Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2018 MAC TV Facts & Figures

NOTE: For the purposes of these statistics, I counted the games that were played, with one exception that is noted below.  This also does not include the network placement of any conference championship game.

Here's the games that were counted


Some statistical notes
* Seven regular season games on ESPN2 ties the 2008 and 2016 seasons as the second highest number of games on that channel.  2005 had eight games on the channel.
* Buffalo's seven games on national linear TV is the most for any school since Western Michigan also appeared seven times during their Cotton Bowl season.
* For the two local TV games, the Buffalo at Toledo game aired outside the Toledo & Buffalo markets on ESPN+.  Cincinnati vs. Miami game aired on ESPN3 in markets where the game was not shown on local television.
* CBS Sports Network had six of their ten games chosen through the in-season selection process where they had a choice of more than one game, either as the first choice or in the case of Black Friday, the second choice after ESPNU.  In other words, I'm not including the situations where there were two games and ESPN took theirs first & left the latter to CBSSN.  For those six games, a game involving Buffalo was chosen three times.  Akron was involved in two of those games.  An interesting side note: two of those games involved Army, whose rights are owned by CBSSN.
* There were six situations where a pair of weeknight games were set aside and the network decision was made about 6-12 days in advance, either where both games were on ESPN platforms or one game was on an ESPN platform and one was set aside for CBSSN.  Western Michigan appeared in three of the games that were chosen by the network that is subscribed to in more homes or in one particular case, linear TV vs. ESPN+.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2018 Conference USA TV Facts & Figures

NOTE: For the purposes of these statistics, I counted the games that were played, with one exception that is noted below.  This also does not include the network placement of any conference championship game.

Here's the games that were counted

TV = linear TV channel
FB = Facebook stream produced by CBS or Stadium


Conference USA has four primary partners so I've combined together the CBSSN games into one bucket, the Stadium games into a second and the ESPN digital games into a third.


Another way to uniquely slice Conference USA's data is linear TV vs. free digital streaming vs. pay digital streaming.  I believe ESPN3 is still included with a handful of telcos internet service independent of having ESPN as a linear TV channel, so I'm throwing those games under free streaming. 

Linear TV = CBSSN, Stadium or beIN Sports
Free streaming = Facebook exclusives (CBSSN or Stadium) or ESPN3
Pay streaming = ESPN+


Some statistical notes (maybe more commentary than notes)
* Data for C-USA is static throughout the season. All the network groups made their choices in the spring. So schools like UAB & Middle Tennessee making a combined six linear TV appearances while FAU appears in the same number of games isn't a surprise. They're just capitalizing on their 2017 success and what was expected in 2018. FAU & North Texas were the division winners in the preseason media poll.
* The number of regular season games that aired on linear TV nationally decreased from 35 in 2017 to 27 in 2018, while the number of Facebook exclusives increased from six in 2017 to ten in 2018. The addition of CBSSN produced Facebook games does impact that increase.
* Particularly with the selections CBS Sports Network produced for their Facebook games, it feels like they had at least the top 5-10 selections from the conference over the course of the season, particularly when you look over the choices they made for non-conference games.
* To my knowledge, the games that aired on ESPN digital platforms weren't selected by them. They were the inventory after the three linear TV partners made their choices. Where ESPN I believe had a some control was the decision to place a game on ESPN3 or ESPN+.
* This was beIN Sports final season of C-USA football under a three year agreement. I have no idea if the conference intends to continue with the network.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

2018 Big Ten TV Facts & Figures

NOTE: For the purposes of these statistics, I counted the games that were played, with one exception that is noted below.  This also does not include the network placement of any conference championship game.

Here's the games that were counted


With the Big Ten being a conference that has a pair of TV partners on relatively equal footing, I also broke down the conference's TV data by the network group and over-the-air broadcast vs. pay TV.  Pay TV for this discussion included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and FS1 since BTN isn't as widely available as the other four.

Broadcast vs. Pay TV


ESPN vs. FOX Sports.  Both ESPN and FOX Sports have a maximum of 27 telecast windows.  BTN is covered under a separate TV deal, so even though it is majority owned by...New FOX? 21st Century? FOX FOX?....anyways, its not part of the same contract that FOX Sports has with the Big Ten.


Some statistical items
* Why does Nebraska have 13 appearances under the Big Ten deal when they only played 12 games?  The Akron game on FOX, unlike nearly all other weather cancellations, occurred during the telecast window.  FOX spent the time filling while waiting out storms that never stopped.  So I counted that as a Big Ten exposure for FOX and it looks like it was budgeted for in their final counts.  When Nebraska found Bethune-Cookman as a replacement opponent, that game was played on BTN.
* Half of the conference had their entire schedule controlled by the Big Ten's TV partners.  All 12 games for seven schools, which astounds me but at the same time feels like smart scheduling (EDIT: See the first user comment to this post as to why this occurred).
* The 45 games on BTN were played over 31 telecast windows.
* The combined number of regular season primetime games played or intended to air on broadcast television was five, down from seven in 2017.
* Over two seasons, Illinois is the only Big Ten school not to play on FOX.  All FOX Sports appearances have been on FS1.
* Rutgers had ten appearances on BTN for the 2nd straight year.  They have not appeared on an ESPN platform as part of the current contract structure.  Their last appearances on each ESPN channel:

  • ABC: vs. Ohio St., 10/24/15
  • ESPN: vs. Wisconsin, 11/1/14
  • ESPN2: vs. Michigan, 10/8/16
  • ESPNU: at Minnesota, 10/22/16
  • ESPNEWS: at Maryland, 11/24/16

* Number of regular season night games per network, including weeknight games.  6pm ET was used as the earliest start time for a night game:

  • ABC: 3
  • FOX: 2
    • Includes the Akron at Nebraska game.
  • ESPN: 3
  • FS1: 3
  • BTN: 9
    • 6 telecast windows