Monday, October 15, 2018

CFB TV Confirmations for 2018 Week 9 (10/25/18-10/27/18)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/25 & 10/27 from the twelve day selection process that most TV networks adhere to (more like ten days for 10/25).  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 will 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. 


The number of six day holds available for each conference
ACC: 3 (two used: 10/6 & 10/27)
American: 1 (one used: 10/27)
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 3 (one used: 10/27)
SEC: 2
Pac-12: 3 (10/6 by FOX)

Six day hold
Big Ten: Purdue at Michigan St. & Wisconsin at Northwestern.  Both at 12pm.  One on FOX & the other on ABC or ESPN.
ACC: NC State at Syracuse (3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 or 7pm ESPN2)
American USF at Houston & Cincinnati at SMU.  One at 3:30pm ET CBSSN & the other at 3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 or 7pm ESPN2.

Thursday 10/25
7pm ESPN2:
7pm CBSSN:

Saturday 10/27
12pm ABC or ESPN: Clemson at Florida St.
12pm ESPN2: Texas Tech at Iowa St.
12pm ESPNU: Massachusetts at Connecticut
12pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Arkansas
12pm BTN: Bethune-Cookman at Nebraska
12pm CBSSN: Army at Eastern Michigan
12pm ACC RSNs: Wake Forest at Louisville
12pm ESPN3: Central Michigan at Akron
12:20pm Raycom: North Carolina at Virginia
3pm FS1: TCU at Kansas
3pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at Colorado
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Iowa at Penn St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Arizona St. at USC
3:30pm FOX: Kansas St. at Oklahoma
3:30pm ESPNU: Northern Illinois at BYU
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Maryland
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Duke at Pittsburgh
4pm SEC: Kentucky at Missouri
6:30pm FS1: Washington at California
7pm ESPN: Texas A&M at Mississippi St.
7pm ESPNU: Tulane at Tulsa
7pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Stanford
7:30pm SEC: Tennessee at South Carolina
8pm ABC: Texas at Oklahoma St.
10:30pm ESPN: Oregon at Arizona
10:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: San Diego St. at Nevada
10:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Hawai'i at Fresno St.

Games to be slotted
Toledo at Western Michigan (10/25)
Ball St. at Ohio (10/25)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

CFB TV Guesses for 2018 Week Nine (10/25/18 - 10/27/18)

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

* 7:30pm is the listed time for ABC's primetime window, which indicates a Big Ten game is being targeted.  Yes, they can be subbed out of & changed to 8pm for another conference.  If they wanted to choose Clemson at Florida St., for example, they could.  At this time, I'm sticking by the 7:30pm start time listing.  Please note that a Big Ten game cannot be held for a six day hold with a night game slot as an option, so if a Big Ten game is going to be played at night, that decision is going to be made on Monday.
* CBS selected Georgia vs. Florida for its afternoon game before the season started, so ESPN will be slotting the remaining SEC games into their networks.  While not a six day hold, I wouldn't be surprised if ESPN at least considered Kentucky at Missouri for the 7pm slot.  They are flexible within 30 minutes of the ESPN, ESPN2 and SEC Network nighttime starts a few times year.
* CBS Sports Network's 12pm selection is a MAC window between either Central Michigan at Akron or Army at Eastern Michigan.  The other game will revert back to ESPN's platforms.  The 3:30pm CBSSN window belongs to the American.
* ESPNEWS had a 3pm window originally scheduled, but that window appears to have been rendered unnecessary.
* BTN did not list a 12pm window for football, listing StudentU programming at both 12pm & 7:30pm ET.  That's not unheard of as last season on 9/30/17 they windows at 3:30pm & 7:30pm.  I slotted two games into the 3:30pm.  Remember that Bethune-Cookman at Nebraska was a in-season scheduling addition due to Nebraska cancelling their game vs. Akron.
* FOX has no primetime window due to World Series Game 4.  FS1 has a NASCAR race at 1pm and a UFC Fight Night at 10pm.  The UFC website also had the prelim card from 8-10pm on FS1, but listing services have the pre-fight and prelim matches on FS2.
* Multiple RSNs show a doubleheader of ACC football at 12pm & 3:30pm.
* I gave the top Big 12 and Pac-12 choices to FOX Sports and the top Big Ten choice to ESPN.  I don't have FOX Sports choosing a Big Ten game on Saturday for FOX or FS1, but they do have Indiana at Minnesota on Friday night.  It isn't unheard of for FOX to skip a Saturday on the Big Ten.  They did last year on 9/9 when ABC aired a Big Ten tripleheader and aired Ohio at Purdue on FS1 on Friday night.  Part of my reasoning also involves how far FOX Sports is ahead on selections used compared to ESPN.
* With Washington picking up their 2nd loss, I figured now was a good time to get their remaining required Pac-12 Networks game in,  I had the Pac-12 Networks picking 3rd after FOX in the afternoon and ESPN at 10:30pm.
* Where could a six day hold be used?  Whomever is picking first the in Pac-12 might look into it, choosing the game involving the winner of Oregon at Washington St. next week.  Possibly for the Big 12 if there's a desire to wait on the result of Oklahoma at TCU.  The Big Ten & Big 12 have four six day holds remaining, the ACC and Pac-12 have three each and the SEC and American each have two available to use.

Thursday 10/25
7pm ESPN2: Toledo at Western Michigan
7pm CBSSN: Ball St. at Ohio

Saturday 10/27
12pm ABC: Clemson at Florida St.
12pm FOX: Texas at Oklahoma St.
12pm ESPN: Wisconsin at Northwestern
12pm ESPN2: Purdue at Michigan St.
12pm ESPNU: Cincinnati at SMU
12pm SEC: Tennessee at South Carolina
12pm CBSSN: Army at Eastern Michigan
12pm ACC RSNs: Wake Forest at Louisville
12:20pm Raycom: North Carolina at Virginia
3pm FS1: Texas Tech at Iowa St.
3:30pm ABC: Kansas St. at Oklahoma
3:30pm FOX: Washington St. at Stanford
3:30pm ESPN: NC State at Syracuse
3:30pm ESPN2: USF at Houston
3:30pm ESPNU: Tulane at Tulsa
3:30pm CBSSN: Massachusetts at Connecticut
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Maryland
3:30pm BTN: Bethune-Cookman at Nebraska
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Duke at Pittsburgh
4pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at Colorado
6:30pm FS1: TCU at Kansas
7pm ESPN: Texas A&M at Mississippi St.
7pm ESPN2: Arizona St. at USC
7pm ESPNU: Northern Illinois at BYU
7:30pm ABC: Iowa at Penn St.
7:30pm SEC: Kentucky at Missouri
8pm Pac-12: Washington at California
10:30pm ESPN: Oregon at Arizona
10:30pm ESPN2: Hawai'i at Fresno St.
10:30pm ESPNU: San Diego St. at Nevada

Streaming
Central Michigan at Akron

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 (Kinda) Midseason CFB TV Selection Report

I wanted to get a midseason report out after the 10/13 selections, but I ran out of time.  This is based on the selections just completed for 10/20, which leaves five weeks of selections remaining.

A lot of the counting up of appearances was done manually, so if I'm off on the count, correct me so I can correct the counts here.

American
* The minimum of three ABC games has been achieved (yes, I'm aware two were shoved into a single reverse mirror window on 9/8).  I believe you'll see one more ABC game on Black Friday based on the available windows and games.
* 22 games have been scheduled for ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU with a minimum of 28 games across those networks.  Two more games are likely for those networks on Black Friday.

Big 12
* ESPN has used 17 of their 23 Big 12 selections.  The conference championship game is not part of the 23 selections.

  • ABC: 4
  • ESPN: 7
  • ESPN2: 3
  • ESPNU: 2
    • A maximum of four to five games on ESPNU
  • Longhorn Network: 1 (vs. Iowa St.)

* 27 games have aired on ABC, FOX, ESPN and FS1, which meets a requirement of at least 25 national exposures across those four networks.

Big Ten
* Michigan needs to appear once on BTN over the remaining games to fulfill requirements to have two games, with one being a game vs. another Big Ten school, on BTN.
* FOX Sports can air up to nine games in primetime on FOX & FS1, but they look like they'll only have around five to seven, with one games being the Akron-Nebraska game that ended up being canceled.  ESPN should easily get into the six to nine game range of primetime windows.  They've already carried five games at night and have two more ABC windows scheduled for 7:30pm that could end up being Big Ten games.
* FOX Sports has used 20 of their Big Ten selections and ESPN has used 16.  Both conferences have a max of 27 selections per season.
* Week Ten (11/3/18) is the last week that both ESPN Networks and FOX Sports can select a game to air at night without prior consultation with the competing schools.  From that point forward, networks will make schools available multiple weeks in advance of the possibility of a night game and both competing schools must agree to the night game selection.  In 2017, only one night game was played past the after this deadline: Purdue at Northwestern on ESPN2 at 7pm on 11/11/17.

Independents
* BYU has one more required ESPN appearance to be made.  There is an allowance for at least one game on ESPNU.  They have made three appearances on ESPN2, which fulfills a requirement for at least three BYU home games to appear on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Pac-12
* ESPN has met their ABC minimum of two games, with one being a night game.  Fourteen of ABC's 22 selections have been used.
* FOX Sports hit their required four Pac-12 games on FOX at night and needs to place one more game on their broadcast network.  They have used 16 of their 22 selections.
* Stanford, UCLA and Washington must have one of their remaining games air on Pac-12 Networks, as there is a maximum of nine games total for a school that can air amongst the FOX Sports and ESPN packages.  UCLA and Stanford play the final week of the regular season.  Both Stanford and Washington also have games available vs. Oregon St.

SEC
* LSU & Georgia has three CBS appearances scheduled.  There is a maximum of five times that a school can appear on CBS.  A sixth appearance can be allowed for under special circumstances.
* Alabama, Florida and Tennessee have two appearances scheduled each.
* Georgia's appearance vs. South Carolina does not count as a CBS appearance as it was a game sublicensed from ESPN.  The same for Tennessee's appearance vs. West Virginia.

Some commentary
* An early takeaway I have is that FOX will likely go heavy on the Big 12 in November since they're a bit ahead of ESPN on their usage in the Big Ten and Pac-12.  Their Big 12 package is not capped on the FOX Sports side in terms of the number of games they can carry.  They do have UFC commitments potentially each of the first three Saturdays of November, which could limit the number of games they can carry unless the UFC items in some areas are moved to F/X or FS2.  They also have a pair of FSN windows for the Big 12 in November.
* Six day holds should start to be used more regularly over the next five weeks worth of selections.  Only one has been used on the ACC (10/6) and one on the Pac-12 (10/6 by FOX).
* Both 10/27 and 11/3 have ABC windows scheduled for 7:30pm ET.  I think there are games (no, I'm not telling you what I think, but you can guess) targeted by ESPN to place on ABC and I'm unsure that there are better options.  Notre Dame at Northwestern was preselected by ESPN to air at some point during the day.

Monday, October 8, 2018

CFB TV Confirmations for 2018 Week 8 (10/20/18)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/20 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 will 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. 


The number of six day holds available for each conference
ACC: 3 (one used on 10/6)
American: 2
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 4
SEC: 2
Pac-12: 3 (10/6 by FOX)

12pm ABC: Oklahoma at TCU
12pm FOX: Michigan at Michigan St.
12pm ESPN: Auburn at Ole Miss
12pm ESPN2: Maryland at Iowa
12pm FS1: Illinois at Wisconsin
12pm ESPNU: Cincinnati at Temple
12pm SEC: Tulsa at Arkansas
12pm BTN: Northwestern at Rutgers
12:20pm Raycom: North Carolina at Syracuse
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Virginia at Duke
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: Penn St. at Indiana
3:30pm ABC or ESPN: NC State at Clemson
3:30pm ESPN2: Wake Forest at Florida St.
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Tennessee
3:30pm FOX: Colorado at Washington
3:30pm FS1: Kansas at Texas Tech
3:30pm ESPNU: SMU at Tulane
3:30pm BTN: Minnesota at Nebraska
4pm SEC: Memphis at Missouri
5pm Pac-12: California at Oregon St.
7pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at LSU
7pm ESPN2: UCF at East Carolina
7pm CBSSN: Connecticut at USF
7:30pm ABC: Ohio St. at Purdue
7:30pm FOX: Oregon at Washington St.
7:30pm ESPNU: Fresno St. at New Mexico
7:30pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Kentucky
10:30pm ESPN2: Arizona at UCLA
TBA Pac-12: USC at Utah

Sunday, October 7, 2018

CFB TV Guesses for 2018 Week Eight (10/20/18)

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

* FOX Sports selected Michigan at Michigan St. in advance of the season & ESPN selected Penn St. at Indiana in advance too.
* Assuming Michigan at Michigan St. was the top Big Ten choice, I slotted the top Big 12 choice to ESPN (Oklahoma at TCU) and the top Pac-12 choice to FOX (Colorado at Washington).
* So I've slotted Michigan at Michigan St. on FS1 under the assumption of NLCS Game Seven being required.  They can't leave it until the last second, but they'll know the results of the first two games of the series.  I could see see the game moving up to FOX and swapping places with Colorado at Washington.  That's also why USC at Utah could be the sacrificial lamb FOX game if there's a NLCS Game Seven (ie. don't compete with yourself).
* An alternate strategy on that: ESPN takes no Big 12 games (already has selected 16 of 23 Big 12 games this season) & has the top Pac-12 choice, choosing Colorado at Washington at 3:30pm.  No Big 12 six day holds have been used yet, so FOX can keep Michigan at Michigan St. at 3:30pm, move USC at Utah to 3:30pm, then slot the Big 12 games appropriately on a six day hold
* ABC's primetime window is scheduled for 7:30pm ET, which often indicates a Big Ten game.
* Three other Big Ten games are scheduled for noon ET as homecoming games: Illinois at Wisconsin, Northwestern at Rutgers & Maryland at Iowa.
* The late evening ESPN window is not being used.  They have a NBA game scheduled: Rockets at Lakers (Lebron James' 1st Lakers home game).
* ESPNU's late window has been marked for a tape delayed airing of a SWAC game.
* ESPNEWS has no windows scheduled due to live practice & qualifying coverage of the Formula 1 US Grand Prix.
* The sole CBSSN opening is for the American Athletic Conference.

12pm ABC: NC State at Clemson
12pm FOX: Maryland at Iowa
12pm ESPN: Illinois at Wisconsin
12pm ESPN2: Wake Forest at Florida St.
12pm FS1: Kansas at Texas Tech
12pm ESPNU: Cincinnati at Temple
12pm SEC: Memphis at Missouri
12pm BTN: Northwestern at Rutgers
12:20pm Raycom: North Carolina at Syracuse
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Virginia at Duke
3:30pm ABC: Oklahoma at TCU
3:30pm CBS: Alabama at Tennessee
3:30pm FOX: Colorado at Washington
3:30pm ESPN: Penn St. at Indiana
3:30pm ESPN2: UCF at East Carolina
3:30pm FS1: Michigan at Michigan St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Connecticut at USF
3:30pm BTN: Minnesota at Nebraska
4pm SEC: Tulsa at Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: Arizona at UCLA
7pm ESPN: Mississippi St. at LSU
7pm ESPN2: Auburn at Ole Miss
7pm ESPNU: Fresno St. at New Mexico
7pm CBSSN: SMU at Tulane
7:30pm ABC: Ohio St. at Purdue
7:30pm FOX: USC at Utah
7:30pm SEC: Vanderbilt at Kentucky
9pm Pac-12: California at Oregon St.
10:30pm ESPN2: Oregon at Washington St.

Monday, October 1, 2018

CFB TV Confirmations for 2018 Week 7 (10/13/18)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/13 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 will 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. 


The number of six day holds available for each conference

ACC: 3 (one used on 10/6)
American: 2
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 3 (one potentially being used on 10/13)
SEC: 2
Pac-12: 3 (10/6 by FOX)

12pm ABC or ESPN2: Nebraska at Northwestern
12pm ABC or ESPN2: Iowa at Indiana
12pm ESPN or SEC Network: Tennessee at Auburn
12pm ESPN or SEC Network: Florida at Vanderbilt
12pm FS1 or BTN: Minnesota at Ohio St.
12pm FS1 or BTN: Rutgers at Maryland
12pm ESPNU: Oklahoma St. at Kansas St.
12pm CBSSN: Akron at Buffalo
12pm ESPN+: Toledo at Eastern Michigan
12:20pm ACC Network: Duke at Georgia Tech
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Louisville at Boston College
2:30pm ESPN+: Kent St. at Miami (OH)
3pm ESPN3: Ball St. at Central Michigan
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at LSU
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2:  Washington at Oregon
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Baylor at Texas
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2:  UCF at Memphis
3:30pm FS1 or BTN: Michigan St. at Penn St.
3:30pm FS1 or BTN: Purdue at Illinois
3:30pm ESPNU: Army vs. San Jose St.
3:30pm SEC: Texas A&M at South Carolina
3:30pm ESPN+: Ohio at Northern Illinois
6pm ESPN3: UL-Monroe at Coastal Carolina
7pm ESPN: Missouri at Alabama
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Miami (FL) at Virginia
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Virginia Tech at North Carolina
7pm FS1: West Virginia at Iowa St.
7pm CBSSN: Houston at East Carolina
7pm Pac-12: UCLA at California
7:30pm ABC: Wisconsin at Michigan
7:30pm SEC: Ole Miss at Arkansas
10:15pm ESPN2: Hawai'i at BYU
10:30pm FS1: Colorado at USC
10:30pm ESPNU: Wyoming at Fresno St.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

CFB TV Guesses for 2018 Week Seven (10/13/18)

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

* FOX Sports' only windows are scheduled for FS1.  The broadcast network is scheduled to carry NASCAR, NLCS Game 2 and non-sports programming in the evening.
* Five of the seven Big Ten games are homecoming games and set for specific parts of the day.  Nebraska at Northwestern, Rutgers at Maryland at Iowa at Indiana are set for 12pm, with Iowa at Indiana selected to air on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  Michigan St. at Penn St. & Purdue at Illinois will start in mid-afternoon.
* ABC also has a 7:30pm ET start time for their primetime game, so look for a Big Ten game at that time.  Wisconsin at Michigan and Minnesota at Ohio St. are the options, in my opinion.  You could easily swap the two places where I have them.  I went with Ohio St. by looking ahead at the possibility that Michigan's home game vs. Penn St. could be at night on 11/3, even if that competes with Notre Dame at Northwestern for a primetime slot within the conference and Alabama at LSU on CBS.  That also should speak to why looking ahead that far can make your head spin because there's still plenty of games to be played.
* BTN only has 12pm & 3:30pm windows.  Their fall schedule has a volleyball match scheduled for 8pm.
* ESPN does not have a late evening telecast window.  They have a Top Rank boxing card scheduled.
* I gave ESPN the top Big Ten and Big 12 choices.  Top Saturday choice in the case of the Big 12 since TCU at Texas Tech is already on ESPN on Thursday night. 
* I tossed the top Saturday Pac-12 choice to FOX, but I have Pac-12 Networks choosing before ESPN2 as they can do periodically during the year.  It would not surprise me if Pac-12 Networks has the top choice as they have the option at least once a season.
* I didn't have a use for the two ESPNEWS windows listed at 12pm & 4pm ET.  When I looked at ESPN MediaZone this morning, only the 12pm window remained.

12pm ABC: Wisconsin at Michigan
12pm ESPN: Tennessee at Auburn
12pm ESPN2: Iowa at Indiana
12pm FS1: Rutgers at Maryland
12pm ESPNU: Louisville at Boston College
12pm SEC: Florida at Vanderbilt
12pm BTN: Nebraska at Northwestern
12pm CBSSN: Houston at East Carolina
12:20pm ACC Network: Virginia Tech at North Carolina
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Duke at Georgia Tech
3:30pm ABC: Baylor at Texas
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at LSU
3:30pm ESPN: Michigan St. at Penn St.
3:30pm ESPN2: UCF at Memphis
3:30pm FS1: Oklahoma St. at Kansas St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Hawai'i at BYU
3:30pm BTN: Purdue at Illinois
4pm SEC: Ole Miss at Arkansas
4pm Pac-12: Colorado at USC
7pm ESPN: Missouri at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: Miami (FL) at Virginia
7pm FS1: West Virginia at Iowa St.
7pm ESPNU: Wyoming at Fresno St.
7pm CBSSN: Ohio at Northern Illinois
7:30pm ABC: Minnesota at Ohio St.
7:30pm SEC: Texas A&M at South Carolina
10:30pm ESPN2: UCLA at California
10:30pm FS1: Washington at Oregon
10:30pm ESPNU: Army vs. San Jose St.

Streaming
Akron at Buffalo
Ball St. at Central Michigan
Toledo at Eastern Michigan
Kent St. at Miami (OH)

Monday, September 24, 2018

CFB TV Confirmations for 2018 Week 6 (10/6/18)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 10/6 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 will 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. 


The number of six day holds available for each conference

ACC: 3 (one used on 10/6)
American: 2
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 4 
SEC: 2
Pac-12: 3 (one used on 10/6 by FOX)

Games held for six day option
Florida St. at Miami (FL)
Clemson at Wake Forest
Notre Dame at Virginia Tech
Vanderbilt at Georgia
Auburn at Mississippi St.
Kentucky at Texas A&M
Utah at Stanford
Washington at UCLA

ACC options are 3:30pm ABC, 3:30pm ESPN and 8pm ABC.

SEC options are 7pm ESPN, 7:30pm ESPN2 and 7:30pm SEC Network.  The SEC holds do not constitute using a six day hold for time & does not count as a true six day hold.  ESPN does this a lot with night games in the SEC.

Pac-12 options are 7:30pm FOX & 10:30pm ESPN.

12pm ABC: Maryland at Michigan
12pm ESPN: Alabama at Arkansas
12pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Kansas at West Virginia
12pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Tulane at Cincinnati
12pm FS1: Northwestern at Michigan St.
12pm ESPNEWS: East Carolina at Temple
12pm SEC: Missouri at South Carolina
12pm BTN: Illinois at Rutgers
12pm CBSSN: Buffalo at Central Michigan
12pm ESPN+: Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
12:20pm ACC Network: Syracuse at Pittsburgh
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Boston College at NC State
3pm ESPN3: Northern Illinois at Ball St.
3:30pm CBS: LSU at Florida
3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Iowa St. at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: San Diego St. at Boise St.
3:30pm FS1: Kansas St. at Baylor
3:30pm BTN: Iowa at Minnesota
4pm FOX: Indiana at Ohio St.
4pm SEC: UL-Monroe at Ole Miss
4pm Pac-12: Arizona St. at Colorado
7pm ESPNU: SMU at UCF
7pm CBSSN: Connecticut at Memphis
7:30pm BTN: Nebraska at Wisconsin
9pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Oregon St.
10pm FS1: California at Arizona
10:30pm ESPNU: Fresno St. at Nevada

Sunday, September 23, 2018

CFB TV Guesses for 2018 Week Six (10/6/18)

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

* FOX Sports selected Oklahoma vs. Texas in advance of the season and set the start time & TV network in advance of the 12 day selection process.
* Four Big Ten homecoming games are scheduled this week.  Maryland at Michigan and Northwestern at Michigan St. will be played at 12pm ET, while Indiana at Ohio St. and Iowa at Minnesota are set for mid-afternoon start times.
* FS1 is scheduled to carry prelim matches for the UFC pay-per-view from 8pm - 10pm ET.
* CBS Sports Network will have MAC and American Athletic selections, but they are not set for a specific conference in the 12pm & 7pm windows.
* Notre Dame at Virginia Tech would have looked a lot better had the Hokies not lost to Old Dominion.  With that said, I think its best available game for ESPN to work with for ABC primetime.  If anything, there might be a consideration for Florida St. at Miami along with this one to be held for a six day decision based on the result of Stanford-Notre Dame
* I gave LSU at Florida the slot nod over Auburn at Mississippi St.  I could be swayed to swap the two games, but Mississippi St.'s loss yesterday didn't help.
* I slotted FOX with the top Big 12 selection (OU-Texas) and the top Big Ten pick (Indiana-OSU).  I pushed the top Pac-12 selection to ESPN, where I think another six day hold could be used.  ESPN could use a pair of six day holds with the result of Stanford-Notre Dame shaping both the game selections of the Pac-12 (10:30pm ESPN vs. 8pm FOX) and the ACC..

12pm ABC: Maryland at Michigan
12pm ESPN: Alabama at Arkansas
12pm ESPN2: Kansas at West Virginia
12pm FS1: Iowa St. at Oklahoma St.
12pm ESPNU: SMU at UCF
12pm ESPNEWS: East Carolina at Temple
12pm SEC: Missouri at South Carolina
12pm BTN: Northwestern at Michigan St.
12pm CBSSN: Buffalo at Central Michigan
12:20pm ACC Network: Boston College at NC State
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Syracuse at Pittsburgh
3:30pm ABC: Florida St. at Miami (FL)
3:30pm CBS: LSU at Florida
3:30pm ESPN: Clemson at Wake Forest
3:30pm ESPN2: Iowa at Minnesota
3:30pm FS1: Kansas St. at Baylor
3:30pm ESPNU: Connecticut at Memphis
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Rutgers
4pm FOX: Indiana at Ohio St.
4pm SEC: UL-Monroe at Ole Miss
4pm Pac-12: California at Arizona
7pm ESPN: Auburn at Mississippi St.
7pm ESPN2: Vanderbilt at Georgia
7pm ESPNU: San Diego St. at Boise St.
7pm CBSSN: Tulane at Cincinnati
7:30pm FOX: Washington at UCLA
7:30pm SEC: Kentucky at Texas A&M
7:30pm BTN: Nebraska at Wisconsin
8pm ABC: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech
9pm Pac-12: Washington St. at Oregon St.
10pm FS1: Arizona St. at Colorado
10:30pm ESPN: Utah at Stanford
10:30pm ESPNU: Fresno St. at Nevada

Streaming
Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
Northern Illinois at Ball St.
Ohio at Kent St.
Miami (OH) at Akron
Bowling Green at Toledo

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Quick CFB & MBK Notes

Apologies on the number of mistakes in the weekly blog entry keeping track of the 12 day selections and the updates to the schedule each week.  There's probably errors here too.  Will do better.

Football

* If you're keeping track of who picked first for the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12, my belief is these are the weeks each network picked first, including future weeks:
  • Big 12
    • FOX Sports: 8/30-9/1, 9/8, 9/22, 10/6 (Oklahoma-Texas)
    • ABC & ESPN: 9/15, 9/29, 11/17 (Iowa St.-Texas, per ISU), 11/23-24 (WVU-Oklahoma)
  • Big Ten
    • FOX Sports: 9/22, 10/21 , 11/23 (Nebraska-Iowa), 11/24 (Michigan-Ohio St.)
      • Note: Big Ten treats Black Friday as a individual week independent from Saturday
    • ABC & ESPN: 8/30-9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/29, 11/3 (Notre Dame-Northwestern)
  • Pac-12
    • FOX Sports: 8/30-9/1, 9/8, 9/29
    • ABC & ESPN: 9/15, 9/22
    • Pac-12: None Yet
* Other random stats that may matter
  • Big Ten primetime games, including weeknights
    • ABC & ESPN: 3 (at least six per season, max of nine)
    • FOX Sports: 5 (max of nine per season)
  • FOX needs one more Pac-12 primetime game to fulfill their maximum.  ABC has met theirs.
  • FOX has met their minimum for Big 12 games on FS1.
  • Combined, FOX Sports and ESPN have to air 25 games nationally on ABC, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1.  21 have aired on these networks so far.
  • In-season selections remaining:
    • Big 12 
      • ABC & ESPN: 11 (max of 23)
    • Big Ten (assuming 27 selections each)
      • ABC & ESPN: 16
      • FOX Sports: 12
    • Pac-12 (22 selections each)
      • ABC & ESPN: 11
      • FOX Sports: 11
  • Sixteen American Athletic games have been scheduled to air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  At least two more will be added to this count on Black Friday.
* The sheer number of cancellations over the first few weeks, most of them due to the hurricane, might affect the overall number of selections each conference has for a particular network.  To the positive or negative?  I can't say.  I suspect Raycom, for example, will end up with an extra window somewhere, much like they did when ULM-Florida St. was postponed last year & a midseason primetime window popped up.  Even though it wasn't a primetime game, maybe they get an extra selection down the road.

* Conference Championship Saturday might look like the following with men's basketball scheduled from 3pm-9pm ET on ESPN2 and from 3:30pm-7:30pm on ESPN.  Should be able to finalize this on 10/1.

ABC: 12pm Big 12, 3:30pm American, 8pm ACC
ESPN: 12pm Sun Belt, 7:30pm Mountain West

Basketball

* One of the trends that stuck out to me were more Sunday games on FOX & FS1, particularly from the Big East.  14 intraconference games will air on Sundays during the upcoming season, compared to six in 2017-18 and ten in 2016-17.  Three of those in 2016-17 were part of a opening weekend tripleheader on New Years Day.

Two of those Sunday Big East games will air on FOX with the start time dependent on the NFL playoffs, something CBS has done with multiple college basketball selections over the past decade.  Another two will be part of a doubleheader on 1/27/19, which is the Sunday between the NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl.   Last year it was used for a Big East-Big Ten doubleheader.

I reached out to someone at FOX Sports to find out if the greater use of Sunday was by design but have not heard back from them. EDIT: Per someone with knowledge of the scheduling process, building availability was the reason for the use of more Sunday slots.

There's also four Saturday night games on FS1.  To further the point regarding arena availability, two of those four games (DePaul at Seton Hall on 1/19 & Seton Hall at St. John's on 2/23) happen to have NHL games airing at the home site earlier in the day. A third game, Depaul at Butler on 2/16, falls on NBA All Star Game weekend and would sometime air after the Daytona Xfinity Series race, assuming it airs on FS1.  The fourth, Depaul at Xavier on 2/9, I believe would air after NASCAR practices and, likely, the Daytona ARCA race.

* Four releases from conferences where ESPN Networks have a lot of games (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and WCC) showed an increase in ESPN looking to program the best available games on the mothership.  Will be something to keep an eye on as the season moves forward.

* Also of note: the lack of announcements regarding non-conference games from the Big 12 and ACC.  Would expect something similar from the SEC.  Can't explain it, though I do expect it more from the SEC.

* Per Kansas, their home game vs. Villanova will lead into ESPN's FBS bowl game schedule on 12/15.  We're still waiting to see which game, if any, will lead into CBS's SEC Championship Game coverage on 12/1 with the Pac-12, American and SEC TV schedules waiting to be announced.

* Interesting to see ESPN and Raycom with a wildcard selection on February 26th.  One game airs on ESPN and the other on ACC Network with the choices of Syracuse at North Carolina & Duke at Virginia Tech.  I wasn't sure if these were games that were concurrent telecasts on those two entities for those games like the first Duke-UNC matchup, but UNC's schedule clearly marked those games are ESPN or Raycom where the Duke game is marked ESPN and Raycom

* I'm curious to see the effects of the schedule for the Alliance of American Football affecting the placement of games on CBS Sports Network.  I assume the games will be on Saturday nights, but I can't seem to find any information on that other than the schedule starting on Saturday 2/9 on the broadcast network.

Monday, September 17, 2018

CFB TV Confirmations for 2018 Week 5 (9/29/18)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/29 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 will 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. 


The number of six day holds available for each conference

ACC: 4
American: 2
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 4 (I think, only 3 were used last year)
SEC: 2
Pac-12: 4 (2 each for FOX Sports and ESPN)

12pm ABC: Syracuse at Clemson
12pm ESPN: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
12pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Texas Tech at West Virginia
12pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Temple at Boston College
12pm FS1: Central Michigan at Michigan St.
12pm FSN: Oklahoma St. at Kansas
12pm SEC: UL-Lafayette at Alabama
12pm BTN: Indiana at Rutgers
12pm CBSSN: Army at Buffalo
12pm ACC RSN: Bowling Green at Georgia Tech
12:20pm ACC Network: Virginia at NC State
2pm ESPN3: Massachusetts at Ohio
3pm ESPN+: Kent St. at Ball St.
3:30pm ABC: Baylor at Oklahoma
3:30pm CBS: Tennessee at Georgia
3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Florida St. at Louisville
3:30pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Pittsburgh at UCF
3:30pm FS1: Texas at Kansas St.
3:30pm BTN: Purdue at Nebraska
3:30pm CBSSN: Cincinnati at Connecticut
3:30pm ACC RSN: Rice at Wake Forest
3:30pm ESPN3: Old Dominion at East Carolina
3:30pm ESPN+: Western Michigan at Miami (OH)
4pm ESPNEWS: Nevada at Air Force
4pm SEC: Southern Miss at Auburn
4pm SEC Alt: Tennessee St. at Vanderbilt
4:30pm FOX: Michigan at Northwestern
6pm ESPN: Florida at Mississippi St.
6pm Pac-12: Utah at Washington St.
6pm ESPN+: Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Iowa St. at TCU
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Virginia Tech at Duke
7pm ESPN3: Charlotte at UAB
7pm ESPN+: Arkansas St. at Georgia Southern
7:30pm ABC: Ohio St. at Penn St.
7:30pm SEC: South Carolina at Kentucky
8:30pm FOX: BYU at Washington
9:15pm ESPN: Ole Miss at LSU
10pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at Arizona St.
10:30pm FS1: Oregon at California
10:30pm ESPN2: USC at Arizona
10:30pm ESPNU: Toledo at Fresno St.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

CFB TV Guesses for 2018 Week Five (9/29/18)

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

* Purdue at Nebraska is the Cornhuskers' homecoming game and will air in a mid-afternoon time slot.
* Per several RSN listings, there will be two ACC RSN games.
* ESPN listings have games in the evening at 6pm and 9pm ET, which often indicates a SEC doubleheader.  ESPN can occasionally start a SEC game during CBS's TV window, but no earlier than 6pm ET.
* ESPN Mediazone listings indicate that the SEC alternate will be used at  either 4pm or 7:30pm ET for a second game.
* ESPN Mediazone also lists the primetime window on ABC as starting at 7:30pm ET, which often means a Big Ten game will be picked to air here.
* CBS Sports Network has a MAC selection for noon and an American Athletic Conference window for 3:30pm ET.
* BTN is not scheduled to air a primetime game.  They have a previously scheduled volleyball telecast.
* I originally had a ESPNEWS window written down at 4pm, but that seems to have disappeared from ESPN's listings, so just the 8pm window there.
* All remaining Saturday Sun Belt games were set for ESPN digital properties & won't be part of the Saturday selection process for the remainder of the season.
* I am assuming two Pac-12 windows, but I have no idea to be honest with you.  I randomly placed the two windows at 6pm & 10:30pm ET based on the games I chose plus I didn't place any Pac-12 games on broadcast television, so there isn't a need for any TV window exclusivity.
* I considered Texas at Kansas St. for the 12pm ABC window, but moved it to 3:30pm because I wanted to spread out the Big 12 games a bit.
* I gave ABC the top Big Ten selection (Ohio St. at Penn St.), ESPN2 the top Pac-12 selection (BYU at Washington) and FOX the top Big 12 selection (Baylor at Oklahoma).

12pm ABC: Syracuse at Clemson
12pm ESPN: West Virginia at Texas Tech
12pm ESPN2: Virginia Tech at Duke
12pm FS1: Oklahoma St. at Kansas
12pm ESPNU: Pittsburgh at UCF
12pm FSN: Iowa St. at TCU
12pm SEC: Southern Miss at Auburn
12pm BTN: Central Michigan at Michigan St.
12pm CBSSN: Army at Buffalo
12pm ACC RSN: Rice at Wake Forest
12:20pm ACC Network: Virginia at NC State
3:30pm ABC: Texas at Kansas St.
3:30pm CBS: Tennessee at Georgia
3:30pm ESPN2: BYU at Washington
3:30pm FS1: Purdue at Nebraska
3:30pm ESPNU: Temple at Boston College
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Rutgers
3:30pm CBSSN: Cincinnati at Connecticut
3:30pm ACC RSN: Bowling Green at Georgia Tech
4pm SEC: UL-Lafayette at Alabama
4pm SEC Alt: Tennessee St. at Vanderbilt
4:30pm FOX: Michigan at Northwestern
6pm ESPN: Florida at Mississippi St.
6pm Pac-12: Utah at Washington St.
7pm ESPN2: South Carolina at Kentucky
7pm ESPNU: Florida St. at Louiville
7:30pm ABC: Ohio St. at Penn St.
7:30pm SEC: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
8pm FOX: Baylor at Oklahoma
8pm ESPNEWS: Nevada at Air Force
9pm ESPN: Ole Miss at LSU
10:30pm FS1: Oregon at California
10:30pm ESPN2: Oregon St. at Arizona St.
10:30pm ESPNU: Toledo at Fresno St.
10:30pm Pac-12: USC at Arizona

Streaming
Old Dominion at East Carolina
Western Michigan at Miami (OH)
Kent St. at Ball St.
Massachusetts at Ohio
Liberty at New Mexico

Monday, September 10, 2018

CFB TV Confirmations for 2018 Week 4 (9/22/18)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/22 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 will 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.


The number of six day holds available for each conference

ACC: 4
American: 2
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 4 (I think, only 3 were used last year)
SEC: 2
Pac-12: 4 (2 each for FOX Sports and ESPN)

7pm ESPN/ESPN or 7:30pm SEC Network (not a six day hold)
Arkansas at Auburn
Florida St Tennessee

12pm ABC: Notre Dame at Wake Forest

12pm ESPN: Georgia at Missouri
12pm ESPN2: Boston College at Purdue
12pm FS1: Nebraska at Michigan
12pm ESPNU/ESPNEWS: Navy at SMU
12pm ESPNU/ESPNEWS: Ohio at Cincinnati
12pm FSN: Akron at Iowa St.
12pm SEC: Kent St. at Ole Miss
12pm BTN: Minnesota at Maryland
12pm BTN: Buffalo at Rutgers
12pm CBSSN: Nevada at Toledo
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at North Carolina
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Louisville at Virginia
2pm ESPN+: Western Michigan at Georgia St.
3pm ESPN3: Western Kentucky at Ball St.
3pm ESPN+: Miami (OH) at Bowling Green
3pm ESPN+: Maine at Central Michigan
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Alabama
3:30pm ABC/ESPN: Clemson at Georgia
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Kansas St. at West Virginia
3:30pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Northern Illinois at Florida St.
3:30pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: FIU at Miami (FL)
3:30pm FS1: Kansas at Baylor
3:30pm BTN: Tulane at Ohio St.
3:30pm ACC Network Extra: NC Central at Duke
3:30pm ESPN+: Gardner-Webb at Appalachian St.
4pm ESPNEWS: Connecticut at Stacie
4pm SEC: South Carolina at Vanderbilt
4pm Pac-12: Arizona at Oregon St.
4:30pm FOX: TCU at Texas
7pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: Mississippi St. at Kentucky
7pm ESPN2/ESPNU: Louisiana Tech at LSU
7pm FS1: Texas Tech at Oklahoma St.
7pm ESPN3: UNLV at Arkansas St.
7pm ESPN+: Coastal Carolina at UL-Lafayette
7pm ESPN+: Troy at UL-Monroe
7:30pm BTN: Michigan St. at Indiana
8pm ABC: Stanford at Oregon
8pm ESPNEWS: East Carolina at USF
8:30pm FOX: Wisconsin at Iowa
10:15pm ESPN2: Air Force at Utah St.
10:30pm ESPN: Arizona St. at Washington

Sunday, September 9, 2018

CFB TV Guesses for 2018 Week Four (9/22/18)

Good morning.  I've done guesses on the kickoff times for college football games a day before the 12 day selection process starts for several years.  I try to apply what I know with respect to any rules that conference & TV partners have agreed to, along with a lot of best guesses in terms of the priority of where a game sits within the other matchups of the home conference and the overall schedule of games that week.

I'll also have a separate blog entry tracking the selections each Monday.

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

* Boston College at Purdue will be a 12pm game as it is Purdue's homecoming game.  ESPN Networks have claimed it to air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  As a non-conference game, it could air on ESPNU as well, but it was not listed as an option when the Big Ten and ESPN released their early season selections.
* The 12pm CBSSN window is to be a MAC selection.
* This set of picks was made with the assumptions that ESPN has the top Big 12 pick & FOX Sports has the top Big Ten pick and the top Pac-12 Saturday selection, assuming ESPN took Washington St. at USC with the top choice for the week on Friday.
* FOX Sports has apparently chosen both Wisconsin at Iowa and Nebraska at Michigan.  Wisconsin at Iowa was shown with a FOX broadcast network designation during the network's college football preview show and Nebraska at Michigan was noted as airing on FS1 in a press conference regarding a now resolved carriage issue with BTN, Comcast and FOX Sports for Big Ten games
* I'm also aware that Mark Silverman (FOX Sports National Networks President) in the link above said that BTN & FS1 would have every single conference game, but based on the transcript text he had to walk it back a bit.  That's why I gave Minnesota at Maryland to ESPN.  If they don't have it & BTN does at 3:30pm, move NIU-FSU up to ESPN, KU-BU to ESPN2 and UB-Rutgers to ESPNU.  If I were ESPN, and this is somewhat backwards thinking, I would take UB-Rutgers over Tulane-OSU to play the long game as it would satisfy the Buckeyes requirements to BTN (two games on BTN with one being a intraconference matchup, 9/8 vs. Rutgers being that game) and open up the rest of their games, all Big Ten matchups, for yourself.  By extension, FOX Sports too, but you have to think about what's best for your network too. 
* The first two SEC games on CBS were sublicensed from ESPN (West Virginia vs. Tennessee & Georgia at South Carolina) so the possibility of Georgia's first appearance on CBS vs. Missouri was considered, but Texas A&M's strong showing vs. Clemson plus this being Alabama's first game on the network in 2018 pushed me in that direction.  Georgia already has one appearance locked in with the Florida game & I would expect the LSU, Tennessee and Auburn games to receive strong consideration by CBS.
* I gave consideration to Arizona St. at Washington for FOX over Stanford at Oregon, but I believe the latter is more assured to be a pair of 3-0 schools, but this might be a place where FOX could consider using a six day hold.  In the Pac-12, there are four holds available to be used, two by FOX Sports and two by ESPN.
* I ran out of windows for the ACC games.  Maybe Connecticut at Syracuse would replace Ohio at Cincinnati on ESPNEWS.

12pm ABC: Notre Dame at Wake Forest
12pm ESPN: Georgia at Missouri
12pm ESPN2: Boston College at Purdue
12pm FS1: Kansas St. at West Virginia
12pm ESPNU: FIU at Miami (FL)
12pm ESPNEWS: East Carolina at USF
12pm FSN: Akron at Iowa St.
12pm SEC: South Carolina at Vanderbilt
12pm BTN: Tulane at Ohio St.
12pm CBSSN: Nevada at Toledo
12:20pm ACC Network: Pittsburgh at North Carolina
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Louisville at Virginia
3:30pm ABC: TCU at Texas
3:30pm CBS: Texas A&M at Alabama
3:30pm ESPN: Minnesota at Maryland
3:30pm ESPN2: Northern Illinois at Florida St.
3:30pm FS1: Texas Tech at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Kansas at Baylor
3:30pm SEC: Kent St. at Ole Miss
3:30pm BTN: Buffalo at Rutgers
4pm ESPNEWS: Ohio at Cincinnati
4:30pm FOX: Wisconsin at Iowa
5pm Pac-12: Arizona at Oregon St.
7pm ESPN: Arkansas at Auburn
7pm ESPN2: Florida at Tennessee
7pm FS1: Nebraska at Michigan
7pm ESPNU: Mississippi St. at Kentucky
7:30pm SEC: Louisiana Tech at LSU
7:30pm BTN: Michigan St. at Indiana
8pm ABC: Clemson at Georgia Tech
8pm ESPNEWS: Navy at SMU
8:30pm FOX: Stanford at Oregon
10:15pm ESPN2: Air Force at Utah St.
10:30pm ESPN: Arizona St. at Washington

Streaming
NC Central at Duke
Connecticut at Syracuse
Western Kentucky at Ball St.
Miami (OH) at Bowling Green
Maine at Central Michigan
UNLV at Arkansas St.
Western Michigan at Georgia St.
Coastal Carolina at UL-Lafayette
Troy at UL-Monroe
Gardner-Webb at Appalachian St.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Pay Per View Football Lives On With Oklahoma.

Yesterday evening, Oklahoma announced that their home game vs. Army on 9/22 would air on pay-per-view, both on linear TV and online.  It got quite a bit of backlash & derision from fans of schools not named Oklahoma in my mentions.  Please don't construe this as an attempt to defend the practice of games airing on pay-per-view, though it happens a lot more than you think, though not at the price point of a single game for nearly $60.  Conference USA was behind a paywall for many games until their recent switch to ESPN+, which itself is a monthly pay service.  Some FCS schools still charge for webcasts on a per game basis.

Here are the things that ran through my head last night in no particular order of importance.

1) The (in)stability of the Big 12 around 2011 created the situation of allowing for each school to monetize a package of athletic events, which includes one football game per year, and there's a personal responsibility for each school undergoing a contract negotiation for these rights to be diligent about where they want these games to air.  Oklahoma gets $7 million per year from these rights and to my knowledge, only Texas' payout from the Longhorn Network is more than this.  From a business standpoint, FOX has to figure out how to make money from holding those rights too and they did not elect to have the full time linear TV channel that the Longhorns do.  FOX holds the cards here.  If Oklahoma didn't want their football game distributed via pay-per-view, they could have forced the issue.  FOX could have pushed back on monetary terms.

2) Pay-per-view is a demand driven business and Oklahoma football is no stranger to the medium. Since 2006, only the 2010 season did not have a pay-per-view game.  I can't say its an accepted practice, but both sides seem to feel there's enough support from a sales & viewer perspective to keep doing it.  It seems to be one that has more of a demand than the other schools that FOX has Big 12 deals with, as those schools usually have their games on FSN.

3) FOX can game the system a bit here.  They are the ones who select the member retained games for each school.  They also are the ones who would receive a game if the school declines to monetize it.  Gaming the system in this case could also be due to scheduling considerations as it looks like FOX will have more available college football windows on 9/1, the date of FAU at Oklahoma, compared to 9/22.

4) Big 12 pay-per-view has always been a unique animal in that the option is supported at a national level, compared to the hybrid nature of how SEC & ACC pay-per-view used to operate, where the pay-per-view territory would be limited to specific states and/or TV markets, then viewable on ESPN3 and ESPN GamePlan.  From that perspective, buys are going to come from fans of the road team too and with this year's opponent being Army, there should be might be more interest in purchases of the game from Armed Forces organizations inside the continental 48 (AFN is showing it free of charge outside this area).

Some credit goes to Oklahoma for scheduling well enough to monetize a game that involves a FBS opponent more often than not.  The last time Oklahoma's pay-per-view game was a FCS opponent was 2012 vs. Florida A&M.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

College Sports Scheduling Odds & Ends for Fall 2018

I haven't written anything of note in a month.  Consider this a collection of tweeted items you may have missed.

* ESPN announced several early season event schedules in men's basketball.  Where this does have some effect on the college football schedule are the following dates is on the day after Thanksgiving.

ESPN
The mothership has Oklahoma at West Virginia at 8pm, but has men's basketball from 11:30am - 4pm.  That leaves open the for the possibility of a college football game at 4 or 4:30pm ET.

ESPN2
Men's basketball is scheduled from 11:30am - 6:30pm.  There's also a game at 11:30pm ET.  It does leave open for the possibility of a football game here, but the NIT Tip-Off has not been placed into the TV schedule and both games could fit inside the open five hours here.

Playing one NIT game on ESPN then the other on ESPN2 would could leave the college football window short of 30 minutes (not unheard of with ESPN), but in my opinion, the opening here is wide enough for the NIT games.

ESPNU
Basketball games are scheduled from 4:30pm - 9:30pm, though the 7pm game may move to ESPN3.  Maybe one NIT game slots in here, the other slots in on ESPN2 and ESPN looks for other available men's basketball games to show.  With that said, a MAC game should be played in the early afternoon, maybe around 1pm ET or earlier.

Here's the basketball schedule for the week I'm talking about.  Head to Friday for information.

* Don't expect "Pac-12 After Dark" on the main ESPN channel on back-to-back weeks in mid-October.  ESPN MediaZone listings have a Top Rank Boxing event scheduled for 10/13 and 10/20 had a NBA Special Event, which turns out Rockets vs. Lakers as part of the opening week of the NBA schedule.

Plans by ESPN to televise something else on Saturday night must have been in the works for months.  On 10/13, they have Arizona at Utah on Friday and the following Thursday they have Stanford at Arizona St.  10/13 also has only three Pac-12 games available for Saturday.  10/20 might have a Pac-12 game on ABC or in the afternoon on ESPN since FOX may have limitations due to the potential for NLCS Game Seven in primetime on either FOX or FS1, plus a commitment to air Michigan at Michigan St. earlier in the day.

* Speaking of the MLB postseason, the schedule has come out.  Here's the effects on FOX.

  • 10/6 - No NLDS games for FS1 to show, but they have prelims for the UFC pay-per-view event that evening.  Those could get bumped to F/X, but it would allow for FS1 to show a Pac-12 game later in the evening after the prelims.  FOX has rights to Texas vs. Oklahoma this year, so look for it to have some heavy promotion somewhere.  Part of me wonders if a 3pm start leading into the UFC prelims on FS1 is the plan, or to use it to lead into a Big Ten game to get to the UFC festivities.
  • 10/13 - NLCS Game 2 is scheduled and I believe it would air in the afternoon with ALCS Game 1 in the evening.  An advance listing provided to affiliates did not have any college football on FOX broadcast network on this date, so the MLB game could be airing there after the NASCAR Truck Series race.  In a similar spot last year, FOX had NASCAR Trucks, ALCS Game 2 and Premier Boxing on 10/14/17, leaving FS1 to carry four college football games.
  • 10/20 - Potential for NLCS Game 7 leads me to think FOX would try to use a six day pick for the majority of the college football schedule, regardless of the results of the first two NLCS games.  Yankees-Astros Game 7 last year was far from a sure thing when Houston won the first two games, but FOX played for the possibility of the finale & scheduled Kansas at TCU game as their primetime game. 

    FOX has Michigan at Michigan St. and since it can't be moved to a night game on short notice due to Big Ten rules, FOX would either have to be willing for the possibility of the two games at night, or play the Big Ten game in the afternoon.  I'm betting on the Big Ten game in the afternoon, but the available teams for the NLCS could drive FOX's decision and they'll have an idea by the time 10/20 selections have to be made on 10/8 as both NLDS series will have played three games.  Some combo of the Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals and Phillies (probably the first two teams alone, I tossed in the NL East teams due to market & star power) probably helps FOX clear the decks in the evening.  Any involvement with Arizona, Milwaukee & Atlanta gives them pause. 
  • 10/27 - World Series is on FOX in the evening. They have two CFB windows tentatively scheduled earlier in the day.

* When I saw the split of ESPN3 vs. ESPN+ events for the Southland, Missouri Valley Football and SoCon, I really wasn't sure what to make of it.  The Valley lists some of their Game of the Week streams as airing on ESPN+ where some are on ESPN3, while the SoCon has a consistent game each week on ESPN3.  I don't know if some schools want their productions on ESPN3 instead of ESPN+.  Having North Dakota St. behind that paywall for every game looks to be a planned event.

* FloSports announced that Eleven Sports will be providing them with a programming feed that would include New Mexico St. football and other collegiate events.  A source said that Learfield Sports is the one brokering the deal on behalf of the school, which would make some sense.  When I asked the school about this deal, they said they had not signed a deal with them.  Plausible deniability, but also, Learfield manages this on behalf of New Mexico St.  Learfield's doing the work, not the school.

With that said, along with another conversation I had regarding football games being scheduled for Eleven Sports, it sounds like some of these games will air on Eleven Sports Next, the network's Twitch portal.

* A new addition to Stadium's college football schedule is that each game will air on Stadium's College Football page on Facebook.  This page previously only aired Facebook exclusive games.

* Heading back to college basketball, FOX confirmed that a pair of November men's basketball events from Las Vegas would be in the mix around their college football games.

Thanksgiving on FS1
The Las Vegas Holiday Invitational from 1:30pm - 6pm, followed by the Las Vegas Invitational starting at 7:30pm ET

Black Friday on FOX
The finals of the Las Vegas Invitational (Texas, UCLA, UNC & Michigan St.) will air at 4pm ET, in between Nebraska at Iowa (12pm) & the Apple Cup (8:30pm)

Black Friday on FS1
The finals of the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational will start at 10pm ET, after Texas at Kansas (12pm) and the Civil War (4pm).  Maybe a Big East game gets tossed in there to bridge to the Las Vegas games, or another event.

FOX Sports also picked up the Fort Myers Tip Off (Boston College, Wyoming, Richmond & Loyola Chicago) on November 19 & 21.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Remaining Early Season Start Times & MW Regional TV Guesses

Mountain West

* The regional TV schedule for the Mountain West does have to work around the schedules of the Colorado Rockies, Utah Jazz and Vegas Golden Knights which are carried on AT&T SportsNet in large areas of the RSN's territory.  The Jazz are also carried in some areas on ROOT Sports, which is why a portion of the Big Sky's TV schedule on that RSN has a few TBA start times.

Anyways, here's a guess on the remaining games from the Mountain West, placing them with particular TV or digital platforms:

AT&T SportsNet
9/1: Stony Brook at Air Force
9/8: New Mexico St. at Utah St.
9/29: Liberty at New Mexico
10/13: UNLV at Utah St.
10/13: New Mexico at Colorado St.
10/20: Utah St. at Wyoming
10/27: UNLV at San Jose St.
11/10: San Jose St. at Utah St.
11/17: Nevada at San Jose St.
11/24: Wyoming at New Mexico

A few notes on these:
  • Taking the Air Force game with the Rockies in the evening feels like a no-brainer with all other Air Force games selected by other MW TV partners
  • I looked at New Mexico St. at Utah St. as a good regional selection.
  • For October & November, I tried to balance the selections of UNLV and Nevada games based on if or when the Golden Knights were playing.  
  • There are occasions where ROOT only carried the Big Sky game & ATTSN only carried the MW game live, so this doesn't mean the two conferences would be aired as consecutive games.
Stadium Production on Facebook or ESPN Digital
9/1: Idaho at Fresno St.
9/8: Sacramento St. at San Diego St.
9/8: UTEP at UNLV
9/13: Tennessee Tech at Utah St.
10/6: New Mexico at UNLV
10/27: New Mexico at Colorado St.
11/3: San Jose St. at Wyoming
11/17: Utah St. at Colorado St.

ESPN and CBS Sports Network are each allowed up to two additional selections after AT&T Sports Network and Stadium make their selections.  One of those intraconference games could be an ESPN3 game.

School Produced Mountain West Network or No Streaming
8/30: UC Davis at San Jose St.
8/31: Portland St. at Nevada
9/1: Incarnate Word at New Mexico
9/15: Prairie View at UNLV
9/15: Wofford at Wyoming
9/22: Illinois St. at Colorado St.

Spectrum PPV for Hawai'i & Stadium app on the mainland
9/8: Rice at Hawai'i
9/22: Duquesne at Hawai'i
9/29: Hawai'i at San Jose St.
10/6: Wyoming at Hawai'i
10/20: Nevada at Hawai'i
11/3: Utah St. at Hawai'i
11/17: UNLV at Hawai'i

Conference USA

There are six regular season C-USA games, all involving FAU and UAB as the home teams, that are awaiting final start times.  Five of them are scheduled to air on Stadium or Stadium on Facebook with the sixth on ESPN3.  I suspect that FAU is working with Stadium on the games for their TV feed to figure out the best start time with respect to hot weather and UAB may be doing the same, though since both UAB games are on digital outlets, they have a bit more control on the start times.  All might be set by the time C-USA Media Days start up in a week.

The conference championship game's start time is also TBA.  If CBSSN carries the final day of the Belfast Classic, the football game wouldn't start any earlier than 1pm ET based on the tip times in Belfast.

Liberty, New Mexico St. and Massachusetts

Liberty & New Mexico St. set the start times for their home games already and both schools have produced telecasts before, so its likely that they'll continue down this route and figure out a way to distribute those games out of market digitally.  As for UMass, they are staying with Eleven Sports for national coverage, so they may be working with the network alongside other FCS game coverage to figure out the appropriate start times.

I put forth the possibility of both Liberty and New Mexico St. maybe looking at Eleven Sports with both schools producing the coverage for the national network, mostly because the Big Sky schedule had few start times announced (they could also be working with other FCS conferences like the Southland).

Liberty would be less likely because of their A-Sun sports coverage being part of ESPN Digital.  New Mexico St. I could see looking at it since they have the UMass model to follow, which still allowed for regional TV coverage (UMass used NESN) and free streaming through the UMass athletics website.  Whether they look at that or if Eleven is even interested, I can't say.  Would it be a step up from AggieVision w/FSAZ & Altitude regionally & ESPN3 and FOX College Sports nationally?  Possibly.

Monday, July 2, 2018

College Basketball Scheduling Notes for 2018: December

This one is a continuation of an early look at college basketball on TV for the upcoming season.  Here's a look at November if you haven't read it yet.

Many of these game dates came from The D1 Docket, Chris Dobbertean of Blogging The Bracket & Jon Rothstein

Weekends

Championship Saturday falls on the first Saturday of December and bowl season starts on the third one, so there's plenty of possibilities for college basketball to be mixed in either before football games or in between.  As for Sundays, with both CBS and FOX on NFL duties, the cable networks are the winners

December 1st & 2nd
  • FOX only has the Big Ten Championship on Saturday.  The conference is expected to schedule their first round of conference play during this weekend, so look for a repeat of last year where CBS carried Indiana at Michigan to lead into SEC Championship coverage and FOX carried Ohio St. at Wisconsin before their Big Ten football coverage.  Maybe not those same exact games though.
  • FOX might also end up with a Big East game on the broadcast network leading into the Big Ten game.  Gonzaga at Creighton, Louisville at Seton Hall and Kansas St. at Marquette are possibilities
  • Look for Stanford at Kansas to show up on ESPN in the middle of the day on Saturday.  Another that should end up on ESPN2 would be Villanova at La Salle.  The HoopHall Miami event also has four games available to be taken across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  
  • Nevada at USC could end up on ESPN linear TV or FS1.  FOX isn't known for taking many Pac-12 non conference games.
  • CBS Sports Network should have options for Saturday, including Cincinnati at UNLV, possibly a Big East game that FOX elects to sublicense to them, Butler at Saint Louis, Wake Forest at Richmond and/or maybe Oregon at Houston.
  • Sunday is light, but Arizona at Connecticut looks like a midday game for ESPN to pick up.  UCF at Missouri could be on ESPN, but is likely targeted for the SEC Network.  Louisville at Seton Hall could end up being a Sunday game, which would firmly put it on FS1 as I don't see that one moving to CBS Sports Network via sublicense.
December 7th & 8th
  • CBS usually airs one game in the afternoon before the Army-Navy football game.  As a primary rightsholder to American, Big Ten and SEC, they have three great options: Xavier at Cincinnati, Louisville at Indiana & Michigan St. at Florida.
  • ESPN should be carrying at least one FCS Playoff game on Saturday, but after that they have options.  Georgetown at Syracuse is exclusive to them unless they were to sublicense it to CBS.  Two of the games listed above for CBS could end up on their air.  Besides that, they have a Duke game vs. Yale (ESPN doesn't miss a chance to show Duke), the Never Forget Tribute Classic doubleheader (Clemson vs. Mississippi St. & Florida St. vs. UConn), South Carolina at Michigan and 3-4 Big 12 games.  Notre Dame at UCLA is also available in the evening.
  • If FOX can get their hands on Louisville at Indiana, I imagine they'll take it.  Same with Notre Dame at UCLA.  They also have St. Joe's vs. Villanova and Wisconsin at Marquette from the Big East, which would work out well for FS1.
  • Kansas St. at Tulsa might be one that CBS Sports Network can get their hands on for Saturday. 
  • I'm not sure if ESPN would have rights to the Never Forget Tribute Games, and two other neutral site games on Saturday I'm unclear on the TV rights for: Kentucky vs. Seton Hall at MSG & Utah vs. BYU at Vivint Smart Home Arena.  If the former is a Big East game, its definitely on FOX as I don't see it being sublicensed.  As for the Beehive State game, ESPN has rights available to it if its classified as a WCC contest, but if its a Pac-12 game, ESPN might pick it up in the evening.
  • Sunday is set up well for ESPN.  Assuming they have the Jerry Colangelo Classic, they'll have a nice doubleheader of Gonzaga vs. Tennessee & Nevada vs. Grand Canyon.  Purdue at Texas is also available to them.
December 15th & 16th
  • ESPN becomes a bit limited due to bowl games on the mothership but ESPN2 and ESPNU should have space outside of 1-2 FCS semifinal games.  One game is likely to go to ESPN before their bowl game coverage.  My bet would be Villanova at Kansas over Gonzaga at North Carolina.  ESPN also could end up with the MGM Resorts Showcase (BYU vs. UNLV & LSU vs. St. Mary's), part or all of the Hall of Fame Boardwalk Classic (4 game bill in Atlantic City) & Crossroads Classic, and Tennessee at Memphis
  • CBS would be a nice place for Gonzaga at North Carolina to land. If not, maybe Utah at Kentucky.
  • CBSSN should have the Cure Bowl in the early afternoon, so they could look to carry games before and after, like if they could get their hands on the MGM Resorts Showcase.
  • FOX had the Crossroads Classic event last year.  Beyond that, not many choices.  SMU at Georgetown would probably be on FS1.
  • Sunday is quite empty.  FS1 might have the Rutgers at Seton Hall game & ESPN could have the Hall of Fame Holiday Classic.
December 22nd & 23rd
  • ESPN will have the Diamond Head Classic across its networks in the late afternoon & evening.  They'll also have bowl games on the 22nd on the mothership.  Besides those games, I would look for them to carry games like Georgia at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest at Tennessee & Kansas at Arizona St.  Maybe Seton Hall at Maryland too, though that one may be for BTN or FS1.  EDIT: Villanova vs. UConn should also be available to them
  • CBS moved the CBS Sports Classic to Las Vegas, which leads me to believe they'll have a game before it.  My pick for that is Villanova vs. UConn from MSG.  EDIT: CBS Sports Classic is in Chicago in 2018.  2019 is in Las Vegas.
  • FS1 should have the Las Vegas Classic in the evening on both Saturday and Sunday.  If FS1 can swing it, they might also carry the Orange Bowl Classic games in the afternoon.  As for the broadcast network, they might not carry any college basketball that day.  
  • I assume CBS Sports Network would look to carry at least one of BYU at San Diego St. & Akron at Nevada.
December 29th & 30th
  • ESPN has one more full Saturday of bowl games, specifically the CFP Semifinals plus the Peach Bowl.  Its a really light day for college basketball and conference play for several conferences won't begin this particular weekend.  Nevada at Utah is a nice game and might be worth a selection by ESPN or FS1, but that's it.
Weeknights
  • The Jimmy V Classic is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4th.
  • The Hall of Fame Classic is on Friday, December 7th.  Last year's tripleheader was on split between Pac-12 Networks, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
  • Tuesday the 18th offers Creighton at Oklahoma & Xavier at Missouri.
  • Wednesday the 19th offers a couple intriguing non-conference games with UCLA visiting Cincinnati and Auburn headed to NC State.  California at Fresno St. might be on CBS Sports Network's radar.
  • The 21st has Providence at Texas and Oklahoma at Northwestern, plus the Braggin' Rights game between Missouri & Illinois from St. Louis.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

College Basketball Scheduling Notes for 2018: November

There will be other games to be announced for November, along with matchups that have been announced without a date.  Also a chance that games scheduled for dates that I've cited below end up moving a day or two if it can be arranged between the schools and television.  So take this, and the upcoming one I'll do on December, with a grain of salt.  No different than anything else that gets written in this space.

Many of these game dates came from The D1 Docket, Chris Dobbertean of Blogging The BracketJon Rothstein

Opening Night

With the opening night scheduled for Tuesday 11/6 and the Champions Classic doubleheader on ESPN, what else is available for the networks to show?
  • North Carolina at Wofford is an intriguing non-conference game for the aspect of the higher profile of UNC starting out the season on the road at a SoCon school.  ESPN2 appears to be open.
  • Five Big East games are scheduled for the date so far.  I would assume two on FS1 & two on FS2.  I'm unsure if any would be on FSN since its a Tuesday date with NHL and NBA commitments, so maybe the fifth game ends up with CBS Sports Network.
  • BYU at Nevada would be a nice showcase game for the Wolf Pack, who appear to be a top 5-10 team coming into the season.  Maybe a potential doubleheader to lead off CBSSN's college basketball coverage.
  • It would be nice to see the 24 Hour Tip Off Marathon return since the season is starting on the same day of the Champions Classic.  Will it?  Don't know.  ESPN killed it off last year due to programming constraints.  To be fair, many of the games didn't draw a lot of viewers outside of the main event games in primetime.  The diehards were the viewers for the morning games involving smaller schools.
The Rest of Opening Week (Wednesday - Sunday)
  • Ohio St. at Cincinnati is a neat opener on Wednesday 11/7 for the renovated Fifth Third Arena.  The date is a bit unfortunate as both ESPN2 & ESPNU have MAC football game windows and ESPN presumably would have NBA coverage.  I think the MAC games will be structured in a way that the 8pm game is Toledo at Northern Illinois on whichever network it airs on, so the basketball game could precede it at 6pm.  Otherwise that one could air on CBS Sports Network or ESPNEWS, though I think ESPNEWS is less likely.
  • Arkansas vs. Texas, from Fort Bragg, and Yale vs. California, from Shanghai, would appear to be a doubleheader on ESPN or ESPN2 on Friday 11/9, depending on the NBA schedule.  A solid Big 12 doubleheader for ESPNU would be Buffalo at West Virginia followed by Missouri at Iowa St.
  • The placement of North Carolina at Elon on 11/9 is worth watching.  The CAA has a contract for their championship game with CBS Sports Network and one regular season game aired on the network last year (Notre Dame at Delaware).  This one would be a candidate for CBSSN if they can work it in besides the Veterans Classic doubleheader (Maryland vs. Navy & Providence vs. Wichita St.).  UNC at Elon could also be a game for CBS Digital's SportsLive platform if they don't find a linear TV network for it.  The CAA could also be working on TV distribution for their sports.
  • Army at Duke looks like a ESPNU game, possibly alongside Vanderbilt at USC, though the latter could be a Pac-12 Networks game instead.
The Rest of November
  • There's plenty of tournament events going on through the month, along with challenge series like the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and the Gavitt Games series between the Big East and Big Ten.  A couple new events have been added, like the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational which differs from the Las Vegas Invitational, and the Suncoast Classic.  It appears that the Las Vegas event belong to FOX Sports based on the logo created for it.  The Suncoast Classic might be one that the streaming services like FloSports, ESPN+ or CBS Digital looks to pick up.
  • FOX did carve out a window on Black Friday on the broadcast network in between college football games, supposedly to air the championship round of Las Vegas Invitational involving UCLA, Michigan St., North Carolina and Texas.
  • Speaking of games that are off the beaten path from non-Power Six conferences, here's some games from those conferences that could warrant linear TV coverage
    • Oklahoma at UTSA (11/12)
    • Georgia at Temple (11/13)
    • Texas A&M at Gonzaga (11/15)
      • With events from Charleston & Myrtle Beach on ESPN2 and ESPNU, this game could be later in the evening.
    • Houston at BYU (11/24)
      • Would likely be a game for BYUtv due to it being on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and ESPN likely being full with college football games.
    • Nevada at Loyola (Chicago) (11/27)
      • Might end up being on ESPNEWS, ESPN Digital or CBS Sports Network as ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU should be tied up with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge
    • Alabama at UCF (11/30)
      • Would be for ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Digital or CBS Sports Network.  ESPN should have NBA coverage in addition to the MAC Football Championship on ESPN2.

Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 CFB Early Season Selections Notes

The early season and special date TV assignments have occurred for most college football games for 2018. 

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

These are the takeaways I had by network group, conference and/or school:

American

* TV assignments were left off Georgia Tech at USF and South Carolina St. at UCF on 9/8.  Coincidentally, Arizona at Houston doesn't have a reverse mirror partner at 12pm.  It would be a bit weird to have two games from the same conference in the reverse mirror.  I don't think it was a classic reverse mirror scenario, but on 9/22/07 Penn St. at Michigan aired on ABC in nearly all markets except those in Ohio and Chicago, IL where Northwestern at Ohio St. aired on ABC instead, with the game not airing on ABC airing on ESPN2.

I would assume Georgia Tech at USF is the one being looked at for a reverse mirror.  I don't know if there's an issue regarding the noon start in Tampa, or if the conference is requesting clarification as to the number of TV windows this counts for ABC if it is reverse mirrored instead of one game nationally on ABC.  This is one case where the conference's sprawl works against it because there is a natural east-west split with programming Arizona-Houston out west and Georgia Tech-USF in the east.

* I have 15 16 (addition of Georgia Tech at USF) game windows set aside for ABC & ESPN Networks with a minimum of 28 across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.  13 14 confirmed games and two windows on Black Friday.

* Speaking of Black Friday, CBS Sports Network's release has no game listed for their 3:30pm window that day.  ESPN's release, however, calls out UCF at USF and Houston at Memphis as being on their networks.  With ESPN being the conference's primary rightsholder, it would seem that East Carolina at Cincinnati belongs to CBS Sports Network.

Big 12

* Based on the games not listed in the Big 12's release, the member retained games are:
  • Abilene Christian at Baylor
  • South Dakota St. at Iowa St.
  • Nicholls at Kansas
  • South Dakota at Kansas St.
  • Army at Oklahoma
  • South Alabama at Oklahoma St.
  • Tulsa at Texas
  • Southern at TCU
  • Lamar at Texas Tech
  • Youngstown St. at West Virginia
All except the Army at Oklahoma game have been set for TV as that game is outside the first three weeks of the season.  There are situations where national broadcasters, specifically FOX Sports, can air the member retained game on FS1 or FOX as they aired Tulsa at Oklahoma St. last year on FS1.  That game was unique as it was the Cowboys only non-conference home game.

* Texas Tech was assigned as the home team for the Texas Kickoff game, so I've assigned the Big 12 as the TV rightsholder.  I think this game would count towards ESPN's 23 Big 12 games & will keep count of that through the season.

* After subtracting out the 23 games for ESPN and 10 member retained games, I have a count of 35 Big 12 games available to FOX Sports across their platforms.

* As previously mentioned, its a bit rare for two Big 12 games to air nationally on separate networks at the same time (Ohio St. vs. TCU & USC at Texas), but it isn't unheard of.


* My impression was that ESPN and FOX Sports were the only folks that would end up airing Friday night Big Ten games.  Will need to check as to whether the conference and/or Michigan St. had to approve the Utah St. game airing on BTN.

* After the opening weekend, FOX Sports took the remaining weeknight games.

* Using Rutgers at Ohio St. for an early way to clear OSU's BTN intraconference game commitment was a good idea.  If the Tulane game on 9/22 ends up being the Buckeyes 2nd BTN game, they wouldn't be required to appear on the network for the rest of the season.

* The FOX Sports release (linked in the FOX Sports area) touts 136 games across FOX, FSN, FS1 and BTN. After subtracting out bowl games, conference championships and other conferences, 71 regular season games are available to FOX, FS1 and BTN.  This lines up with the 99 Big Ten controlled games and subtracting off the conference championship game and 27 games for ABC & ESPN Networks.


* The network decision for California at BYU could dictate the remaining network choices for the three remaining October & November games.  If ESPNU is chosen, two of the remaining three games would have to air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  If ESPN2 is chosen, one more game could be on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2.  Another could air on ESPNU and ESPN could end up taking the third or allowing BYUtv to produce it.


* Based on concurrent SEC games airing at 3:30pm from ESPN and CBS, along with confirmation from someone involved at one of the three entities, West Virginia vs. Tennessee and Georgia at South Carolina were sublicensed from ESPN.  I don't know what the selection process was for these games and if CBS chosen either of them before any ESPN selections.  I do know that these appearances, from a prior Twitter exchange with SEC media contact Chuck Dunlap, are not supposed to count as a CBS appearance for the SEC schools.

* I do not know why CBS has a game window on Black Friday and hasn't placed a game to the window.  Spoke with Dean from DawgPost last night and he pointed out an issue with moving one of the ACC rivalry games to Black Friday and that is if the ACC school agrees to moving their next game in the rivalry to Friday the next season, CBS doesn't have access to it.  Typically these games have been SEC intraconference games done on a two year basis so that each school hosts on a Friday.


EDIT: C-USA released their TV schedule on 6/7, after the original publication of this post.  This portion was updated after that schedule was released.

* CBS Sports Network clearly looks like they have the ability to get the best games if they want them.  They did get a nice pair of games on 9/22 involving ACC opponents, and two of their three Facebook produced games will be non-conference games.

* ESPN's digital schedule seems to follow a pattern similar to other conferences placing games on ESPN3 and ESPN+:
  • One ESPN3 game per week, a digital "game of the week"
  • The rest of the games behind the ESPN+ subscription service, almost as a replacement for the pay service that the conference previously ran, CUSA.TV.
* Most of the CBSSN, beIN Sports & Stadium linear TV schedules seem to have a pattern of trying not to overlap each other.  beIN Sports televises at 7:30pm ET on a consistent basis and Stadium tends not to be airing concurrent games, though the three FAU home games they selected are waiting for their start times to be finalized.  When adding in the CBSSN schedule, which has four weeknight games of the nine linear TV games, only three overlap scenarios exist at the moment:
  • 9/1: Indiana at FIU (7pm, CBSSN) & SMU at North Texas (7:30pm, Stadium)
  • 9/29: Marshall at Western Kentucky (7:30pm, Stadium) & Louisiana Tech at North Texas (7:30pm, beIN Sports)
  • 11/3: FAU at FIU (7:30pm, Stadium) & UTSA at UAB (7:30pm, beIN Sports)
* Somebody was going to be playing during increasing temperatures on 9/1.  Looks like Houston & Rice lost out.  Suppose its a bit interesting that the two Houston area schools are playing at the same time as two Power Five schools play at NRG Stadium.


* The Sun Belt, C-USA and MAC appear to be the early adopters for ESPN+ at the FBS level.  Looks like 1-2 games from each conference per week will air on ESPN3 with the remaining games on ESPN+.  Plenty of FCS games will be shifted there as the Ivy League has already moved their digital network over there.

* Similar to my comment on FOX providing some dogs for week one, the same holds true for Austin Peay at Georgia.  Here I understand because Georgia should be highly ranked and many folks will be watching Washington vs. Auburn instead.

* Selections remaining for specific conferences:
  • Big 12: 16
    • Excludes Big 12 Championship
  • Big Ten: 17
  • Pac-12: 14

* Missouri St. at Oklahoma St. is a curious, and underwhelming, choice to start the FS1 schedule.  There's no other way around that.  Same with the first FOX primetime game with Akron at Nebraska.  I suppose I can excuse the latter because it is going up against Michigan at Notre Dame & Louisville at Alabama.

* FOX didn't publish a list of open windows in their press release for the entire season.  Maybe that's coming later or maybe not and we'll learn of them a few weeks in advance.  They could be also trying to figure out their remaining UFC commitments for 2018 and their MLB postseason commitments, hoping to not tie themselves to a date or time for some of their TV windows.

* Speaking of those UFC commitments, when I look at the first three weeks, I didn't see a spot for pay-per-view prelims for a September event.  Per MMAFighting, its possible the UFC event will be on a Sunday, which would be the opening Sunday of the NFL season.

* It also appears that one of FS1's MLB windows is moving.  The 9/15 scheduled game of Twins at Royals is now being overlapped by Fresno St. at Minnesota.  Not a new thing though.  Last year, FS1 scheduled a window on 9/23 (occupied by Oklahoma at Baylor) that was originally scheduled to be a Twins at Tigers game.  The MLB game instead aired on Thursday from the same series.  FOX could do the same thing here, though they would have to move an ARCA race from FS1 to FS2.

* We know the sale of the FOX RSNs to Disney is in flight and that Comcast has supposedly made a competing offer.  Either way, FOX appears to be working under the assumption they'll be operating these networks through at least the fall.

* That large space between games on Black Friday on FOX I believe is to carry the 3rd place & championship games from the Las Vegas Invitational, involving Michigan St., UCLA, Texas and North Carolina.

* Selections remaining for specific conferences:
  • Big 12: 24
  • Big Ten: 13-16
    • Variable count
  • Pac-12: 13
Big 12 and Pac-12 counts exclude their respective conference championships.

* My overall accounting for FOX Sports using the number of 136 games they counted across FOX, FS1, FSN and BTN:

  • 2 bowl games
  • 2 conference championship games
  • 4 Big 12 member retained games on FSN
  • 22 Pac-12 games
  • 35 Big 12 games
  • 71 Big Ten games
    • 24-27 for FOX & FS1
    • 44-47 for BTN

Ivy League

* Each Ivy League school gets an appearance through the Friday night games on ESPNU.  TV network for Yale vs. Harvard should be decided through the 12 day selection process.  If only they had a network with business programming to show the game...

(CNBC aired the game the past few years if you didn't get the comment)

MAC

* CBS Sports Network has eight in-season selection windows.  Four consecutive Saturdays in late September & early October and one the last Saturday of October, two Thursdays and one on Black Friday.

* Games involving a pair of Power 5 opponents on 9/8 ended up on ESPN+ (Kansas at Central Michigan & Maryland at Bowling Green).  Not needle moving games, but the games on ESPN3 seem to not be the strongest offerings from the conference either.

Mountain West

* If Connecticut at Boise St. airs on ESPN2, that would lock in Boise St.'s requirement for three appearances on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Pac-12

* The flow of the doubleheader of Cincinnati at UCLA & BYU at Arizona is interesting.  Arizona QB Khalil Tate is in the top five in at least one betting market's odds for the 2018 Heisman.  On the other hand, this is Chip Kelly's first game at UCLA.  If Arizona's desire for night games in September didn't exist, I'd consider flipping these.

* As Dennis Dodd reported earlier, FOX Business Network will now be used for a Pac-12 overflow in case FS1 has other events.  First test might be Colorado at Arizona on 11/2 when a NASCAR truck series race airs prior to the game.

* You'll likely need online access to view New Hampshire at Oregon & Idaho St. at California on 9/15 unless you have the ability to view those specific regional feeds of Pac-12 Networks.  Conversely, you might have to subscribe to a higher tier if you live in Oregon & California to view those games on TV as Comcast has flipped the Pac-12 Networks main feed to more widely viewed tiers and the regionally focused tiers elsewhere.

* Utah does have a pair of 8pm MT / 10pm ET home starts where the preceding game probably won't be done by the time the Utah game window starts: 9/15 vs. Washington & 10/12 vs. Arizona.  This is why I'm led to believe that the conference has more of a hard rule or agreement with TV partners to not start TV windows after 8pm local time.

SEC

* The potential exists for three games vs. FCS opponents to air on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU over the first three weeks.  Not a fan of this, but people will watch their team.

* I can understand if ESPN wanted to keep Clemson at Texas A&M for themselves.  The storyline of Dabo vs. Jimbo & his new school is appealing.  CBS can't take Georgia every week and they've already locked them into one appearance vs. Florida.

Sun Belt

* Much like the MAC, the Sun Belt games on ESPN3 aren't necessarily the most competitive games.  ESPN+ will have several that will have more interest regionally.