Monday, October 16, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 9 (10/26/17 - 10/28/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/26 - 10/28 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Eight games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.

Thursday 10/26

7:30pm CBSSN: Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
7:30pm ESPN3: Toledo at Ball St.

Saturday 10/28
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Wisconsin at Illinois
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Texas at Baylor
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Miami (FL) at North Carolina
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Oklahoma St. at West Virginia
12pm SEC: Arkansas at Ole Miss
12pm BTN: Rutgers at Michigan
12:20pm ACC Network: Louisville at Wake Forest
12:30pm ACC RSN: Virginia at Pittsburgh
2pm Pac-12: California at Colorado
3pm FS1: Kansas St. at Kansas
3pm BYUtv & ESPN3: San Jose St. at BYU
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Michigan St. at Northwestern
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: TCU at Iowa St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: UCLA at Washington
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Maryland
3:30pm ESPN3: Georgia Southern at Troy
3:45pm ESPNU: Houston at USF
4pm SEC: Vanderbilt at South Carolina
5pm ESPN3: UL-Monroe at Idaho
5pm ESPN3: Austin Peay at UCF
5:45pm Pac-12: Utah at Oregon
6pm ESPN3: Texas St. at Coastal Carolina
6:30pm FS1: Minnesota at Iowa
6:30pm CBSSN: Missouri at Connecticut
7pm ACC Network: Duke at Virginia Tech
7:15pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Texas A&M
7:30pm ESPNU: New Mexico at Wyoming
7:30pm BTN: Nebraska at Purdue
7:30pm SEC: Tennessee at Kentucky
8pm ABC or ESPN2: Georgia Tech at Clemson
8pm ABC or ESPN2: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
9:30pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Arizona
10:45pm ESPN: USC at Arizona St.
11:15pm ESPN2: San Diego St. at Hawai'i

Sunday, October 15, 2017

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Eight (10/26/17 - 10/28/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows.

A request that you read over this CFB TV Facts & Figures post as it does have bearing over today's post.  

* With Florida vs. Georgia pre-selected by CBS, ESPN is the only SEC TV partner with any selections this week.
* FOX Sports has no selections for FOX broadcast network either.  Penn St. at Ohio St. was selected before the season started.  It is their only broadcast network window with the World Series in the evening.
* Rutgers at Michigan and Wisconsin at Illinois are locked to 12pm and Indiana at Maryland is locked to either 3:30pm or 4pm.  Note that FOX Sports doesn't have windows at any of these times on FOX or FS1.
* Michigan St. at Northwestern was preselected by ESPN/ESPN2.
* I have heard that Raycom has been promised a makeup window this week for the lost window from when UL-Monroe at Florida St. was canceled.  Will see if that holds up.
* BTN has 12pm & 3:30pm windows confirmed.  A potential 7:30pm ET window is listed with TBA programming, so it could be football or something else.  I'm assuming three BTN windows.
* Because of FOX Sports' limited windows (no nighttime broadcast network window due to the World Series, FS1 windows with NASCAR & UFC as bookends), I gave all five Big 12 selections to ESPN as they've only selected 10 of their maximum 23 games.  If you look back two weeks, you'll see that FOX Sports had all available games on 10/7, so this isn't unusual.  This would also give ESPN eight selections to use over the final four weeks of the season.
* With three selections, I gave the Pac-12 Networks the top Pac-12 choice (USC at Arizona St.).  FOX presumably has it for the Big Ten by selecting Penn St. at Ohio St. before the season started.
* BYU needs to appear once on ESPNU per contractual parameters.  With no other BYU home games available, this would appear to be that game.
* With the extra Raycom window, plus the use of three BTN windows, I dropped the 12pm ESPNEWS window.

All times Eastern

Thursday 10/26
7:30pm CBSSN: Toledo at Ball St.
7:30pm ESPN3: Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois

Saturday 10/28
12pm ABC: Oklahoma St. at West Virginia
12pm ESPN: Miami (FL) at North Carolina
12pm ESPN2: Wisconsin at Illinois
12pm ESPNU: Kansas St. at Kansas
12pm SEC: Vanderbilt at South Carolina
12pm BTN: Rutgers at Michigan
12:20pm ACC Network: Duke at Virginia Tech
12:30pm ACC RSN: Virginia at Pittsburgh
2pm Pac-12: California at Colorado
3pm FS1: Minnesota at Iowa
3:30pm ABC: Georgia Tech at Clemson
3:30pm ESPN: Michigan St. at Northwestern
3:30pm ESPN2: Texas at Baylor
3:30pm ESPNU: San Jose St. at BYU
3:30pm SEC: Arkansas at Ole Miss
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Maryland
5:30pm Pac-12: USC at Arizona St.
6:30pm FS1: UCLA at Washington
6:30pm CBSSN: Missouri at Connecticut
7pm ESPN: TCU at Iowa St.
7pm ESPN2: Mississippi St. at Texas A&M
7pm ESPNU: Houston at USF
7pm ACC Network: Louisville at Wake Forest
7:15pm SEC: Tennessee at Kentucky
7:30pm BTN: Nebraska at Purdue
8pm ABC: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
10:15pm ESPN2: San Diego St. at Hawai'i
10:15pm ESPNU: New Mexico at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: Utah at Oregon
10:30pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Arizona

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 CFB TV Facts & Figures Through 10/21 TV Selections

First, I'll give you an idea of where I think they'll slot the remaining 10/21 games:

12pm ABC: Oklahoma St. at Texas
12pm ESPN: Iowa at Northwestern
12pm ESPN2: Louisville at Florida St.
3:30pm ABC: Syracuse at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ESPN: Indiana at Michigan St.
3:30pm ESPN2: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
3:30pm FS1: Kansas at TCU
4pm FOX: Arizona St. at Utah
7:15pm ESPN: Auburn at Arkansas
7pm ESPN2: USF at Tulane
7:30pm ESPNU: Wake Forest at Georgia Tech
7:30pm SEC: LSU at Ole Miss
8pm FOX: Oklahoma at Kansas St.

Now to some facts & figures about the conference selections through 10/21.

ACC
* One six day hold has been used.  Three remain.  As far as I know, the shifting of games on 9/16 did not trigger the use of a six day hold, though it would not surprise me if it was a condition of moving Clemson-Louisville and Notre Dame-Boston College to later in the day.
* Have heard that Raycom will be allowed to have an extra window, possibly on 10/28, for the ACC Network.  This would be due to the loss of the UL-Monroe at Florida St. game earlier in the season.

American
* 26 games have been scheduled for primary TV networks ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU with two additional games expected to be added on Black Friday, including the conference championship game.  28 games are the minimum with at least three of those games on ABC.
* 15 games have been scheduled for ESPN3 or local/regional TV, putting them right on the minimum end of 81% of conference controlled games on national TV.
* No six day holds have been used.  I think the hold on USF-Tulane is allowed due to only a 30 minute time difference and no change in the TV rightsholder.  Two are available.

Big 12
* Halfway through the season (weeks 1-7) and no Big 12 game has appeared on ABC.  All of the conference's broadcast network games (five) have aired on FOX.  EDIT: ABC will have a 12pm game on 10/21.
* With at least one game on FOX on 10/21 (the 8pm ET slot is guaranteed), FOX will have met their minimum requirement of Big 12 games on broadcast television.  They have already met their minimum on the national cable side with ten games on FS1.
* ESPN has selected 10 of their 23 Big 12 selections for the season.  Look for them to catch up on 10/28 with FOX Sports only showing three games across all their platforms and one window already accounted for.
* ESPNU has shown three of the ten ESPN selections.  ESPNU has a soft maximum of 4-5 games per season.
* Overall, 21 games have been selected to air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX and FS1.  The Big 12 requires 25 games per season to be shown nationally on those outlets and should easily eclipse that.
* One six day hold has been used.  Three more remain.
* Complete Speculation: In terms of top selections, I believe each TV partner has had them on the following dates:

ESPN Networks: 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 10/14
FOX Sports: 9/2, 9/30, 10/7, 10/21

Also, note that FOX Sports preselected Oklahoma St.-Oklahoma on 11/4, so it seems safe to assume that they picked first for that particular week.

Big Ten
* ESPN has selected 19 of their 27 selections across the season, including future weeks.  They'll have eight to use over the final five weeks.
* FOX Sports has used 17 of their 27 selections, including future weeks and excluding the conference championship game.  Ten more selections to use over the final five weeks.
* Both ESPN and FOX has each aired six games in primetime, either on weeknights or Saturdays.  Both TV partners could air up to three more games each in primetime.
* Michigan, Maryland and Northwestern each require one more appearance on BTN.  Each school has a non-conference appearance on the network already.
* No six day holds have been used.
Complete Speculation: In terms of top selections, I believe each TV partner has had them on the following dates:

ESPN Networks: 9/2, 9/9, 9/30, 10/7, 10/21
FOX Sports: 9/16, 9/23, 10/14

Also, FOX Sports selected Penn St.-Ohio St. (10/28) and Ohio St.-Michigan (11/25) in advance, so its fair to say they have the top choices those weeks.

Pac-12
* ESPN has used 15 of their 22 selections, including a pre-selection of Oregon at Oregon St. on 11/25.  Seven more Saturday selections across the remaining five weeks, excluding the conference championship game.
* ABC has aired their minimum two Pac-12 games with one of the two in primetime.
* ESPN has two six day holds to use.
* FOX Sports has used 16 of their 22 selections.  Six more Saturday selections.
* FOX broadcast network has aired five Pac-12 games out of a minimum number of eight.  Four of those games must air in primetime and, when including the Sunday night game of Texas A&M at UCLA, they've aired four in primetime.
* FOX has used one of their two six day holds.  Similar to USF-Tulane & Wake Forest-Georgia Tech on 10/28 for ESPN, I don't believe a 30 minute time difference across two different FOX platforms triggers a six day hold.
* Utah (EDIT: and Washington St.) must appear once more on Pac-12 Networks based on the number of games available to Pac-12 TV partners.  A school cannot appear more than nine times total between ESPN Networks and FOX Sports.  All other Pac-12 schools are free to appear on any Pac-12 TV partner's platform.
Complete Speculation: In terms of top selections, I believe each TV partner has had them on the following dates:

ESPN Networks:  9/23, 9/30, 10/14, 10/21
FOX Sports: 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 10/7
Pac-12 Networks: None yet

SEC
* Tennessee & Florida have each been scheduled to appear three times on CBS out of a maximum five appearances, including Florida vs. Georgia on 10/28.
* One six day hold has been used by CBS and they have one remaining.
* There is one more ESPN sublicense window, I believe on 11/18, where the appearances in CBS's 12pm game will not be counted towards anyone's appearance maximums.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 8 (10/21/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/21 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Seven games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.
Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for. 

(EDIT: This was filled out well after 10/21 selections were made, mostly for me so I could remember who was set aside for a six day hold.)

All times Eastern

Six day hold for the Big 12
Oklahoma St. at Texas, Oklahoma at Kansas St. & Kansas at TCU - one at 12pm ET on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, one at either 3:30pm ET on FS1 or 4pm ET on FOX, and one at 8pm ET on FOX.

Arizona St. at Utah will air on either FS1 at 3:30pm ET or 4pm on FOX.

Wake Forest at Georgia Tech & USF at Tulane will be slotted into either 7pm ESPN2 or 7:30pm ESPNU.

Auburn at Arkansas and LSU at Ole Miss will be slotted into 7:15pm ESPN or 7:30pm SEC

12pm FOX: Maryland at Wisconsin
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Louisville at Florida St.
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Iowa at Northwestern
12pm FS1: Iowa St. at Texas Tech
12pm ESPNU: Tulsa at Connecticut
12pm SEC: Idaho at Missouri
12pm BTN: Purdue at Rutgers
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at Duke
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at Virginia
3:30pm CBS: Tennessee at Alabama
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Indiana at Michigan St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Syracuse at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Minnesota
4pm ESPNU: SMU at Cincinnati
4pm SEC: Kentucky at Mississipppi St.
4pm Pac-12: Oregon at UCLA
7pm CBSSN: BYU at East Carolina
7:30pm ABC: Michigan at Penn St.
8pm FS2: West Virginia at Baylor
8pm Pac-12: Arizona at California
10:15pm ESPN2: Wyoming at Boise St.
10:45pm ESPN: Colorado at Washington St.

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Eight (10/21/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows

* ABC is scheduled to carry a 7:30pm primetime game, so I placed a Big Ten game here.
* FS1's primetime window is tentative because of the possibility of the game airing on FS2 if ALCS Game 7 is needed.  Look for the last Big 12 selection to end up here.
* ESPN is not scheduled to have a late evening window.
* BTN is scheduled to carry women's volleyball in the evening.  Just the 12pm & 3:30pm timeslots are available.
* Maryland at Wisconsin and Purdue at Rutgers are locked to 12pm.  Illinois at Minnesota and Indiana at Michigan St. will be at either 3:30pm or 4pm.  All four are homecoming games.
* I could see a six day pick used to determine the networks and times airing Oklahoma St. at Texas & Oklahoma at Kansas St., waiting on the result of Oklahoma vs. Texas.

All times Eastern

12pm ABC: Syracuse at Miami (FL)
12pm FOX: Iowa at Northwestern
12pm ESPN: Maryland at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN2: USF at Tulane
12pm FS1: Kansas at TCU
12pm ESPNU: Louisville at Florida St.
12pm ESPNEWS: Tulsa at Connecticut
12pm SEC: Idaho at Missouri
12pm BTN: Purdue at Rutgers
12:20pm ACC Network: Wake Forest at Georgia Tech
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at Virginia
3:30pm ABC: Oklahoma at Kansas St.
3:30pm CBS: Tennessee at Alabama
3:30pm ESPN: Oregon at UCLA
3:30pm ESPN2: Iowa St. at Texas Tech
3:30pm ESPNU: Pittsburgh at Duke
3:30pm FS1: Indiana at Michigan St.
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Minnesota
4pm FOX: Colorado at Washington St.
4pm SEC: LSU at Ole Miss
4pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Utah
7pm ESPN: Auburn at Arkansas
7pm ESPN2: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
7pm ESPNU: SMU at Cincinnati
7pm CBSSN: BYU at East Carolina
7:30pm ABC: Michigan at Penn St.
7:30pm SEC: Kentucky at Mississippi St.
8pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Texas
8pm FS1 or FS2: West Virginia at Baylor
9pm Pac-12: Arizona at California
10:15pm ESPN2: Wyoming at Boise St.

ESPN3
Coastal Carolina at Appalachian St.
Troy at Georgia St.
UL Monroe at South Alabama
Northern Illinois at Bowling Green
Central Michigan at Ball St.
Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan
Buffalo at Miami (OH)
Kent St. at Ohio
Akron at Toledo

Monday, October 2, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 7 (10/14/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/14 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Six games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.  

All times Eastern.

Six Day Holds for ACC
Florida St. at Duke & Georgia Tech at Miami (FL).  Options: 12pm on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 and 3:30pm on ABC or ESPN.

Six Day Holds for SEC
Arkansas at Alabama, Auburn at LSU & Texas A&M at Florida. Options: 3:30pm CBS, 7pm ESPN2 or 7:15pm ESPN

12pm ABC or ESPN: Michigan at Indiana
12pm ESPN or ESPN2: South Carolina at Tennessee
12pm FS1: TCU at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNU: Texas Tech at West Virginia
12pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at Temple
12pm FSN: Kansas at Iowa St.
12pm SEC: BYU at Mississippi St.
12pm BTN: Rutgers at Illinois
12pm ACC RSNs: NC State at Pittsburgh
12:20pm ACC Network: Boston College at Louisville
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Oklahoma vs. Texas
3:30pm ESPN2: Northwestern at Maryland
3:30pm FS1: Baylor at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Ole Miss
3:30pm CBSSN: Akron at Western Michigan
3:30pm BTN: Purdue at Wisconsin
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Virginia at North Carolina
3:30pm ESPN3: Toledo at Central Michigan
3:30pm ESPN3: Northern Illinois at Buffalo
3:30pm ESPN3: Miami (OH) at Kent St.
3:30pm ESPN3: Ohio at Bowling Green
3:45pm ESPNU: Navy at Memphis
4pm ESPNEWS: Houston at Tulsa
4pm Pac-12: Colorado at Oregon St.
5pm ESPN3: Appalachian St. at Idaho
5pm ESPN3: Georgia St. at UL-Monroe
6pm ESPN3: New Mexico St. at Georgia Southern
7pm CBSSN: East Carolina at UCF
7pm ESPN3: Coastal Carolina at Arkansas St.
7:30pm FS1: Ohio St. at Nebraska
7:30pm ESPNU: Cincinnati at USF
7:30pm SEC: Missouri at Georgia
8pm ABC: Utah at USC
8pm BTN: Michigan St. at Minnesota
9pm Pac-12: UCLA at Arizona
10:15pm ESPN2: Nevada at Colorado St.
10:45pm ESPN: Washington at Arizona St.
11pm FS1: Oregon at Stanford

Sunday, October 1, 2017

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Seven (10/14/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows

* FOX broadcast network has no telecast windows scheduled.  They have a NASCAR truck series race followed by ALCS Game Two and a Premier Boxing Champions card.  FS1 will have four games.
* With FOX Sports having no broadcast network windows, I gave ESPN all top selections for the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 and FS1 picking either second (Big Ten & Pac-12) or third (Big 12).
* When I say FS1 is taking Big Ten second, I'm using Northwestern at Maryland as ESPN's selection, which came in advance but was not designated for a specific network or start time.
* Both ESPNEWS and FSN are scheduled for 12pm windows.  The Big 12 will fill the FSN window.
* CBS Sports Network again has two selections.  One from the MAC and one from the American.
* BTN listings indicate a tripleheader with games at 12pm, 3:30pm and 8pm ET.
* Michigan at Indiana is bolted to its 12pm start time as it is Indiana's homecoming game.  I debated placing it on BTN to complete Michigan's required BTN appearance in a intraconference game, but went with Purdue at Wisconsin to fulfill Wisconsin's requirements and get Purdue its first BTN appearance.
* YES Network indicates there is only one ACC RSN window, but listings sent to other RSNs indicate there is a ACC RSN doubleheader of 12pm & 3:30pm.  I am projecting for the doubleheader and made a conscious decision to go with NC State at Pittsburgh in the first game & Boston College at Louisville in the second due to NHL coverage on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh (7pm Pens game) and NESN (9pm Bruins game).
* I feel comfortable with the selection of Texas A&M at Florida, though it would be Florida's fourth CBS appearance.  The remaining opponents for the Gators are less likely to be taken by CBS and the fifth appearance for them could end up being the South Carolina game on 11/11.
* Choosing UCLA at Arizona for Pac-12 Networks would fulfill requirements of both schools for appearances on Pac-12 Networks.
* If you're asking "Why not Oklahoma vs. Texas in primetime?", first off - the Cotton Bowl does not have permanent lights and they likely would have had to be reserved months ago.  Second, (EDIT: Wrong, it has lights) It has been explained to me that the area around the Cotton Bowl is a bit rough in the evening (EDIT: There's the matter of keeping the Texas State Fair open past its current closing time too).  12pm ET or 3:30pm ET it is.  This article is a couple years old but discusses the fan preferences of either the early or mid-afternoon start.
* Utah at USC looked like the best available night game for ABC.  I think arguments could be made for Georgia Tech at Miami (FL) and, as an outside shot, TCU at Kansas St.  By typing that, I think you could see six day picks used.

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Oklahoma vs. Texas
12pm ESPN: Missouri at Georgia
12pm ESPN2: Florida St. at Duke
12pm FS1: Michigan at Indiana
12pm ESPNU: Cincinnati at USF
12pm ESPNEWS: Houston at Tulsa
12pm FSN: Kansas at Iowa St.
12pm SEC: South Carolina at Tennessee
12pm BTN: Purdue at Wisconsin
12pm ACC RSNs: NC State at Pittsburgh
12:20pm ACC Network: Virginia at North Carolina
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Florida
3:30pm ABC: TCU at Kansas St.
3:30pm ESPN: Georgia Tech at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ESPN2: East Carolina at UCF
3:30pm FS1: Baylor at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Texas Tech at West Virginia
3:30pm CBSSN: Ohio at Bowling Green
3:30pm BTN: Rutgers at Illinois
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at Louisville
4pm SEC: BYU at Mississippi St.
4pm Pac-12: Colorado at Oregon St.
7pm ESPN: Arkansas at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: Northwestern at Maryland
7pm ESPNU: Vanderbilt at Ole Miss
7pm CBSSN: Navy at Memphis
7:30pm FS1: Ohio St. at Nebraska
7:30pm SEC: Auburn at LSU
8pm ABC: Utah at USC
8pm BTN: Michigan St. at Minnesota
9pm Pac-12: UCLA at Arizona
10:30pm ESPN: Washington at Arizona St.
10:30pm ESPN2: Nevada at Colorado St.
11pm FS1: Oregon at Stanford

ESPN3 or CUSA.TV
Connecticut at Temple
Tulane at FIU
Northern Illinois at Buffalo
Toledo at Central Michigan
Miami (OH) at Kent St.
Akron at Western Michigan
Coastal Carolina at Arkansas St.
New Mexico St. at Georgia Southern
Appalachian St. at Idaho
Georgia St. at UL-Monroe

Monday, September 25, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 6 (10/7/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/7 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Five games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.  

All times Eastern.

Pac-12 Six Day Holds (8pm FOX or 10:45pm ESPN)
Washington St. at Oregon
California at Washington

12pm FOX: Iowa St. at Oklahoma
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Penn St. at Northwestern
12pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Wake Forest at Clemson
12pm ESPN/ESPN2 or SEC: Ole Miss at Auburn
12pm ESPN/ESPN2 or SEC: Georgia at Vanderbilt
12pm FS1: Texas Tech at Kansas
12pm ESPNU: Temple at East Carolina
12pm BTN: Illinois at Iowa
12pm CBSSN: Eastern Michigan at Toledo
12:20pm ACC Network: Duke at Virginia
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Pittsburgh at Syracuse
2pm ESPN3: Central Michigan at Ohio
2pm ESPN3: Stephen F. Austin at Sam Houston St.
2:30pm ESPN3: Bowling Green at Miami (OH)
3pm ESPN3: UL-Monroe at Texas St.
3:30pm CBS: LSU at Florida
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Miami (FL) at Florida St.
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Notre Dame at North Carolina
3:30pm ESPN2: Minnesota at Purdue
3:30pm FS1: West Virginia at TCU
3:30pm BTN: Charleston Southern at Indiana
3:30pm ESPN3: Western Michigan at Buffalo
3:30pm ESPN3: Ball St. at Akron
3:30pm ESPN3: Kent St. at Northern Illinois
3:30pm ESPN3: New Mexico St. at Appalachian St.
4pm FOX: Maryland at Ohio St.
4pm ESPNU: Tulsa at Tulane
4pm SEC: Arkansas at South Carolina
4pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at USC
5pm ESPN3: UL-Lafayette at Idaho
5pm Southland Digital: Incarnate Word at Southeastern Louisiana
6:30pm ESPN3: Georgia St. at Coastal Carolina
7pm FS1: Kansas St. at Texas
7pm CBSSN: SMU at Houston
7pm FOX Sports Southwest+: Central Arkansas at Houston Baptist
7:15pm ESPN: Alabama at Texas A&M
7:15pm ESPN2: Virginia Tech at Boston College
7:30pm ABC: Michigan St. at Michigan
7:30pm SEC: Missouri at Kentucky
8pm Pac-12: Arizona at Colorado
8pm ESPNU: UCF at Cincinnati
8pm BTN: Wisconsin at Nebraska
8pm Eleven Sports: McNeese at Abilene Christian
10:15pm FS1: Stanford at Utah
10:45pm ESPN2: San Diego St. at UNLV

Sunday, September 24, 2017

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Six (10/7/17)

If you have a couple minutes, take a look at this post regarding September's CFB TV selections.  Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows

* ABC's primetime window is again at 7:30pm ET, which indicates a Big Ten game is being selected.  Let's assume ABC has the top choice of Big Ten games.
* I assumed that FOX had top choice for both the Big 12 and Pac-12.
* ESPN will again have an early start to their primetime games, removing a 3:30pm ET window.  I elected to place Miami (FL) at Florida St. here, but I expect the 6pm window to be a SEC game.
* Moving Miami (FL) at Florida St. here presented an exta layer of complexity.  I placed this game behind both Wake Forest at Clemson and Notre Dame at North Carolina.  As far as I can tell, they didn't add a TV window to the date.
* The addition of Charleston Southern at Indiana didn't drastically affect anything.  The Big Ten noted they would carry games at 12pm & 3:30pm.  Their program guide for 10/8 listed a TBA programming block from 7:30pm-11pm ET, so I added a game window here.
* FOX broadcast network will start with tripleheaders from here on out except for weeks they are carrying MLB playoff action.
* Having two Pac-12 games located in the Mountain Time Zone limits the available games that FS1 can carry at 11pm.  Since Pac-12 Networks TV windows do move around, you could see the 9pm window move back 30 minutes to fall in line with Pac-12 TV rules about overlap with broadcast network games in east coast primetime.
* Since it is an off day in FS1's ALDS coverage, they'll have four telecast windows.  They'll also do this on 10/14 when FOX has no college football windows due to NASCAR, the ALCS and boxing.
* With no late ESPNU window, it is possible the evening game could start a bit later, like 7:30pm ET.
* CBS Sports Network has two wildcard choices, one each from the MAC and American.
* Three Big Ten games are semi-locked into their start times as homecoming games.  Both Penn St. at Northwestern and Illinois at Iowa will be at 12pm ET while Maryland at Ohio St. will be at either 3:30pm or 4pm ET.

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Wake Forest at Clemson
12pm FOX: Iowa St. at Oklahoma
12pm ESPN: Notre Dame at North Carolina
12pm ESPN2: Wisconsin at Nebraska
12pm FS1: Penn St. at Northwestern
12pm ESPNU: Virginia Tech at Boston College
12pm SEC: Arkansas at South Carolina
12pm BTN: Illinois at Iowa
12pm CBSSN: Eastern Michigan at Toledo
12:20pm ACC Network: Duke at Virginia
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Pittsburgh at Syracuse
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Texas A&M
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Oregon St. at USC
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: West Virginia at TCU
3:30pm FS1: Texas Tech at Kansas
3:30pm ESPNU: SMU at Houston
3:30pm BTN: Minnesota at Purdue
4pm FOX: Maryland at Ohio St.
4pm SEC: Missouri at Kentucky
4pm Pac-12: Arizona at Colorado
6pm ESPN: Miami (FL) at Florida St.
7pm ESPN2: LSU at Florida
7pm ESPNU: UCF at Cincinnati
7pm CBSSN: Tulsa at Tulane
7:30pm ABC: Michigan St. at Michigan
7:30pm FS1: Kansas St. at Texas
7:30pm SEC: Georgia at Vanderbilt
7:30pm BTN: Charleston Southern at Indiana
8pm FOX: California at Washington
9pm ESPN: Ole Miss at Auburn
9pm Pac-12: Stanford at Utah
10:30pm ESPN2: San Diego St. at UNLV
11pm FS1: Washington St. at Oregon

ESPN3, other streaming or no video
Temple at East Carolina
Louisiana Tech at UAB
Western Kentucky at UTEP
Bowling Green at Miami (OH)
Western Michigan at Buffalo
Kent St. at Northern Illinois
Central Michigan at Ohio
New Mexico St. at Appalachian St.
Georgia St. at Coastal Carolina
UL-Lafayette at Idaho
UL-Monroe at Texas St.

CFB TV Facts, Figures and Speculation for September

Some notable items when it comes to TV selections for future weeks.  I'll do another one of these in a couple weeks at the midpoint of the season and again after selections are finalized for October 28th.

American
* Including the conference championship game, 19 games have been scheduled to air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU out of a required 28 games.
* 14 games are scheduled to air as ESPN3 exclusives or on local/regional TV.  Assuming no other games air on ESPN3 or local/regional TV (I'm unsure that will hold up), 82% of games would air on national TV.

Big 12
* ESPN has made seven of its 23 selections.  Two of the six have been placed on ESPNU, which is limited to 4-5 games per season.
* FOX is required to air at least three more Big 12 games (six for the season) on their broadcast network.
* Overall, ESPN & FOX Sports have combined to air 12 games on ABC, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1.  The two TV partners must combine to air 25 games, which includes reverse mirror telecasts.  This count includes Tulsa at Oklahoma St., which is allowed to count here even though it was Oklahoma St.'s member retained game, per those with knowledge of the game's classification against the current TV deals.
* COMPLETE SPECULATION: Assuming priority of broadcast television over pay TV and primetime vs. mid-afternoon (with some exceptions), I believe the following TV partners had top choice in September:
  • 9/2: FOX Sports (UTEP-Oklahoma)
  • 9/9: ESPN (Iowa-Iowa St.)
  • 9/16: ESPN (SMU-TCU)
  • 9/23: ESPN (TCU-Oklahoma St.)
  • 9/30: FOX Sports (Oklahoma St.-Texas Tech)
Big Ten
* If weeknight primetime games count towards the number of primetime games FOX Sports and ESPN are allowed to carry, FOX Sports has five scheduled so far and ESPN has four.  If weeknight games are excluded, each partner has carried two Saturday night games.
* Purdue has yet to be scheduled on BTN.
* Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio St., Rutgers, Penn St. have completed all required appearances on BTN, which are two games with at least one of the two being an intraconference game.
* FOX Sports has used 14 selections so far and ESPN has used 12.  Both are expected to use the maximum of 27 selections.
COMPLETE SPECULATION: Assuming priority of broadcast television over pay TV and primetime vs. mid-afternoon (with some exceptions), I believe the following TV partners had top  choice in September:
  • 9/2: ESPN (Ohio St.-Indiana)
  • 9/9: ESPN (Oklahoma-Ohio St.)
  • 9/16: FOX Sports (Army-Ohio St.)
  • 9/23: FOX Sports (Notre Dame-Michigan St. by virtue of being selected in the spring)
  • 9/30: ESPN (Northwestern-Wisconsin)
Pac-12
* Both FOX and ABC are required to air one more Pac-12 game in primetime on the east coast.  FOX is also required to air four more Pac-12 games in total.  ABC's required primetime game will fulfill their requirement to air Pac-12 football.
* ESPN has scheduled half of their required 22 Pac-12 games.  FOX Sports has used 12 of their 22 picks
* Arizona St., Colorado, Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, Washington, Washington St. are allowed to be selected by either ESPN or FOX Sports for the rest of the season.  These schools will have a maximum of nine appearances on those two networks due to other games already selected for Pac-12 Networks.  The other five Pac-12 schools must appear once more each on Pac-12 Networks.
COMPLETE SPECULATION: Assuming priority of broadcast television over pay TV and primetime vs. mid-afternoon (with some exceptions), I believe the following TV partners had top  choice in September:
  • 9/2: FOX Sports (Texas A&M-UCLA)
  • 9/9: FOX Sports (Stanford-USC)
  • 9/16: FOX Sports (Texas-USC)
  • 9/23: ESPN (USC-California)
  • 9/30: ESPN (Colorado-UCLA)
    • I could be swayed to FOX Sports selecting California-Oregon ahead of this one.
SEC
* Georgia, Tennessee and Florida have each been scheduled for two CBS games that count towards the maximum five appearances.  This rule is flexible where a school could get a sixth appearance.
* Arkansas's appearance vs. TCU was sublicensed from ESPN.  Only the scheduled Black Friday game vs. Missouri counts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Notes on Big 12 FB Champ Game Start Time & Several MBK TV Releases

* It appears that FOX affiliates have been told that the Big 12 football championship game will be an early afternoon affair on Saturday 12/2.  The conference announced a sponsored tailgate tour with the date of the championship game prominently mentioning the Saturday date.

The only thing left was the time of the game, but that could be relatively easy to deduce when looking at the schedule of college basketball games on FOX & FS1 that day, the Big Ten championship on FOX in primetime, and UFC PPV prelims that I've tentatively targeted to FS1 that evening.

When you take those items into account, the open time on 12/2 was in the early afternoon on FOX.  Even if you move the UFC prelims to FX or FXX, my hunch with respect to programming is that FOX has less hefty competition in the early afternoon with the American & either the MAC and/or C-USA championship games compared to the Big 12, ACC and Mountain West in the evening.

As for the possibility of a Friday 12/1 night game, my opinion is that possibility took a severe hit when the Cowboys were scheduled for a Thursday night home game on 11/30.  If the Big 12 needed control of the field for any sponsor related events prior to the game, Friday is now the only time to do those.  The Big 12 was non-commital about the date during spring meetings and football media days, which could have been the conference trying to find out about the feasibility of a Friday night game as the Cowboys' Thursday night home game was already known.

* A few items around the Pac-12 TV release:
  • Gonzaga at Washington on Pac-12 Networks on 12/10 - I have to assume there was a selection order or priority hold placed on this one by Pac-12 Networks.  Last year, FS1 picked up the Zags' game at Washington St. and I would think a game from the national runner-up would merit selection by either FOX Sports or ESPN, regardless of the stature of the Huskies.
  • Cincinnati at UCLA on CBS on 12/16 - I don't quibble with the choice (this game comes out of ESPN's pool of games).  This is more surprise that CBS took a Pac-12 non-conference game.  Will be doubleheadered wth Syracuse-Georgetown, which comes from FOX as part of an agreement with CBS Sports for Big East games.
  • Utah at Arizona on FOX on 1/27 - If you're asking "Why the 5:30pm ET start time with no game before it? Did you mean to put it on Sunday after Purdue at Indiana?", the answer could be tied to the 24 Hours of Daytona, which starts on the 27th and had its first three hours of competition air on FOX last year.  I'm under the impression that the endurance race will once again start on FOX and have a lot of coverage on FS1 for the remainder of the race.
* Weeknight men's basketball tripleheaders are not new to ESPN as they'll often have three games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  But they are different with FS1 where they have typically stuck with doubleheaders, but they'll have weeknight tripleheaders on the following dates:
  • 2/1/18 - Creighton at Villanova, Northwestern at Wisconsin & Oregon St. at Stanford
  • 2/21/18 - Xavier at Georgetown or Seton Hall at Providence, then Depaul at Villanova followed by USC at Colorado
  • 2/22/18 - Purdue at Illinois, Arizona at Oregon St. & Arizona St. at Oregon
Those last two dates are important because it shows FS1 stacking their schedule to the weeknights due to NASCAR responsibilities on Friday and Saturday, along with NHRA on Sunday.

* I counted six doubleheaders on FS1 involving the Big Ten & Pac-12.

* ESPN and FS1 are splitting a pair of neutral site doubleheaders.  The Never Forget Tribute on 12/9 from Newark will have one game on FOX (Seton Hall-VCU) and one on ESPN2 (Florida-Cincinnati).  The Under Armour Reunion from MSG will have the same structure, with the Seton Hall-Texas Tech game on FS1 followed by Temple-South Carolina on ESPNU.

* Per a couple the American Athletic schools, the conference tournament schedule will now air on ESPNU in full on day one (now four games, previously three games with two on ESPNEWS).  For now, the Friday games will continue to be split on ESPN2 and ESPNU.  Note that the 2018 championship only will have the semifinals and final on CBS via sublicense due to the Big Ten championship being held a week earlier.

* As ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain has expanded its territory further west with the addition of the regional rights to the Vegas Golden Knights, it also stepped up coverage beyond the Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico based Mountain West schools with 11 total games involving UNLV and Nevada.   Last year, just two games on ROOT Sports involved the Nevada based schools.

Monday, September 18, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 5 (9/30/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/30 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Four games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.  

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Northwestern at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm ESPN2: North Carolina at Georgia Tech
12pm FS1: Maryland at Minnesota
12pm ESPNU: Houston at Temple
12pm CBSSN: USF at East Carolina
12pm SECN: New Mexico St. at Arkansas
12pm ACC RSNs: Rice at Pittsburgh
12:20pm ACC Network: Syracuse at NC State
1pm ACC Network Extra: Central Michigan at Boston College
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at Tennessee
3:30pm ABC or ESPN2: Baylor at Kansas St.
3:30pm ABC or ESPN2: Florida St. at Wake Forest
3:30pm ESPNU: Navy at Tulsa
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Penn St.
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Murray St. at Louisville
3:30pm ESPN3: Buffalo at Kent St.
4pm FOX: Iowa at Michigan St.
4pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at SMU
4pm SECN: Eastern Michigan at Kentucky
4pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Stanford
6pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Auburn
6pm ESPN3: Akron at Bowling Green
7pm ESPN2: Memphis at UCF
7pm ESPNU: Troy at LSU
7pm ESPN3: Marshall at Cincinnati
7pm ESPN3: Ball St. at Western Michigan
7pm ESPN3: Coastal Carolina at UL-Monroe
7:30pm SECN: South Carolina at Texas A&M
7:30pm BTN: Ohio St. at Rutgers
8pm ABC: Clemson at Virginia Tech
8pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
8pm Pac-12: Washington at Oregon St.
9pm ESPN: Ole Miss at Alabama
10:30pm ESPN2: Colorado at UCLA
10:30pm FS1: California at Oregon
10:30pm ESPNU: San Jose St. at UNLV

Sunday, September 17, 2017

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Five (9/30/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows.

* BTN listings did not have a schedule of telecast windows available, so I am assuming two telecast windows at 12pm & 3:30pm ET.
* I'm looking at FOX to take a Big Ten game in primetime, thinking that they'll have the top pick of Big Ten games, but not another selection since they have Nebraska at Illinois on Friday night.  Also think they'll have the top pick of Big 12 games where ESPN should have the top Pac-12 pick.
* Also, I believe FOX will take both available Big 12 games with ESPN carrying Texas at Iowa St. on Thursday night.
* I could see FOX waiting for the result of Penn St at Iowa before deciding their choice. For now, I went with higher ranked Penn St.  Because of that, you might see both that game and Iowa at Michigan St. held as night game with one on FOX and the other on ESPN2, or maybe even ESPN if they flip the 6pm & 9pm window combo over to ESPN.
* Ohio St. at Rutgers would clear the Buckeyes of all required BTN appearances if chosen (two games on BTN with one of those appearances being an intraconference game).
* Initial listings indicate two ACC RSN games at 12pm & 3:30pm ET.
* I had to play with the available games for the ACC Network and ACC RSN windows as I wanted to give the ACCN slot a intraconference game, plus I had to consider who might not be available due to MLB for each of the ACC RSN windows.  NESN, for example, may have a 4pm Red Sox game and has a UMass game at 3:30pm on NESN+.  Meanwhile, the Pirates have a 7pm game on AT&T SportsNet and the RSNs typically do not like to give up their pregame shows.  With BC already playing a conference game on ACC Network Extra, Rice-Pittsburgh was the odd game out.
* If ESPN isn't interested in televising San Jose St. at UNLV, they could place it on ESPN3 and ditch the late ESPNU window.

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Florida St. at Wake Forest
12pm ESPN: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm ESPN2: North Carolina at Georgia Tech
12pm FS1: Baylor at Kansas St.
12pm ESPNU: Navy at Tulsa
12pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at SMU
12pm CBSSN: USF at East Carolina
12pm SECN: Eastern Michigan at Kentucky
12pm BTN: Ohio St. at Rutgers
12pm ACC RSNs: Central Michigan at Boston College
12:20pm ACC Network: Syracuse at NC State
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at Tennessee
3:30pm ABC: Northwestern at Wisconsin
3:30pm ESPN2: Houston at Temple
3:30pm ESPNU: Memphis at UCF
3:30pm BTN: Maryland at Minnesota
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Murray St. at Louisville
4pm FOX: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
4pm SECN: New Mexico St. at Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: Washington at Oregon St.
6pm ESPN: Ole Miss at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: Iowa at Michigan St.
7pm ESPNU: South Carolina at Texas A&M
7:30pm SECN: Troy at LSU
8pm ABC: Clemson at Virginia Tech
8pm FOX: Indiana at Penn St.
8pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Stanford
9pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Auburn
10:15pm ESPNU: San Jose St. at UNLV
10:30pm ESPN2: California at Oregon
10:30pm FS1: Colorado at UCLA

Online only (ESPN3, ACC Network Extra or other) or no video
Marshall at Cincinnati
Rice at Pittsburgh
Charlotte at FIU
North Texas at Southern Miss
Akron at Bowling Green
Buffalo at Kent St.
Ball St. at Western Michigan

Monday, September 11, 2017

CFB TV Confirmations for 2017 Week 4 (9/23/17)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/23 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to.  Please understand that games can be held until next Sunday if a broadcaster wants to wait on the results of the Week Three games.  Most conferences have the possibility of having all or part of their games held for a six day hold of the start time.

The list of available TV windows are based on media websites, TV listings and press releases.  They can change based on the needs of the broadcaster or the conference.

Here's what I guessed based on the available openings (they'll prove to be incorrect) and here is the current schedule for the week as several FBS games do have their time & television/webcast assignments already accounted for.  

All times Eastern.

SEC (7pm ESPN2 or 7:30pm ESPNU/SEC Network)
Florida at Kentucky, Syracuse at LSU & Auburn at Missouri

12pm ABC/ESPN2: Texas Tech at Houston
12pm ABC/ESPN2:  NC State at Florida St.
12pm ESPN: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
12pm ESPNU: West Virginia at Kansas
12pm CBSSN: Army at Tulane
12pm SECN: Massachusetts at Tennessee
12pm ACC RSNs: Kent St. at Louisville
12pm BTN: UNLV at Ohio St.
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
1:30pm ESPN3: New Mexico at Tulsa
2pm ACC Network Extra: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
2pm ESPN3: Ohio at Eastern Michigan
2pm ESPN3: Idaho at South Alabama
3pm FS1: UCF at Maryland
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Vanderbilt
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: USC at California
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: TCU at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Boston College at Clemson
3:30pm ESPNU: Duke at North Carolina
3:30pm SECN: Louisiana Tech at South Carolina
3:30pm BTN: Georgia Southern at Indiana
3:30pm BTN: Rutgers at Nebraska
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Toledo at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ESPN3: Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
3:30pm ESPN3: Wake Forest at Appalachian St.
4pm FOX: Michigan at Purdue
5pm ESPN3: UL-Monroe at UL-Lafayette
6pm Pac-12: Nevada at Washington St.
6pm ESPN3: Akron at Troy
6:30pm FS1: Oklahoma at Baylor
6:30pm ESPN3: Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina
7pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at Georgia
7pm ESPN3: FAU at Buffalo
7pm ESPN3: Wagner at Western Michigan
7:30pm ABC: Penn St. at Iowa
7:30pm ESPN3: UTSA at Texas St.
8pm ESPN3: UTEP at New Mexico St.
10pm FS1: Washington at Colorado
10pm Pac-12: Oregon at Arizona St.
10:15pm ESPN2: Hawai'i at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: UCLA at Stanford

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pre-Schedule Release Notes from the Big East & Pac-12

* With respect to non-conference play for the Pac-12, the following games were found as selected by ESPN in ESPN MediaZone:
  • Georgia Tech vs. UCLA (11/10, played in Shanghai, China)
  • North Carolina at Stanford (11/20)
  • Alabama at Arizona (12/9)
  • Kansas St. vs. Washington St. (12/20, played in Spokane)
  • Connecticut at Arizona (12/21)
  • Kansas vs. Stanford (12/21, played in Sacramento)
In addition, six conference games were selected by ESPN for airing on ESPN or ESPN2:
  • Washington St. at USC (12/29)
  • Washington St. at UCLA (12/31)
  • Arizona at Utah (1/4)
  • Utah at UCLA (1/11)
  • Oregon at Arizona (1/13)
  • UCLA at Oregon (1/20)
If FS1 picks up any Pac-12 games in November or December, and they've stayed away from non-conference Pac-12 games in prior years with a few exceptions, here's some candidates (NOTE: some of these games could end up on ESPNU as their December schedule has not been published. Pac-12 Networks schedules also are awaiting finalization.):
  • Missouri at Utah (11/16) - Incoming freshman Michael Porter seems to be driving some TV decisions on ESPN2 for Mizzou in non conference play with games vs. Wagner & Stephen F. Austin to be shown.  Would probably need to be the last game of a tripleheader after Nebraska at St. John's & Xavier at Wisconsin
  • Texas A&M at USC (11/26) - No Big East games currently scheduled for that day.  Maybe paired with UC Riverside at Michigan as a doubleheader.
  • Gonzaga at Washington (12/10) - Maybe pair it with Philly Big 5 matchup La Salle at Villanova.
  • Cincinnati at UCLA (12/16) - ESPN has bowl games this day, while ESPN2 has three MBK games, plus the Division II football championship & NCAA women's volleyball tournament (championship?).
  • Vanderbilt at Arizona St. (12/17) - I have nothing for this one.
* The other side of this is the dates where FS2, FSN or CBS Sports Network could end up being used for the Big East due to other commitments for FS1 or FOX.
  • 11/10 - All schools openers except for DePaul & Georgetown, though we don't know when Georgetown's opener is.  CBSSN isn't available at all either, so look for FS2 and FSN, plus the possibility of FOX College Sports to be used
  • 11/11 - This would be DePaul's opener and the CFB schedule for FS1 only has one game, followed by UFC in the evening, so they could slot this one to tip at around 4pm ET on FS1.
  • 11/13 - At least one of Delaware St.-DePaul and Rider-Xavier.  Minnesota-Providence on FS1 already.
  • 11/14 - At least one of Central Connecticut-St. John's and Nicholls-Villanova.  Purdue-Marquette on FS1 already.
  • 11/17 - Only Lafayette vs. Villanova.  NASCAR on FS1.
  • 11/18 - Three games: UMES at Georgetown, Furman at Butler, NJIT at Seton Hall
  • 11/25 - Boston College at Providence could end up on FS1 at 8pm ET, but SIU Edwardsville at Creighton probably ends up on FS2.
  • 12/2 - Of the five games currently on the schedule (Cincy-Xavier, Saint Louis-Butler, Younsgtown St.-DePaul, Sacred Heart-St. John's & Georgia-Marquette), I'd throw at least the DePaul & St. John's games on secondary outlets.  FS1 should also have UFC PPV prelims in the evening.
  • 12/9 - FS1 has a UFC card at night.  Colorado-Xavier & Nebraska-Creighton should be on FS1 and Marquette-Wisconsin is either on FOX or FS1.  Look for NCA&T-Georgetown or Youngstown St.-Butler to slide over.
  • 12/16 - FS1 should have UFC prelims before FOX takes over in the evening.  Kansas at Nebraska is on FS1 at 8pm and the Orange Bowl Classic is on FS2 from 2pm to 6:30pm.  
  • 11/29, 12/5, 12/6 & 12/21 are weeknights with three Big East games scheduled.  Typically you can only get two games in on FS1 from the conference on an evening.
* Based on FS1 schedules, look for the Big East schedule to start on December 30th.  December 28th has the Holiday Bowl and the 29th has UMBC at Maryland in the evening, possibly paired with a Pac-12 game.  Saturday the 30th has one Big Ten game (Brown at Northwestern) with a TBA start time, so they may be looking to slot Big East games around that one.

CFB TV Guesses for 2017 Week Four (9/23/17)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast.  Here are the known available telecast windows.

* The 7:30pm ET ABC window indicates a Big Ten game will air at this time.  Also indicates that FOX and ABC can show Big Ten games concurrently.
* BTN does not have a night game window.  They are carrying women's volleyball instead.
* Listings indicate two ACC RSN windows at 12pm & 3:30pm ET.
* FS1 listings provided to Screener/Zap2It had UCF at Maryland (3pm) & TCU at Oklahoma St. (6:30pm) in the first two FS1 windows.  The Pac-12 game at 10pm did not have any game attached to it.
* Rutgers at Nebraska & Michigan at Purdue are homecoming games and are slotted to air at 3:30pm or 4pm ET.
* ESPNU does not have a late evening window.
* ESPNEWS has no game windows scheduled.
* I could be talked into taking Alabama at Vanderbilt on CBS instead of Mississippi St. at Georgia.
* I'm under the assumption that FOX is selecting first for the Big Ten & used it on the previously announced Notre Dame at Michigan St. game.  With FS1 listings indicating they have UCF at Maryland, that pushed both Michigan at Purdue and Penn St. at Iowa over to ESPN.
* If ESPN has the top pick of Big 12 games (I have the top Big 12 pick with FOX), slide Oklahoma at Baylor over to the slot occupied by USC at California and move that one over to FOX.  I believe ESPN had the top Pac-12 choice for this week.

All times Eastern.

12pm ABC: Boston College at Clemson
12pm ESPN: Florida at Kentucky
12pm ESPN2: NC State at Florida St.
12pm ESPNU: Georgia Southern at Indiana
12pm CBSSN: Texas Tech at Houston
12pm SECN: Louisiana Tech at South Carolina
12pm ACC RSNs: Kent St. at Louisville
12pm BTN: UNLV at Ohio St.
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
3pm FS1: UCF at Maryland
3:30pm CBS: Mississippi St. at Georgia
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Michigan at Purdue
3:30pm ABC/ESPN2: USC at California
3:30pm ESPN: Duke at North Carolina
3:30pm ESPNU: West Virginia at Kansas
3:30pm BTN: Rutgers at Nebraska
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
4pm FOX: Oklahoma at Baylor
4pm SECN: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: UCLA at Stanford
6:30pm FS1: TCU at Oklahoma St.
7pm ESPN: Alabama at Vanderbilt
7pm ESPN2: Auburn at Missouri
7pm ESPNU: Massachusetts at Tennessee
7:30pm ABC: Penn St. at Iowa
7:30pm SECN: Syracuse at LSU
8pm Pac-12: Nevada at Washington St.
10pm FS1: Washington at Colorado
10:15pm ESPN2: Hawai'i at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: Oregon at Arizona St.

ESPN3 or local TV
Toledo at Miami (FL)
Army at Tulane
New Mexico at Tulsa
Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
Ohio at Eastern Michigan
FAU at Buffalo
Wagner at Western Michigan
UTEP at New Mexico St. (AggieVision ??)
UTSA at Texas St. (local TV in San Antonio & Austin ??)
Wake Forest at Appalachian St.
Idaho at South Alabama
Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina
Akron at Troy

Friday, September 8, 2017

Notes on ACC, A-10. Big Ten & MAC MBK TV Schedule Releases

Some random stuff I picked out while combing through the TV schedules.

ACC
Atlantic 10
Big Ten
MAC

* Call this a bit of homerism, but I'm slightly surprised that FOX allowed CBS to take Syracuse at Georgetown, regardless of how big a rebuild the Hoyas are in for.  I don't know if CBS gets the ability to pick games off the top from FOX and FOX pushed them this one instead of, say, Duke at St. John's as Duke is much more of a national draw.

Per Jon Rothstein, the Big East schedule should be out next week, so we'll see at that time the other Big East games they've received to air on CBS & CBS Sports Network.

* NBCSN went in on four Atlantic 10 non-conference games after not selecting any last year.  With that said, I'm checking on the counts for ESPN and CBS Sports Network as they don't match the number of games announced.

You'll notice that Stadium was not announced as a TV partner, but that the conference talked about additional regional & local TV announcements forthcoming.  When this round of TV partners were set in 2012, it was noted that NBC Sports regional networks would have some level of commitment to carry games from member schools.  Nine schools reside in areas covered by NBC Sports RSNs.

* The Big Ten release did not have any information about TV for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge nor the Gavitt Games vs. the Big East, but the ACC's release did carry the info.  I assume that the Big East's TV release would have Gavitt Games information.  Maybe.  Possibly.

* Also missing from the Big Ten release: Wildcard windows for CBS and BTN.  I don't know if its because of the compressed schedule for 2018, but all games were slotted to a specific date and TV network, with a handful of games awaiting tip times either based on the NFL or other programming.

* Besides a decent number of Monday & Friday Big Ten games during conference play, five Thursday & four Sunday night windows were also secured by FS1.  Those games could being paired with Pac-12 games, particularly the Thursday night games.  One Sunday window will likely be paired against the Phoenix NHRA event (February 25th).

* The MAC release had seven CBS Sports Network and two ESPN telecast windows.   I assume that each network will have a handful of wildcard windows later in the season.

The conference semifinals are once again on CBS Sports Network and it will be interesting to see where the semifinals, along with C-USA's semifinals are slotted in on the network.  Last year, the Mountain West semifinals were moved back an hour, but the 2018 schedule has them returning to their traditional 9pm & 11:30pm ET starts, which could move the MAC or C-USA semis to start at 4:30pm ET & someone (maybe the MAC) to have semifinals start at noon ET on a Friday.  Yuck.

* The first Duke-North Carolina meeting has been scheduled as a Thursday night game for the second consecutive year.  The ACC will again fill ESPN's open NBA Wednesday night in February during the NBA All Star break with the same four schools from 2017 (Duke, Louisville, North Carolina & Syracuse) in diffrerent matchups: North Carolina-Syracuse & Duke-Louisville

* Potentially a side effect of the loss of several Big Ten games to FOX and changes to the SEC schedule appear to have left ESPN with an opening for women's basketball on Thursday nights.  Per ESPN MediaZone, each Thursday night in January there will be a women's basketball game on ESPN.  I can't say whether this will extend to February, but this is in addition to the Big Monday ESPN2 slot.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Brief Notes On 2017-18 Big 12 Men's Basketball Schedule Release

A few notes on the schedule that came out yesterday.

(Side note: there's a lot of games here through January that conferences & TV networks have not yet announced.  Worth a peek)

* The Big 12 appears to be a beneficiary of the move of 30+ Big Ten games over to FOX Sports in two places
  • Only six conference games will appear on ESPNEWS, down from fifteen in 2016-17.  It bears watching when the American's schedule comes out if they have less games on ESPNEWS or not.  Right now, I see 4-5 more games on ESPNU compared to last year in the regular season for the Big 12.
  • A few more Monday games compared to last year, with a couple ESPN2 Monday games in addition to the ESPN Big Monday game.  Do wonder if this is ESPN counterprogramming against what is rumored to be a package of Big Ten games on Mondays or if they are using a couple men's games to draw additional eyeballs to the women's basketball Big Monday games on ESPN2.  Also wonder if the ACC will join the Monday ESPN2 party.  They had one late season ESPN2 Monday game last season (Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech, 2/27).
* As you can see from the release, six intraconference games were't picked up for national TV & revert back to the home team school for their local/regional packages.  As you've probably picked up from prior years, this allows ESPN to push a few Texas home games vs. Big 12 schools over to Longhorn Network.  Those games are:

12/29: Baylor at Texas Tech 
1/6: Kansas St. at Texas Tech 
1/17: Texas Tech at Texas
2/7: Kansas St. at Texas
2/21: TCU at Iowa St.
2/24: Oklahoma St. at Texas

Iowa St.'s game will be on the Cyclones.TV channel, while I would expect FOX Sports Southwest to take the two Texas Tech games.

* Besides the 84 conference games that were selected for national TV,  18 additional non-conference games will air on ESPN network, five of those belonging to the challenge series with the SEC.  Here's a breakdown by network so far: 

CBS - 3
ESPN - 10
ESPN2 - 23
ESPN or ESPN2 - 18
ESPN2 or ESPNU - 1
ESPNU - 37
ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU - 5 (SEC challenge series)
ESPNEWS - 6

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Viewing Changes & Additions for College Football In 2017

With the season starting today, let's take a look at a few of the changes & additions to how you'll consuming college football in 2017:

More networks for the Big Ten

As you've heard by now, FOX Sports is now a Big Ten television partner, taking a portion of the rights.  ESPN remains a Big Ten partner as well, but FOX has become the primary partner, so both FOX and FS1 will be carrying games from the conference.

Here's information on what each Big Ten TV partner will be carrying.

Stadium goes live

WatchStadium.com went live this past week.  They'll have a schedule of Conference USA, Patriot League and SoCon football games football games.  Right now, the best way to view the channel may be through online/digital means, such as their website or through PlutoTV, as they'll be releasing more info on where to watch on linear TV soon.

In addition to the 24/7 channel, several C-USA and Mountain West games will be shown exclusively on Facebook through a Stadium College Football page.  These 15 games remind me a bit of the Mountain West and C-USA games that would be produced by Campus Insiders to be exclusively shown through that portal.

Verizon's go90 continues to carry events from the conference portals that used to be at Campus Insiders and these events appear to be friendlier compared to prior years with respect to casting to devices, but we'll see if that continues (I think it may).

Speaking of PlutoTV

PlutoTV not only has the 24/7 Stadium feed, they'll carry events from the Big Sky conference.  WatchBigSky.com will continue to carry those events as well.

Eleven Sports

Eleven Sports, formerly in the US known as One World Sports, has jumped into college sports coverage with games from the Big Sky, Ivy League (who had games on the channel as One World Sports), Southland and UMass.

Eleven Sports has coverage on Verizon's go90.  From what I've seen, all of the conferences & schools listed above retained live streaming rights to their games, so check the conference or school streaming pages for info if you can't get Eleven Sports.

beIN Sports Connect

beIN Sports Connect as an app has worked well for their programming, but if you tried viewing from their website, they required Microsoft's Silverlight technology, which is a bit outdated and, frankly, blocked by a lot of modern browsers including Microsoft's own Edge browser.

Anyways, they've remedied that and you won't need any dodgy plugins to view their content through the website.

Hawai'i Football On the Mainland

After a season where Hawai'i home games were only viewable if ESPN or CBS Sports Network picked up the game, Hawai'i home games produced by Spectrum Sports in Hawai'i will be available online through the Mountain West app.

With that said, the Mountain West app hasn't received any new content since late June.  The move of content over to Stadium from Campus Insiders and from SportsLabs over to Sidearm Sports may mean a new app is in process.  Hopefully the situation sorts itself out by next Saturday.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Commentary & Analysis on Big Ten Content Numbers

Read this post first so you'll have some context about this information.

* If you caught me ranting a few days ago about how the numbers didn't add up based on a set of Reddit CFB notes about BTN's football game coverage, its less justified than it was on that evening.  In short, I was ranting that the number of 40 BTN football games and FOX Sports and ESPN Networks splitting 50 football games, 25 games a side, left five games unaccounted for with the conference at 95 games under their control in 2017.  With the  maximum number at 27 each for ESPN and FOX Sports, the BTN game number of 40 is still one game short, but I'm willing to let that go and bet they'll have a 41st game.  By using 27 as the base number with FOX Sports telecast windows instead of 25, it also makes the math work over there (its a long story, I thought FOX Sports had two too many game windows if you read the post & comments).

* Does the requirement for two football appearances from each school, with at least one intraconference game, still stand for BTN?  I believe it does, or lets say I've seen or read nothing to dissuade me of that opinion.  Frankly, I think FOX would want it around, even if it slightly neuters their own package of games since they have majority ownership in BTN.

* By doubling their coverage of the men's basketball tournament, BTN has essentially picked up the games that ESPN previously carried within the men's conference tournament.  This is the same coverage that the SEC Network provides for their conference tournament until the semfinals and final are covered on ESPN.  Looking over the three days that ESPN previously carried games (one on Wednesday mid-afternoon, two on Thursday evening and two on Friday afternoon), my expectation is the following:
  • No replacement of the Wednesday game.  There's nothing to move up of equal value.
  • On Thursday, the Big 12 evening quarterfinals could move from ESPNU to ESPN2, and the American Athletic First Round could air in full on ESPNU instead of game 1 on ESPNU and the last two on ESPNEWS.
  • On Friday, the American Athletic afternoon quarterfinals could move from ESPN2 to ESPN.  If there was a desire to air another conference tournament during the afternoon on ESPN2, the Sun Belt could be moved from an ESPN3 exclusive.  The SEC Network has the SEC's tournament and I struggle with moving their tournament off that network, but it is possible that they could leapfrog the American onto ESPN as a simulcast of sorts.
  • I had a hard time believing FS1 would get any portion of the conference tournament after looking over the game times that ESPN had.  FS1 usually will have commitments to NASCAR on Fridays for practice (either Las Vegas or Phoenix based on the schedule) plus the Big East tournament most years.
* It appears that the plan is for the two primary football TV partners to have around 15-18 primetime football games a year.  BTN will continue to have night games too.  I swear I read that the plan was for 30 primetime football games per year among all three entities, with nearly all coming before November, or at least through the first weekend of November.

* Why is FOX's number of football games more elastic where ESPN's is more concrete? I don't know the exact reason, but there's always variability in the number of home non-conference games you may end up scheduling.  If we assume 6.5 home games per school, at 14 schools (at least half the conference has seven home games), you would have 91 regular season games.  With 27 games for ESPN, the low end of 24 for FOX Sports and a base number of 40 for BTN, you end with 91 games.  

FOX could also be  attempting to cover themselves with respect to other programming commitments like MLB, NASCAR, UFC (if renewed).  There's also the matter of whether Friday football games will continue to be in future season schedules.  FS1 is scheduled to air four of the five Friday games in 2017.  The Friday that ESPN is airing a game happens to be one that FS1 also has one.

* I don't have any minimums or maximums around the number of games that will air on any of these networks, with the exception of the ten regular season basketball games on CBS.

* The game counts for both ESPN and FOX Sports in the area of men's basketball are interesting.  The number of conference controlled games that previously aired on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS in the regular season each of the past three seasons was either 70 or 71 games, including the five conference tournament games that will air on BTN in the future.  If you're comparing the number of regular season games that ESPN Networks and FOX Sports will have rights to, the number increases from 65 games last athletic year to anywhere from 77 to 85 games.  It should be noted that 25-26 additional conference controlled games aired on ESPN3 last year, usually non-conference games.  It could be inferred that some of the ESPN3 games are being absorbed by the new TV deals of ESPN and FOX Sports, but some of those could end up with BTN or to beef up the BTN+ subscription package, which I guess is still a thing.

* ESPNU appears to be limited to non-conference football and a handful of men's basketball games.  I don't have any sense around whether FS2 or FSN is involved on the FOX Sports side.  My magic 8 ball says "no" for football & "unlikely" for men's basketball, especially when you consider that FOX doesn't have a RSN that they own or are affiliated with in Illinois, part of Iowa and a large portion of Pennsylvania.  FS2 has distribution issues but will have at least two Big 12 non-conference football games and could have one Big 12 intraconference game depending on the number of games played in the AL Championship Series.  I would expect FS2 to continue airing a select number of Big East men's basketball games too.

* If CBS is limited to Sundays for their regular season basketball windows, expect FOX to roll with Big East-Big Ten doubleheaders on Saturdays on the broadcast network.  Going back to the 2014-15 athletic year, only three of the 25 regular season games on CBS were scheduled for Saturdays and none last season:
  • 1/17/15: Michigan St. at Maryland
    • CBS had the AFC championship on Sunday
  • 12/5/15: Temple at Wisconsin
    • Lead-in to SEC football championship pregame show
  • 2/6/16: Michigan St. at Michigan
    • CBS had Super Bowl 50 on Sunday
* I couldn't get a lot of information about Olympic Sports and women's basketball, other than ESPN's coverage.  I would expect BTN to remain involved in that area.  As for events on FOX or FS1, I'm less certain on that.  They may be willing to let coverage stay with BTN.

A Few Content Parameters for the Big Ten Rights Agreements

A source was able to provide me with more concrete numbers & facts about the Big Ten rights agreements, so lets get some of that information out to you, in alphabetical order of the rightsholder:

I have some thoughts about these items here.

BTN
  • As previously announced, the agreement with the conference and FOX Entertainment Group has been extended by five years to 2032.
  • The men's basketball tournament will now have ten games air on the network, up from five.  
CBS
  • Rights maintained to the semifinals and championship of the men's basketball tournament.
  • At least ten regular season games per season.
  • Sundays will be the primary day for Big Ten basketball to air on CBS.
  • All of these parameters are about the same as the previous agreement.
ESPN Networks
  • 27 football games
    • All intraconference games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
    • At least six primetime games per season on ABC or ESPN
  • 38 men's basketball games
    • Most intraconference games on ESPN or ESPN2
  • Broad coverage of women's basketball and Olympic sports
FOX Sports
  • 24 to 27 football games per year
    • Nine games total in primetime on FOX and FS1
  • Top pick in the draft of weeks to select first in football
  • Football championship game every year
  • 39-47 men's basketball games
    • Potentially ten of those games on FOX broadcast network
It was stressed to me that CBS, ESPN Networks and FOX Sports will share priority with respect to game selection within men's basketball.  FOX Sports has priority with the respect to choosing first when choosing the weeks they want top choice in football, but ESPN will be choosing first some weeks.  You could also word that as FOX has top overall choice of football games.

You'll also see some co-branding when it comes to on screen logos.  ESPN started running them in the past year or two with the "Big Ten on ESPN", similar to "SEC/ACC/American on ESPN".  Expect FOX (and CBS?) to do the same.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A (TV) Window Into The Future For 2017 CFB & MBK

* ESPN's telecast schedules were published for October and November for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and SEC Network.  ESPNU will likely following in the next month or two.  As with anything related to TV, these are subject to change.

A few things I noticed:
  • ESPNEWS has a college football window on Thursday, November 16th at 7pm.  My best guess for the game to be potentially shown is Tennessee St. at Jacksonville St.  ESPNEWS has carried Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina on the Thursday before Thanksgiving the past two seasons.
  • The addition of the PK80 Invitational has had a couple side effects:
    • ABC (12pm & 3:30pm), ESPN (8pm) and ESPN2 (11am) are the only college football game windows over those three channels on Black Friday.  Based on the available games, I believe they'll be splitting the American & ACC games over those four windows.  Navy at Houston might end up being on ABC at 12pm to keep them away from a 10am local / 11am ET start.

      Expect one MAC window on ESPNU on Black Friday since their television schedule note they would have a game on the network that day, probably in the morning.

    • ESPNEWS will get used on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Sunday 11/27 to show college basketball that is being pushed off ESPN2 and ESPNU (presumably since we don't know ESPNU's intended schedule) from events such as the Advocare Invitational, Wooden Legacy and NIT Tip Off.  I do not know if ESPN3 will get used for any of the events moving for the PK80.  My assumption is that the PK80 was given priority over other ESPN owned events as I see nearly all their games on ESPN or ESPN2 so far.

    • Six games from the Battle 4 Atlantis will again be on ESPN and ESPN2.  The championship is listed as airing on ESPN before the 3rd place game on ESPN2 on Black Friday.  The other six games have been carried by AXS.TV the past couple years and I do not know of any changes to that arrangement.

    • More of an administrative thing than anything else, but I've stripped the scheduled matchups off the PK80 telecast windows.  Not because the matchups are in doubt, but because it is not known which matchups will be scheduled for a particular time.
  • SEC Network, provided these times hold up, could be playing around with some alternative telecast start times in November.  November 11th and 25th have the 2nd telecast window at 3:30pm ET instead of 4pm, while November 18th has all three windows adjusted with start times of 1pm, 4:30pm and 8pm ET.

    The 18th does have five of its nine games being played at sites in the Central Time Zone with one of the five being a game vs. a FCS opponent (Mercer at Alabama), which would seem to be destined for the network along with Wofford at South Carolina.  The 18th will also have two CBS telecast windows (12pm & 3:30pm), which should pick off two of the five intraconference games available.

    October 7th only has one game listed for 4pm too, but I bet there's more to be shown on that day besides one game.

  • In the overnight hours on Monday 11/13 to Tuesday 11/14, I did not see any scheduled college basketball telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2, which would normally be the time of the year for ESPN to present their 24 hour tipoff marathon.  While this is subject to change and we should know more in the next few weeks, its possible that the entire event has moved over to ESPNU or that they've elected to not do it.

    So far, the only games scheduled for 11/14 are on ESPN.  Those would be the Champions Classic doubleheader.
  • ESPN2 has a pair of generic listings for "SEC College Basketball" at 9pm ET and "Pac-12 College Basketball" on 11/20 at 11:30pm ET.  Two SEC games are currently available on 11/13, but I expect the 11/20 game to be North Carolina at Stanford.
* Patrick Marshall of White And Blue Review passed along a release from FloHoops that the subscription website would now be the exclusive rightsholder for the Paradise Jam, which previously had about half of the event on CBS Sports Network and the rest on streaming services.  FloHoops happened to be the subscription streaming service for the games that went without TV last year.  For FloHoops, the deal is for all events organized by Basketball Travelers, Inc.

FloHoops costs about $30 a month or about half of that per month if you buy a yearly subscription.  Both Patrick and I are curious to see whether the lack of a linear TV partner will affect the quality of the field in future events. 

For CBSSN, maybe that opens up the possibility of carrying the Cayman Islands Classic, which runs from Monday 11/20 to Wednesday 11/22.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Group of Five Conferences, TV Rights & Their Convergence in 2019-20

There could be a large amount of college sports to renegotiate with the rights agreements for three of the Group of Five conferences (the American, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt) plus Army football expiring after the 2019-20 athletic year.   Its a lot of inventory to potentially hit the open market, or at least the negotiating table, all at the same time in both football and men's basketball, presumably in late 2018 or early 2019.

Before that, C-USA will be negotiating new rights agreements starting this year for deals expiring from ESPN, CBS Sports Network and STADIUM after 2017-18, while their agreement with beIN Sports runs for an additional year to 2018-19.  BYU's agreement with ESPN for football will expire after the 2018 season and they should be working through exclusive negotiations in the near future.  The WCC, where BYU competes in most other sports, has its contract with ESPN expire after 2018-19 as well.

(The MAC, if you're wondering, starts the ten year extension they signed on their previous TV deal during the 2017-18 athletic year)

EDIT: BYU's contract has an option year for 2019 that can be exercised by ESPN, so they could be included in this group of conferences.  Per AD Tom Holmoe, they'll be talking with ESPN soon per an interview from March.

These conferences plus Army all hit the market at roughly the same time with sports broadcasting at a bit of a crossroads.  Yes, the Big Ten got paid, but in the process ESPN laid off a bunch of on-camera personnel and are looking to retool key parts of their programming.  Digital-centric broadcaster STADIUM is entering the market this summer.  The American believes that there is a Power 6 that they are a part of and the Mountain West has been unhappy with how often their football games end up as evening games which has contributed to a decline in season ticket bases for at least one Mountain West school.

The movement of about 25 Big Ten games to FOX Sports plus the creation of the ACC Network, whether it happens using existing channel space like ESPNEWS or a completely new outlet similar to how the SEC Network started up, should provide some open space on Saturdays for a few more games from these conferences, probably on ESPN2 and ESPNU, but a better judge of that would be once we see how many telecast windows ESPN ends up using across their networks during the 2017 season.

Where the Group of Five conferences do hold value to ESPN is on Thursday & Friday nights, especially when games are scheduled vs. Power 5 schools or for a school that is expected to compete for the Group of Five spot within the New Years Six.  For the 2017 football season, they have at least one game air on ESPN or ESPN2 for 13 of 23 through mid-November. I excluded Thanksgiving & Black Friday, more because Black Friday has a lot of TV windows, but even that day you'll find two American Athletic & one Mountain West game for their TV partners in 2017 with the two American games to air on ABC or ESPN.


Eyeballing the table at Sports Media Watch for the 2016 season, most of the non-Power 5 Friday games had 500K-600K average viewers where the Thursday night games typically drew above a million viewers, though Houston as a potential New Years Six representative for the Group of Five helped drive some of those numbers.  Yes, the Thursday night games go against the NFL and the Friday games shift to ESPN2 once the NBA is in season.

CBS Sports Network, on the other side of the equation, is dependent on the Group of Five conferences and, right now, ESPN provides them some of that content with their MAC and American live events coming to CBSSN through sublicenses.  That handcuffs them a bit, because that content could go away if ESPN opts not to sublicense to them or the American were to move on from ESPN and doesn't have CBSSN as a direct rightsholder.  CBSSN will lose Navy as a direct partner next season as their football rights are to return to ESPN after this season.   Some of the Mountain West's anger regarding evening start times extends to CBSSN as well.  All of this leaves CBSSN with a lot of grey area with respect to how much programming space they truly have to offer a conference if they want to be the primary rightsholder for any of these conferences.

My early gut feeling is that ESPN will try to engage with each of these conferences they have rights for to try to retain them, potentially earlier than their exclusive negotiating window to try to take advantage of an uncertain marketplace as we truly don't have a great idea what major digital companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix, Amazon, etc. will pay for college football and, to be honest, college football that is not from one of the conferences that draws a lot of viewers on Saturdays.   They'll work to provide an increase in rights without overbidding for programming that, right now, costs a lot less to own the rights for.  Maybe hoping the conference will take a discount in return for a longer agreement.

As for Army, I feel would stay with CBS Sports Network,  A hunch, nothing more.  Army wasn't really thrilled with games on ESPN3 a few years back and both Army and Navy have extended their agreement with CBS to carry the Army-Navy game well into the next decade.

Where I do think these conferences have some wiggle room, potentially, is the pattern several TV agreements have moved towards: caps on the number of games a TV partner can carry with special provisions, such as the Mountain West, Pac-12 and Big Ten granting a maximum number of games to each primary rightsholder or C-USA signing their various agreements, though C-USA's agreements were more out of necessity and not necessarily by design.  For example, I can envision scenarios where a rightsholder doesn't increase the dollar amount of their rights fee to one of these conferences or provides a smaller increase, but instead relinquishes their status as the exclusive rightsholder in exchange for terms that are more favorable (ie. taking 10-15 games, maybe nearly all Thursday & Friday games in football or games on a specific night of the week in basketball).  If the conference can then swing it where they still have good inventory for a second or third rightsholder to buy in, then it could remain lucrative for them, especially if they want to test the digital waters for themselves.

So what do you see happening in three years?  Shorter or longer agreements? More or less use of linear television in these agreements?