Sunday, August 29, 2010

Small change as a new season starts

Very few changes this season with respect to college football telecast coverage. With the ACC contract kicking in next season, we'll have more to talk about, but here's what we got.
  • Big 12 and FSN solidify relationship - ABC and ESPN's Big 12 sublicense remain, but FSN will be primary provider of Big 12 football on cable this fall. They (or at the Big 12's request) ended their sublicense of games to Versus. The Versus games were usually at 12:30pm ET, which many Big 12 schools don't care for. FSN will handle 24 national telecasts this season, 25 if you count Northern Illinois-Iowa St. going to almost the entire nation, and those games will air at either 12/12:30pm ET and 7pm virtually every week.

  • Pac-10 flips their script - Changes abound here. ABC may have as few as six Pac-10 games while ESPN and FSN will co-exist in several time slots. FSN could handle the extra Big 12 games because they decided to sublicense more Pac-10 games to Versus, specifically Pac-10 slots at 7pm/7:30pm ET. The goal here is to piggyback onto SEC time slots on ESPN and also open up slots where regional networks, often involving FSN, can get PAC-10 games on TV when national games aren't being shown. So far it has worked with virtually every conference-controlled game through October 2nd on TV somewhere.

  • MAC gets a new regional partner - FSN Ohio was more of a marriage of convenience, but now that SportsTime Ohio has picked up the conference, the network plans for more regional coverage of the conference, both in live action in football and basketball, but bumper programming like season previews. What remains to be seen is how they will get these games outside of Ohio. Some of the game selections in football involved Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Buffalo.

  • The WAC announced, in a rather vague announcement, that it would be starting the WAC Sports Network. Not really sure if all affiliates will see all games or not. Seems kinda like SportsWest, the WAC's previous syndication partner who had affiliates in virtually every WAC market, but only syndicated games between the markets of the competing teams.

  • The mtn goes HD - At least for game productions as all mtn. live games will be in HD this season.

  • ABC Reverse Mirror to include Pac-10 - Larry Scott stated that the previous administration of the Pac-10 wanted to be paid to be part of the ABC Reverse Mirror with the Big Ten. Larry Scott made the decision that exposure in the midwest was much more important and gave ABC the ability to pick these games free of charge. Makes you wonder how out of it Tom Hansen was. Sucks for the ACC as they were the primary benefactor of the reverse mirror. The Big 12 will also get more reverse mirror opportunities.
I'll be enjoying the opening weekend at Syracuse-Akron. Take care.

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