Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Changes to College Sports Scheduling for ESPN & FS1 with Move of UFC?

Quickly tossing this one out as ESPN finalized a UFC TV contract, apparently replacing FOX Sports as a TV partner per the Hollywood Reporter.

* FS1 had plenty of live UFC content during college football & basketball seasons.  I don't know what 2018 will look like yet since it seems like the UFC fall schedule is being finalized.  Here's a quick view of 2017 & 2016 for college football season alone:


If FOX Sports isn't going after another college sports conference, maybe they would look to start their Pac-12 games a bit earlier where possible.  After UFC, I believe the NHL is the next pro sport to potentially be available after the 2020-21 season.

FS2 felt a de facto UFC replay channel, so it would need something new.  Maybe more college sports with some from the content staying behind if the sale of their regional sports networks goes through.  Maybe something else is coming that we don't know about.  FOX reportedly is adding Smackdown, but that would be for the broadcast network on Friday nights.   Archival WWE items come to mind but the WWE Network would seem to be the home for that.

* ESPN picking up 15 fight cards & PPV prelims, assuming this is what they got from THR's reporting, doesn't necessarily mean they'll be concentrated during college football & basketball season.  They aired one Top Rank card on a Saturday during college football season on 11/11/17.

At the risk of being way off on how this deal is structured & executed, does this affect any late evening college football or basketball?  Would there be more ESPN+ cards from September through March to reduce potential conflicts?  The Mountain West will be on the market soon & previously they made noise about their distaste for some of those later evening starts.  From several reports, BYU wants to remain with ESPN & prefers that relationship.  The Pac-12 should be unaffected as their media rights deals run through the 2023-24 athletic year.

As a side note, I'd be interested to see if there's any cross promotion between ESPN's Top Rank boxing cards and UFC.

5 comments:

daniel anderson said...

FS2 likely loads up on Aussie Rules matches, and maybe NRL.

daniel anderson said...

Looking at the 2017 windows, if you remove UFC from those slots, that's a net gain of 8 slots.

Matt Schnuck said...

I wonder what FS1 will do to fill the void of not having the UFC. NHL. American Athletic Conference for FS1 and FS2.

Howard Salwasser said...

Looks like NXT, one of WWE's promotions will take over most, if not all, of the UFC blocks starting in 2019.

Wayne said...

I think that Daniel Anderson has a point.