Sunday, September 22, 2019

CFB TV Guesses for 2019 Week Six (10/5/19)

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

Things to know in advance

* Four games were preselected to air on ESPN platforms.  They are:
  • Purdue at Penn St. (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
  • Michigan St. at Ohio St. (ABC or ESPN)
  • Kent St. at Wisconsin (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU)
  • San Diego St. at Colorado St. (Any linear TV platform or ESPN3)
* The following games are locked into their start times or start time ranges as Big Ten homecoming games:
  • Purdue at Penn St. (12pm)
  • Iowa at Michigan (12pm)
  • Illinois at Minnesota (3:30pm or 4pm)
  • Northwestern at Nebraska (3:30pm or 4pm)
  • Michigan St. at Ohio St. (7:30pm) are locked into their start times as homecoming games.
* BTN once again has no night football game planned due to a volleyball match.
* FS1 listings currently have them carrying both ALDS games on Saturday and not licensing any to MLB Network.
* ESPN2 has UFC PPV prelims scheduled from 8-10pm ET.
* Only two game windows on ACCN are listed.  Other taped programming will air in the early afternoon.

What I decided
* I gave Big Ten (Michigan St. at Ohio St., selected in preseason) & Big 12 (Texas at West Virginia) top choices to ESPN and the Pac-12 top choice to FOX (California at Oregon)
* Ball St. at Northern Illinois is listed in TitanTV as airing at 5pm ET on NBC Sports Chicago, so I decided to run with it

12pm ABC: Purdue at Penn St.
12pm FOX: Iowa at Michigan
12pm ESPN: Baylor at Kansas St.
12pm ESPN2: Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech
12pm ESPNU: Kent St. at Wisconsin
12pm FS1: Oklahoma at Kansas
12pm SECN: Troy at Missouri
12pm BTN: Maryland at Rutgers
12:30pm ACC RSNs: Pittsburgh at Duke
3:30pm ABC: Texas at West Virginia
3:30pm CBS: Auburn at Florida
3:30pm ESPN: Virginia Tech at Miami (FL)
3:30pm ESPN2: TCU at Iowa St.
3:30pm ESPNU: Tulsa at SMU
3:30pm BTN: Illinois at Minnesota
4pm FOX: Northwestern at Nebraska
4pm SECN: Vanderbilt at Ole Miss
4pm ACCN: Boston College at Louisville
4pm Pac-12: Arizona at Colorado
5pm NBC Sports Chicago: Ball St. at Northern Illinois
7pm ESPN: Georgia at Tennessee
7pm ESPNU: Memphis at UL-Monroe
7pm CBSSN: Connecticut at USF
7:30pm ABC: Michigan St. at Ohio St.
7:30pm SECN: Utah St. at LSU
7:30pm ACCN: North Carolina at Georgia Tech
8pm FOX: California at Oregon
9:30pm Pac-12: Oregon St. at UCLA
10:15pm ESPN2: San Diego St. at Colorado St.
10:30pm ESPN: Washington at Stanford

Sunday, September 15, 2019

CFB TV Guesses for 2019 Week Five (9/28/19)

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

Things to know in advance
* The literature provided for the FOX network schedule has their window at 12pm carrying a Big 12 game and the 3:30pm window showing a Pac-12 game.
* FS1 has MLB at 4pm ET & prelim matches for a PBC PPV at 8pm.
* Jon Wilner's Pac-12 Hotline had Pac-12 selection order in the following way: FOX, then FS1, ESPN and Pac-12 Networks
* Indiana is Michigan St.'s homecoming game and it will air at 3:30pm or 4pm.
* Middle Tennessee at Iowa will air on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
* UNLV at Wyoming & Hawai'i at Nevada will air on ESPN's linear TV platforms or ESPN3.
* No night game window is scheduled for BTN as they will be carrying volleyball.

Decisions I made
* Knowing that FOX had the top Pac- 12 choice, I assumed the following:
  • The listings I was sent that FOX's broadcast windows would be Big 12 & Pac-12 pushed me in the direction of the Big Ten's top choice airing on ABC. When you add in that BTN isn't scheduled to show a football game on primetime, it puts my focus on the best Big Ten game available in the ABC 7:30 pm slot.
  • From there, I assumed that FOX also had the top Big 12 selection.
  • I considered Ole Miss at Alabama for the CBS pick, but want as much flexibility to choose Alabama, & have the Iron Bowl in play, for the Thanksgiving weekend selections.
  • The Pirates have a home game at night, which uses shared parking for Pitt football, and Syracuse scheduled a fan fest in late afternoon, so it stands to reason that both are early afternoon starts.
12pm ABC: Clemson at North Carolina
12pm FOX: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
12pm ESPN: Rutgers at Michigan
12pm ESPN2: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
12pm FS1: Kansas at TCU
12pm ESPNU: Georgia Tech at Temple
12pm SECN: Towson at Florida
12pm ACCN: Holy Cross at Syracuse
12pm BTN: Minnesota at Purdue
12pm CBSSN: Central Michigan at Western Michigan
12:30pm ACC RSN: Delaware at Pittsburgh
3:30pm ABC: Kansas St. at Oklahoma St.
3:30pm CBS: Mississippi St. at Auburn
3:30pm FOX: USC at Washington
3:30pm ESPN: Northwestern at Wisconsin
3:30pm ESPN2: Middle Tennessee at Iowa
3:30pm ESPNU: Connecticut at UCF
3:30pm BTN: Indiana at Michigan St.
3:30pm CBSSN: SMU at USF
4pm SECN: Northern Illinois at Vanderbilt
4pm ACCN: Wake Forest at Boston College
7pm ESPN: Ole Miss at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: Iowa St. at Baylor
7pm ESPNU: BYU at Toledo
7pm Pac-12: Stanford at Oregon St.
7:30pm ABC: Ohio St. at Nebraska
7:30pm SECN: Kentucky at South Carolina
7:30pm ACCN: NC State at Florida St.
10pm FS1: Washington St. at Utah
10:15pm ESPNU: UNLV at Wyoming
10:30pm ESPN: UCLA at Arizona
10:30pm ESPN2: Hawaii at Nevada

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What I Know About ESPN+ Carrying WVU-KU Football

If you were surprised West Virginia at Kansas on 9/21 was picked up to air through ESPN+ instead of linear TV, so was I.  The literature presented from the Big 12 and its schools, contained virtually the same language, found in this PDF at the Big 12 website.

Knowing that ESPN and FOX Sports have several years remaining on their existing linear TV rights deals, and that the language in the release seems to indicate that the content wasn't coming from those agreements, one could likely deduce that the sole football game each school provides is their member retained game. So once I saw the announcement, and credit to the person who heard on WV radio that this was tipped off on Sunday, I was thrown for a loop & tried to get some information on the matter.

What I have been able to confirm
  • I received an official statement from ESPN: “We’ve been able to work with the Big 12 conference and the schools to bring this game to Big 12 Now on ESPN+”.
  • It was not sublicensed from FOX Sports.  A second source corroborates that it wasn't a sublicense.
  • Kansas, who posted the following on the Big 12 Now content last Wednesday, didn't seem to have any idea on this possibility.
What I don't quite know
  • Did ESPN's pool of selections increase?  It is my understanding that it is one of their 23 selections to use over the course of the season, per one party involved.
  • Regardless of whether the pool of selections increased or decreased, are there minimum and/or maximum number of football games that can air through ESPN+ instead of linear TV?  There's a range of games that can air on ESPNU (3-5 games), a minimum that must air on FOX broadcast network and another minimum for FS1 (6 games on both networks), and a number that must air across ABC, ESPN, FOX and FS1 (25 games).  So it would stand to reason that a number would exist for ESPN+.

Monday, September 9, 2019

CFB TV Confirmations for 2019 Week 4 (9/21/19)

This post will be updated as announcements come out for start times for 9/12 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: 3
Big 12: 4
Big Ten: 4
SEC: 3
Pac-12: 4

12pm ABC: Michigan St. at Northwestern

12pm ESPN/ESPN2: Southern Miss at Alabama
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/SECN: LSU at Vanderbilt
12pm ESPN/ESPN2/SECN: Tennessee at Florida
12pm FS1: UL Monroe at Iowa St.

12pm ESPNU: California at Ole Miss
12pm ACCN: Western Michigan at Syracuse
12pm BTN: Connecticut at Indiana
12pm BTN: Boston College at Rutgers
12pm ACC RSNs: Elon at Wake Forest
2pm ESPN+: UL-Lafayette at Ohio
3pm ESPN3: Central Connecticut St. at Eastern Michigan
3pm ESPN+: Troy at Akron
3:30pm CBS: Auburn at Texas A&M 3:30pm 

3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Washington at BYU
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: Louisville at Florida St.
3:30pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: UCF at Pittsburgh
3:30pm FS1: SMU at TCU
3:30pm ESPNU: Temple at Buffalo
3:30pm CBSSN: Wyoming at Tulsa
3:30pm BTN: Miami (OH) at Ohio St.
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Appalachian St. at North Carolina
3:30pm ESPN3: Bowling Green at Kent St.
4pm SECN/SECN Alt: Kentucky at Mississippi st.
4pm SECN/SECN Alt: South Carolina at Missouri
4pm ACCN: Central Michigan at Miami (FL)

4:30pm ESPN+: West Virginia at Kansas 

6pm ESPN3: William & Mary at East Carolina
7pm ESPN: Oregon at Stanford
7pm ESPN2: Old Dominion at Virginia
7pm ESPNU: Ball St. at NC State

7pm ESPN3: Southern Illinois at Arkansas St.
7pm ESPN+: Georgia St. at Arkansas St.
7:30pm ABC: Oklahoma St. at Texas
7:30pm SECN: San Jose St. at Arkansas
7:30pm ACCN: Charlotte at Clemson
8pm BTN: Nebraska at Illinois 

10pm Pac-12: Colorado at Arizona St.
10:15pm ESPN2: Toledo at Colorado St.
10:30pm ESPN: UCLA at Washington St.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

CFB TV Guesses for 2019 Week Four (9/21/19)

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

Things to know in advance
* Michigan at Wisconsin was selected to air on FOX at 12pm ET in advance of the 12 day selection process.  It is the only game window scheduled for broadcast network.
* CBS selected Notre Dame at Georgia for the 8pm primetime game a few weeks ago and also selects its 3:30pm game before ESPN can choose any games.  Because of the doubleheader involving a primetime game, any SEC games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU will air in the 12pm ET timeslot.
* Connecticut at Indiana, Boston College at Rutgers & Miami (OH) at Ohio St. were announced as airing on BTN during Big Ten Media Days.  Either Nebraska at Illinois or Michigan St. at Northwestern will also air on BTN.
* RSN listings indicate two ACC games, one at 12pm ET & one at 3:30pm ET.

Decisions I made
* In terms of pick order
  • After Michigan at Wisconsin was selected by FOX, my assumption is that ESPN is choosing between Nebraska at Illinois or Michigan St. at Northwestern with whichever game isn't chosen airing on BTN as mentioned earlier.
  • With FS1 carrying just two Saturday games and FOX just one, I gave ESPN both the the top Big 12 (Oklahoma St. at Texas) and the top remaining Pac-12 selections (Oregon at Stanford and Colorado at Arizona St.) as FS1 has Utah at USC on Friday night.  Weeknight games are supposedly drafted by ESPN and FOX outside of the Saturday selections, with the options available, I think ESPN is taking two Pac-12 games this week.
* The Pac-12 Networks advance schedules no longer list fixed game windows for future weeks.  I did notice that the Washington Pac-12 RSN schedule has an event for 9pm ET / 6pm PT (women's volleyball) and since the games have to be cleared on the competing regions' RSNs, I placed it at 4pm ET / 1pm PT.  East coast Pac-12 primetime games on ABC and FOX are supposed to have a exclusivity at the start of the game for at least 90 minutes, so I went with afternoon instead of 9pm ET.

* I chose Louisville at Florida St. at noon over Oklahoma St. at Texas, figuring that Oklahoma St. at Texas could help provide ESPN two good viewing options at night (Oregon at Stanford being the other) in the event Notre Dame at Georgia is a dud.

* I was nearly swayed to swap Oklahoma St. at Texas & Oregon at Stanford, but ESPN has a very small requirement of two Pac-12 games on ABC and just one in primetime.  Figured this was the better week to get it out of the way.

12pm ABC: Louisville at Florida St.
12pm ESPN: Tennessee at Florida
12pm ESPN2: California at Ole Miss
12pm FS1: UL Monroe at Iowa St.
12pm ESPNU: South Carolina at Missouri
12pm SECN: Kentucky at Mississippi St.
12pm ACCN: Old Dominion at Virginia
12pm BTN: Boston College at Rutgers
12pm BTN: Connecticut at Indiana
12pm ACC RSNs: Central Michigan at Miami (FL)
3pm Pac-12: UCLA at Washington St.
3:30pm ABC: Michigan St. at Northwestern
3:30pm CBS: Auburn at Texas A&M
3:30pm ESPN: Charlotte at Clemson
3:30pm ESPN2: Washington at BYU
3:30pm FS1: West Virginia at Kansas
3:30pm ESPNU: Ball St. at NC State
3:30pm CBSSN: Wyoming at Tulsa
3:30pm BTN: Miami (OH) at Ohio St.
3:30pm ACC RSNs: Elon at Wake Forest
4pm SECN: LSU at Vanderbilt
4pm SECN: San Jose St. at Arkansas
4pm ACCN: Western Michigan at Syracuse
7pm ESPN: Oklahoma St. at Texas
7pm ESPN2: Appalachian St. at North Carolina
7pm ESPNU: SMU at TCU
7:30pm ABC: Oregon at Stanford
7:30pm SECN: Southern Miss at Alabama
7:30pm ACCN: UCF at Pittsburgh
7:30pm BTN: Nebraska at Illinois
10:15pm ESPN2: Toledo at Colorado St.
10:30pm ESPN: Colorado at Arizona St.

ESPN3
William & Mary at East Carolina

ESPN3 or ESPN+
Troy at Akron
Temple at Buffalo
Central Connecticut St. at Eastern Michigan
UL-Lafayette at Ohio
Bowling Green at Kent St.
Southern Illinois at Arkansas St.
Georgia St. at Texas St.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Notes from the Big East & Big Ten Basketball TV Schedules Releases

* For the Big East and Big Ten television schedules, I had a few takeaways
  • FOX Sports is definitely going in on carrying as much live sports on the broadcast network as possible.  At the moment, I have 23 games scheduled there.  16 from the Big East and 7 from the Big Ten.  Two more Big East games are scheduled for either FOX or FS1 based on NFL playoff scheduling. 

    Last year there were 29 games scheduled on FOX, which included the championship round of the Las Vegas Invitational, which has moved back to FS1 this coming season.  So FOX's schedule might have a few less games unless there's a push to place more Pac-12 games on the broadcast network.  December 21st has a lot of available neutral site contests unless they've already been claimed by other TV networks.
  • No wildcard selections for either the Big Ten or Big East on their final weekend(s).  In the past, the TV partners would have the option of choosing the best available game.  In the case of the Big Ten, that could also mean the date of a game being either Saturday or Sunday if BTN is the TV partner.
  • For those of you needing a fix on RSN news, there were no FSN or FOX College Sports games listed in FOX Sports' release of Big East games.  They also didn't have those games in the initial list of college football games they are carrying.  I assume that they maintain rights to these games but they no longer own the RSNs carrying these games, so they've not elected to acknowledge them.  I do want to follow up with someone on the rightsholder part of things.
  • Eight of the 16 Big Ten schools will appear on FOX or CBS as part of the conference's TV package.  DePaul is the only Big East school that will not appear on either FOX or CBS, unless they make it to the Big East championship game.
* I'm very curious to see who takes any part of the James Naismith Classic event being played on Saturday, November 16th due to so many networks already committed to carrying college football.  A handful of games scheduled through the Basketball Hall of Fame did end up on FloSports last year when linear TV networks didn't pick them up.  Its also possible that the event could be split between multiple rightsholders, such as a game on Pac-12 or SEC Network (Tennessee vs. Washington), another on BTN (Rutgers vs. St. Bonaventure) and the third on streaming services (Buffalo vs. Harvard).  Or Stadium could end up claiming it to air on their linear TV or Facebook services.

* So I went through the ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS listings for November at WatchESPN.com to see what conference controlled men's basketball games were listed.  ESPNEWS had no conference controlled games listed, but the other three had a few.  I didn't go through ACC or SEC Network since its a bit obvious what conference they'll be covering.

Also, might be a clue in here regarding a conference who may be placing some games on ESPN television outlets when they had not been previously.

ESPN
11/10 1pm: "Southeastern Conference Basketball" - Florida St. at Florida seems likely
11/17 3pm: "Southeastern Conference Basketball" - New Orleans at Mississippi St. is the only SEC game scheduled for this date.

ESPN2
11/8 10:30pm "Pacific-12 Conference Men's Basketball" - Arizona St. vs. Colorado from Shanghai, China or Iowa St. at Oregon St. look like possibilities.
11/13 6pm "Atlantic 10 Conference Basketball" - already announced as LSU at VCU
11/14 7pm "Southeastern Conference Basketball" - Towson at Florida looks likely based on the Gators' standing in several early top 25 projections.
11/18 7pm "Southeastern Conference Basketball" - Utah Valley at Kentucky
11/18 9pm "Big 12 Conference Basketball" - Air Force at TCU, Northern Colorado at West Virginia & William & Mary at Oklahoma are scheduled for this date

ESPNU
11/5 7pm "Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball" - Virginia Tech at Clemson was scheduled for ESPN2 or ESPNU.  ESPNU seems to be the place.
11/5 9pm "Big Ten Conference Basketball" - The conference released its TV schedule but did not list TV for the St. Mary's vs. Wisconsin game being played in Sioux Falls, SD.  Looks to be the place for it.
11/6 7pm & 9pm "Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball" - Florida St. at Pittsburgh & Wake Forest at Boston College are the games.
11/8 7pm & 9pm "Big 12 Conference Basketball" - Akron at West Virginia & UNC Greensboro at Kansas are the two games available from the conference
11/10 4pm "Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball" - UMass Lowell at Ohio St. is scheduled here
11/10 6pm "Big Ten Conference Basketball" - Assuming the conference designations were flip flopped, five games are available, including James Madison at Virginia, the defending champions' first home game.
11/12 6pm "Northeast Conference Basketball" - Must be Pittsburgh at Robert Morris
11/15 9pm "Southeastern Conference Basketball" - Gonzaga at Texas A&M looks to be the best available of five SEC games
11/17 2pm "Big 12 Conference Basketball" - Yale at Oklahoma St. is the only Big 12 game scheduled
11/17 4pm "Atlantic 10 Conference Basketball" - already announced as Seton Hall at Saint Louis
11/17 6pm "Conference USA Basketball" - Yes, you read that correctly and I did a double take when I saw it.  Maybe a small package of ESPNU games is replacing what C-USA lost moving away from beIN Sports.  Wake Forest at Charlotte is the only C-USA game scheduled for that day.
11/18 7pm "Big Ten Conference Basketball" - I don't know.  I don't have a Big Ten game scheduled for TV that day on ESPNU nor one sitting out their waiting for a TV assignment.  Maybe the conference designation is incorrect.
11/20 11pm "Mountain West Conference Basketball" - This game shows when looking at 11/21, so I think its picking up when the game ends in the Eastern time zone.  Anyways, BYU at Boise St. & Fresno St. vs. St. Mary's from Sacramento seem likely.

Friday, September 6, 2019

2019 CFB 12 Day Guesses: Coming Soon

I received an email earlier this week noting that there had not been a post on this blog since June 1st asking if there would continue to be posts here.

The answer is yes.  Nothing wrong with me if you follow my Twitter account as I'm pretty active there.  The summer was a relatively quiet period.

  • The Mountain West rights for the upcoming years are, I assume, being buttoned up by whichever rightsholder(s) they've intended to partner with.   
  • I don't have any reason to question BYU and ESPN remaining partnered.  
  • The ACC Network has started, though there's two notable providers not on board, Xfinity & AT&T U-Verse, and I don't get the feeling that the latter of those two is being actively maintained.  Yours truly switched off of U-Verse to Spectrum for several reasons, cost of service and the service itself being the primary reasons.  
  • Sinclair also purchased the FOX branded RSNs plus YES Network, and successfully closed those purchases a couple weeks back.  At some point most of those will be rebranded with the FOX name being dropped of the network name.  My money at this point is the beginning of 2020, maybe once MLB season starts.
  • BTN fully moved into the FOX Sports app, with the BTN2Go app disappearing & being rebranded solely for the BTN+ OTT product.
Wanted to briefly cover the college football 12 day pick guesses for TV.  The first of those will appear on Sunday and each Sunday through late November.  Please understand that I won't be guesses game times & TV outlets beyond that, such as asking about a mid-November game in late September.  You do have some tools at your disposal:

1) The website where I track the games, MattSarzSports.com
2) A Google Sheets document where I track open TV windows based on what the networks have already listed on media websites or other materials received.  You can also find this on each week's page at the top at the Available TV Windows link.

On Mondays, I'll do my best to track the announcements and open TV windows on another post.  Each conference and/or school releases kickoff information at their own leisure, so there isn't a specific time to start checking & wonder why its "late".  Most weeks, this information doesn't start to show up until after 11am Eastern.

I may try to write up something on the Big East & Big Ten men's basketball TV schedule releases tonight or early tomorrow morning.  Thanks for stopping by.  Take care.