Thursday, June 18, 2015

'15 Early Season Schedule Notes & Misc. Items

Overall Notes
* Potential openings for the following games:
  • 9/5 
    • Penn St. at Temple: 12pm on ABC or 3:30pm on ESPN.  I still believe that ESPN2 will be used for all day US Open coverage.
  • 9/12
    • Boise St. at BYU: The only remaining ESPN or ESPN2 opening is after East Carolina at Florida on ESPN2.  Could be a 10:15pm ET start.  
      • The opening on ESPN at ~3pm is for the US Open women's final
    • San Jose St. at Air Force: 8pm ESPNEWS or 10:15pm ESPNU, if either opening is used.  It could also air on ESPN3
    • Army at UConn, North Texas at SMU & Temple at Cincinnati:  12pm CBSSN and/or 8pm ESPNEWS.  One game, it appears, will be on ESPN3.
    • Stephen F. Austin at TCU: I don't think it is an ESPN platform game.  If it is, I don't think the Big 12 contract allows for ESPN3 exclusives or ESPNEWS games, unless something is being worked on.
Other Mountain West and C-USA games should air as part of regional or web exclusive packages.  Sun Belt ESPN3 games without a start time could be decided at any time.  Could have been waiting for SEC game decisions for game placement.

* It appears that ESPN will not have a Thursday night game on Thanksgiving.  The last year that ESPN did not air a college football game on Thanksgiving was 1997, courtesy the lists at

Big Ten
* Six games will air on ESPNEWS over the first three weeks.  Five games total aired on ESPNEWS in 2014, none after the fifth week of the season.  A possible consequence of the slightly compressed schedule in 2015 with one less week on the schedule, but BTN has only one game scheduled for 9/5 and a pair of single game telecast windows, both at 3:30pm ET, on 9/12 and 9/19.

* "Sigh" on ESPN going with a three hour telecast window for North Carolina vs. South Carolina, which means you'll probably need to fire up WatchESPN to watch the start of TCU at Minnesota or look to ESPNEWS, maybe.

* Since CBSSN took UNLV at Northern Illinois, the MAC should have two other Saturday games on the network.  Specific windows were not announced in the MAC release.  Both 11/7 and 11/21 have two potential openings, which could allow CBSSN to take both an American & MAC game if they want.

Other possibilities, if Navy's home game is the only American conference game for a particular week (it would not count towards their sublicense agreement with ESPN) are 10/3 at 12pm (six available games), 10/24 after 4:30pm (six available games), 10/31 at 7pm (two available games) and 11/14 at 7pm (two available games).

* The two MAC Thursday night games on CBSSN will be set at least 12 days in advance.

* More of a personal item - neutral site games and whose rights they belong to will be my bugaboo. had the goods on the contract for Louisville-Auburn having a CBS offer in it, and Alabama beat writer Michael Cassagrande published some key items on the contract for the Alabama-Wisconsin game in Arlington.  What was one of those key items?  SEC controls the TV rights.  So how does it end up on ABC, who cannot air SEC games?  No idea, so from here on out, they don't get listed on the conference specific pages.

* During the telecast windows for the games that ESPN has sublicensed to CBS on 9/5 and 9/12, ESPN will carry concurrent games on ESPN2 and ESPNU.  This would normally not be allowed during CBS's telecast windows, but since these were games that ESPN sold to CBS, they seem to be classified as ESPN telecast windows where they can air as many games as they need to.  Once 9/19 comes around and CBS's contract windows kick in, only the SEC Network can air a concurrent game during the mid afternoon.

Miscellaneous Notes
* The new Patriot League rights deal with CBS Sports Network will no longer require football games to be aired, per Patriot League PR.  The previous deal required two football games to be chosen by the network.  The new deal is for a minimum of 24 Patriot League events to be aired by CBSSN and they can come from any sport.  Would expect around half of them to be men's basketball games.

* FOX Sports 1 will again carry the championship & 3rd place games of the Las Vegas Classic.  FOX has taken over operations of both Las Vegas events previously run by Basketball Tournaments, Inc.

* Keep an eye on the potential Baylor vs. Cal game in Australia in 2016.  I'm curious to see if this article still holds true and that the media rights will belong to the Pac-12 or if it is signed as part of a series where there will be a game in Berkeley, which would mean the game gets classified as a Big 12 game.

Also, is the organization of this game tied to the potential bowl game to be played in Melbourne, including the potential network?

1 comment:

Greg M. said...

Funny that ESPN just announced a kickoff time for Mississippi State and LSU as 8:15 but cannot seem to do the same for TCU-Minnesota on opening night.