybe I'll get to write this post a 3rd time.

EDIT  (10/13/14) - Now that Game Five is guaranteed, a small way FOX to close the gap would be to make the game available on FOX Sports Go to FS1 subscribers, regardless of whether you subscribe to FS2 or not.  That does eliminate some providers who do not have an agreement to carry FSGo, but its one way to handle this change.

CFB TV Guesses for Week Nine (10/25/14)

Schedule for Week Nine

* Minnesota at Illinois & Maryland at Wisconsin are locked into 12pm ET starts as homecoming games.  Ohio St. at Penn St. was set for an 8pm start with the network televising the game being the only item in doubt
* Currently, BTN has a single 12pm ET window and there is an ACC RSN doubleheader at 12pm & 3:30pm.
* FOX has a 3:30pm ET game due to the World Series Game 4
* A reverse mirror for ABC/ESPN2 at 8pm is possible, depending on the game placed on ESPN2 at 8pm.  This also assumes that the ESPN2 (8pm) & ESPN (7pm & 10:30pm) evening windows are not flipped.
* I dropped the ESPNEWS 12pm window.  I was not expecting another ACC RSN doubleheader until I looked at TV listings for 10/25.
* With the SEC results of 10/11, I think you could make a case to air Mississippi St. at Kentucky on CBS.  The Wildcats are a quite 5-1.  LSU pulled out a victory at the end, and I'll give them a little more credit at the moment.

If you don't see a game listed here, please take a look at the link at the top.  Many games have their kickoff times set in advance.

12pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Kentucky
12pm ESPN2: Maryland at Wisconsin
12pm ESPNU: Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh
12pm FSN: North Texas at Rice
12pm BTN: Minnesota at Illinois
12pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Missouri
12pm ACC RSN: North Carolina at Virginia
12:30pm ACC Net: Syracuse at Clemson
3pm Pac-12: UCLA at Colorado
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Rutgers at Nebraska
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: West Virginia at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm CBS: Ole Miss at LSU
3:30pm FOX: Texas Tech at TCU
3:30pm ESPN: Michigan at Michigan St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Temple at UCF
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at Wake Forest
4pm SEC: UAB at Arkansas
4pm ESPNEWS: UNLV at Utah St.
5pm CBSSN: Memphis at SMU
7pm ESPN: Alabama at Tennessee
7pm ESPNU: Arizona at Washington St.
7pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at Stanford
7:30pm SEC: South Carolina at Auburn
8pm ABC: Ohio St. at Penn St.
8pm ESPN2: Texas at Kansas St.
10pm FS1: USC at Utah
10:30pm ESPN: Arizona St. at Washington

ESPN3 Exclusives
Akron at Ball St.
Central Michigan at Buffalo
Ohio at Western Michigan
Kent St. at Miami (OH)
Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
Massachusetts at Toledo
Georgia Southern at Georgia St.
Texas St. at UL-Monroe

Monday, October 6, 2014

CFB TV Confirmations for 10/18/14

Will update as 12 day announcements are made.

Schedule for Week Eight

12pm ESPN: Kansas St. at Oklahoma
12pm ESPN2: Iowa at Maryland
12pm FS1: Baylor at West Virginia
12pm ESPNU/ESPNEWS: Tulane at UCF
12pm ESPNU/ESPNEWS: USF at Tulsa
12pm FSN: UTSA at Louisiana Tech
12pm SEC: Furman at South Carolina
12pm BTN: Purdue at Minnesota
12pm ACC RSNs: Syracuse at Wake Forest
12:30pm ACC Network: Virginia at Duke
2pm ESPN3: Western Michigan at Bowling Green
2pm ESPN3: Akron at Ohio
3pm ESPN3: Eastern Michigan at Massachusetts
3pm ESPN3: Appalachian St. at Troy
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Alabama
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 or ESPN: Rutgers at Ohio St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 or ESPN: Michigan St. at Indiana
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: UCLA at California
3:30pm ESPNU: Clemson at Boston College
3:30pm FSN: Kansas at Texas Tech
3:30pm CBSSN: Cincinnati at SMU
3:30pm ACC RSNs: NC State at Louisville
3:30pm ESPN3: Central Michigan at Ball St.
3:30pm ESPN3: Army at Kent St.
4pm FS1: Oklahoma St. at TCU
4pm SEC: Georgia at Arkansas
5pm ESPN3: Miami (OH) at Northern Illinois
5pm ESPN3: New Mexico St. at Idaho
6pm Pac-12: Colorado at USC
7pm ESPN/ESPN2: Missouri at Florida
7pm ESPN/ESPN2: Tennessee at Ole Miss
7pm ESPNU: Georgia Tech at North Carolina
7:30pm SEC: Kentucky at LSU
7:30pm ESPN3: Georgia St. at South Alabama
8pm ABC: Notre Dame at Florida St.
8pm FS1: Washington at Oregon
10:15pm ESPN2: Nevada at BYU
10:30pm ESPN: Stanford at Arizona St.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SEC Guesses for 10/11, A Brief Rant on 3 hr CFB TV windows & CFB TV Guesses for 10/18

Quick guess on the 10/11 SEC 12 day selection based on results.  Key item re: having Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M at 6pm - if its "second best" game of these bunch, I personally wouldn't want it at 9pm because it is more likely for the start of the game to be shown online.  I will repeat this again and for the ESPN folks that do read this blog, the idea that a college football TV window can be three hours in length absolutely boggles my mind and I believe you know better.   I'm sure there is something ratings driven about it because the viewer is less likely to change the channel, etc, and that WatchESPN is in a lot of homes (let's continue to work on that DirecTV deal boys & girls), but I can tell you from my inbox, twitter feed, etc. - folks don't like having to be driven to a second screen to find a game when it should have been on the first one.  They might be a minority but they are not silent, even though a lot of us are more tech savvy than five years ago.

Really don't like being driven to a second channel subscribed to be less homes either.  Ask FOX about that this weekend with the MLB playoffs.  IMO, not completely their fault either.

I digress.  Here you go.  CBS picks first for 3:30pm, ESPN then gets two, then CBS picks the 12pm game.  Per purposes of this exercise, SEC Network got the last game left.

CBS 12pm: Georgia at Missouri
CBS 3:30pm: Auburn at Mississippi St.
ESPN 6pm: Ole Miss at Texas A&M
SEC Network 7:30pm: LSU at Florida
ESPN 9pm: Alabama at Arkansas

* No game scheduled for FOX due to possibility of NLCS Game Six and the need to be flexible with the time of the game.  ALCS Game Seven is the same day, if necessary, so if it is played, it gets primetime TV with the NLCS in the afternoon.  If no ALCS game, NLCS in primetime.
* If there were to be no LCS game on 10/18, because of the short notice in changing game times, etc. I don't think FOX would move a game to their broadcast network.
* All four Big Ten games not set for a television outlet are set with respect to their games times as all are homecoming games and were set back in May.  Iowa at Maryland & Purdue at Minnesota at 12pm ET, Rutgers at Ohio St. & Michigan St. at Indiana at 3:30pm ET.
* BTN schedule for 10/18 has only a 12pm window plus the primetime game.  No 3:30pm game.
* I don't know if FOX necessarily had the top choice for the week in the Pac-12 because Utah at Oregon St. doesn't seem like it would be for FS1.
* While neither ABC nor FOX has a primetime Pac-12 game, I'm making the leap that ESPN has the top Pac-12 choice and will use it on Washington at Oregon and that FS1 has the top Big 12 choice and will put their best game on FS1 in primetime.
* Notre Dame at Florida St. seems like a virtual lock for the 8pm ET ABC game.
* Advance listings suggest that there is a 12pm-3:30pm ACC RSN doubleheader.  

12pm ESPN: Iowa at Maryland
12pm ESPN2: NC State at Louisville
12pm FS1: Baylor at West Virginia
12pm ESPNU: Georgia Tech at North Carolina
12pm ESPNEWS: Cincinnati at SMU
12pm FSN: Kansas at Texas Tech
12pm SEC: Tennessee at Ole Miss
12pm BTN: Purdue at Minnesota
12pm ACC RSNs: Clemson at Boston College
12:30pm ACC Network: Virginia at Duke
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Alabama
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Rutgers at Ohio St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Oklahoma St. at TCU
3:30pm ESPN: Michigan St. at Indiana
3:30pm ESPNU: Tulane at UCF
3:30pm FSN: UTSA at Louisiana Tech
3:30pm CBSSN: USF at Tulsa
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Syracuse at Wake Forest
4pm FS1: Stanford at Arizona St.
4pm SEC: Furman at South Carolina
4pm Pac-12: Colorado at USC
7pm ESPN: Washington at Oregon
7pm ESPN2: Georgia at Arkansas
7pm ESPNU: Kentucky at LSU
7:30pm SEC: Missouri at Florida
8pm ABC: Notre Dame at Florida St.
8pm FS1: Kansas St. at Oklahoma
8pm ESPNEWS: San Jose St. at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: UCLA at California
10:15pm ESPN2: Nevada at BYU

ESPN3 Exclusives
Ball St. at Central Michigan
Eastern Michigan at Massachusetts
Miami (OH) at Northern Illinois
Western Michigan at Bowling Green
Akron at Ohio
Army at Kent St.
Georgia St. at South Alabama
New Mexico St. at Idaho
Appalachian St. at Troy

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mid season CFB TV Report For Select Conferences

Since week seven is the midpoint in the season for most conferences as seven conferences play their championship games the final week of the season, I figured now would be a good time to look at the selections made so far, any requirements that have not yet been hit or any maximums to be concerned about.

I also listed the number of times a conference had a six day hold used against it.  From conversations I have had with others, a six day hold is simply when the kickoff time is not determined until six days before a game's date.  So if a kickoff time has been set, but not the network (usually the networks are in the same family like ESPN or ESPNU), I have been told it is not a six day hold.  As I understand it, it could be just one game from a conference's offering for a given week, all of a conference's games or some number in between.  The number of six day holds available will vary by conference and are usually negotiated within their TV deal(s).

If a conference isn't listed here, it doesn't have any rules or guidelines that must be adhered to that I am aware of.

Nothing to report, except that one six day hold has been used by ESPN.  Per this article at the ACC website, a portion of ACC kickoff times can be put on a six day hold a maximum of four times.

I have been told that ESPN has to carry a minimum of 28 games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  Counting games set aside through the rest of the season, 22 of those games have been accounted for, so six more must be made through December 6th (eight more weeks of games for them).  Two more of those games could be chosen for ESPN platforms on Black Friday as CBS Sports Network will choose one of the three available American games that day.

One six day pick has been used.

Big 12
I have read conflicting information regarding whether ESPN's Big 12 selections have to follow a rule regarding a maximum of six appearances for a school on ABC or ESPN platforms (Longhorn Network excluded).  Right now, only one school have made three appearances on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU: Texas Tech.

In total, ABC & FOX have to combine for a minimum of 25 "national" games using full-national television or reverse mirror ABC distribution, ESPN's national platforms, FOX or FOX Sports 1.  So far the tally is as follows through selections made for 10/11:

ABC (national or w/reverse mirror) - 3*
FOX - 4**
ESPN - 3
FS1 - 11

* - does not include Baylor at Texas on 10/4 which is not being reverse mirrored to ESPN or ESPN2.
** - includes UCLA vs. Texas, a neutral site game played in the state of Texas which I am considering as part of the Big 12 controlled TV package because it was played in the conference's "footprint".

So somewhere they'll have to come up with another four national telecasts, which should be relatively easy to do.  They'll probably have that covered by October 25th at the latest.

And from the count above, plus one Longhorn Network game between Iowa St. and Texas, ESPN has used nine of their nineteen Big 12 selections and has ten to use over the final eight weeks of the season.  FOX must air a minimum of six Big 12 games on their broadcast network and should hit that number with ease.  Like the American, the networks will have Big 12 telecast decisions to make for December 6th.

No six day picks have been used yet.

Big Ten
It is my understanding that all Big Ten schools must appear twice on BTN with at least one of those appearances as a conference game.   Using current and future scheduled BTN telecasts, Ohio St. and Wisconsin need to appear on BTN during a conference game over the final seven weeks.

One item I do not know is the maximum number of games that ESPN can choose to spread over their networks.  It was 41 until last year out of 88 conference controlled regular season games.  With the number for 2014 of 96 conference controlled games, math would say the new maximum is 44 games, but I really have no idea and using math for this one is really not the correct measurement.  So far, 31 games have been selected to air on ABC or ESPN platforms (five on ESPNEWS, a new outlet for the conference), so the number of 44 may be a little low.

No six day picks have been used yet.

The minimum requirement of three games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 has been hit.  One game has been set aside for BYUtv.  The last requirement is that either the Nevada or UNLV game has to air on ESPNU per the Cougars' TV deal.

No six day holds have been used.

I'm not sure if C-USA still has the same requirements for at least ten games on FOX Sports 1 like they did last year.  Language in several C-USA releases moved away from at least 20 national games to at least 30 total games, lumping in the games that FOX College Sports previously would take and moving them into the same pool as FSN and FS1.

Eight games are currently scheduled to air on FS1 and there are eight C-USA games will have their kickoff time & television outlet decided through the twelve day TV selection process, so its possible that FS1 will have ten C-USA games.  I think whether they get to ten could depend on how well Marshall does through the rest of the season.  If the Thundering Herd are in the hunt for the Group of Five access bowl slot, FOX could look to place the Rice at Marshall game on 11/15 on FS1.

No six day holds have been used.

No Pac-12 school, as part of the games under the control of the Pac-12's TV rights agreements with ESPN & FOX, can appear more than nine times combined in those two packages.  The idea behind this is that it should leave the Pac-12 Networks with at least one game, conference or non-conference, for every school.

So far, the following is known:
  • Arizona St. has eleven of their games as part of the Pac-12 TV packages and has only appeared on Pac-12 Networks once.  They must appear on the network at least one more time before the Territorial Cup, which is on Black Friday and to be televised by FOX.  I would not expect the Notre Dame game on 11/8 to be the Pac-12 Networks choice.
  • USC also has eleven games as part of the conference's TV package & has yet to make an appearance on Pac-12 Networks.  Two out of the final five games that have yet to have telecast information set for them must be shown on Pac-12 Networks.  The game vs. Cal will be on ESPN and I would expect either ABC or FOX to televise the Notre Dame & UCLA games, so two of the the games vs. Colorado, at Utah & at Washington St. should air on Pac-12 Networks.
  • All other Pac-12 schools have made enough appearances on Pac-12 Networks that they are free to be chosen for any TV package.
Another portion of the Pac-12 TV rules revolves around the number of games on broadcast television.  You may recall last year that FOX fell one short of the minimum requirement of eight telecasts on their broadcast network.  Through seven weeks, FOX has already matched last year's number.  They need at least one more of their games to air in primetime to fulfill all minimum requirements for the broadcast network portion of their deal.  ABC also needs to air one Pac-12 game in primetime.

Counting future games already set aside by both FOX and ESPN, FOX has used thirteen of their 22 Pac-12 selections.  This does not include the conference's championship game as that is outside of the selections.  ESPN has used 11 of their 22 picks with seven weeks remaining.

One six day hold has been used.

I realize that the two CBS selections were held for six day picks for 10/11 (this is the first six day hold used for SEC games in '14), so this portion of my post gets an "incomplete".  Of the six games selected by CBS (two for future weeks), three schools have appeared twice: Alabama, Florida & Georgia.  A school cannot appear more than six times on CBS during the season, excluding the conference championship game.  A seventh appearance is possible provided a school hasn't had seven appearances on CBS, again excluding the conference championship game, in a certain amount of time (I want to say five years, but I'm not certain).

As for SEC Network, it was told to me that there are no specific requirements around the number of times a school has to appear on the network.  Every school appeared once during the first four weeks of the season, but to my knowledge there are no requirements around the network carrying every school in a conference game.