When the American announced their opening week games on CBSSN, they noted there would be 21 games on CBSSN, which should mean that 15 games will be sublicensed from ESPN plus the six Navy home games CBSSN has direct rights to for the next few years. Counting those six Navy games plus four games that CBSSN has already selected as sublicensed games, there should be eleven more American games on CBSSN.
Based on the open Saturday windows from early afternoon to early evening, C-USA and the American should be sharing around 17 telecast windows over 13 weeks as both conferences now have a championship game (the openings). There's a chance that one of the eleven American sublicense windows could end up being used on Black Friday if Marshall at Western Kentucky ends up on a FOX platform.
* Three bowl games are expected to be added this year. One you likely already knew about (Orlando, Cure Bowl) and two are outright new (Tuscon & Austin). Per Brett McMurphy, CBS Sports Network is the expected outlet for the bowl game from Tuscon in addition to the Cure Bowl from Orlando. The Austin committee had also been talking to CBS and FOX about potential platforms, per Austin Business Journal.
* Either this tweet is in regards to the MAC being a backup in the Tuscon bowl game on CBSSN per the article above from McMurphy, or something is up re: the MAC and CBS (Sports Network?).
See the part from this Hustle Belt interview at the bottom regarding potential for more national exposure for the MAC in '15.In Phoenix today w/ @CoachWhipUMass & our MAC FB colleagues listening to presentations from various college FB partners including ESPN & CBS— Ryan Bamford (@UMassADBamford) May 5, 2015
* The Horizon League appears to be close to finalizing plans on moving their men's basketball championship tournament to a neutral site in Detroit, per the Detroit Free Press & PantherU.com. On the TV side of things, there are two days off currently between the semifinals & championship game because the regular season champ hosts the quarterfinal & semifinal round (regular season champ only plays a semifinal game), then the highest remaining seed hosts the championship, which may or may not be the regular season champion. The dates & format, along with its television placement on ESPN platforms could change now that the games are in a single location, especially if the championship game were to be played, for example, on consecutive days with the semifinals instead of a break.
* I was not aware that Madison Square Garden told the NCAA that the arena would not have any available dates for the NIT Tip Off event in 2015. The Barclays Center is mentioned as a possible replacement, but if the Tip Off were to remain an event held around Thanksgiving, it would require some creative scheduling as the arena will have the Legends Classic at the beginning of the week, the Barclay Center Classic on Friday and Saturday (the Friday date would typically align with the NIT Tip Off championship round) and the potential for any Nets and Islanders games as the hockey team becomes a new tenant of the arena,
In addition to facility scheduling, the TV schedule side of the equation might be compressed. ESPN is contracted to air the event as part of its agreement with the NCAA for several postseason championships and currently has the following events on its plate which are typically spread out over ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU on Friday:
- Black Friday college football
- 2014: One game each on ESPN & ESPN2 and two on ESPNU
- Orlando Classic (4 games)
- Wooden Legacy (4 games)
- NIT Tip Off (2 games if aired)
- Battle 4 Atlantis (2 games)
- Hoophall Miami Invitational (2 game doubleheader)
The semifinal round, typically airing on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, is also filled with a lot of college basketball from the Maui Invitational, Battle 4 Atlantis and the MGM Grand Main Event.
Also, Chris Dobbertean of SBNation pointed out that the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic is missing in action at the moment from the Barclays Center calendar and the organization's website is currently acting as a public service announcement. That event was usually held the Friday & Saturday before Thanksgiving at Barclays Center with TruTV airing the event (I have a request out to Turner Sports PR regarding their status as the rightsholder). Those two days are also quite full with events on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU usually, so it might be tough to have the NIT move its date forward one week:
- Puerto Rico Tipoff (4 games on Friday)
- Charleston Classic (4 games on Friday)
- 2K Sports Classic (which Coaches vs. Cancer used to support, 2 games on Friday)
- Air Force at Boise St. on Friday, full schedule of CFB on Saturday
With the number of events scheduled, my first inclination is that a couple of the basketball games or a college football game could end up on ESPNEWS or be shown as online exclusives on ESPN3, but it will be interesting to see how the NIT Tip Off is fit into the schedule